The Complete Guide to Upper Lower Workout Routine


  • Ideal For Busy Person like Businessmen, Housewives, Entrepreneurs.
  • Easily Customization for Volume, Frequency, Intensity And priorities to allow for more or less recovery and volume.
  • Keep reading to learn about the best Upper/Lower Workout routines and how to create your own!

Does Upper/Lower Workout Routine Helps You to Build More Muscle and Lose Fat?

Does this workout routine is better than other workout routines like push/pull/leg, full-body, 5*5 splits and many more?

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, like me, then you’ve definitely come across this workout split in your gym life once and you’ve all the confusing and exciting questions about this workout routine.

The Truth is all the workout routines out there are best in themselves and you should choose your workout routine based on your lifestyle not based on what others choose or what others say.

There are already a lot of articles and videos out there on this topic but I really want to cover all of the things about Upper/Lower workout splits that I can.

Specifically, you’ll learn What is an Upper/Lower Split?, The Benefits of Upper/Lower Split?, How to Set Up Your Upper Body Workouts, and many other cool ways to train your body with this split.

So, without further introduction, let’s jump in and read how you can train your body with upper/lower workout split.

What is an Upper Lower Workout Routine?

I believe most of us know about the Upper/Lower workout split but for some of you may not know about it, an upper lower split just divides your all body parts in the two workouts and trains them on the individual days.

Upper/Lower workout split is made using the push-pull-leg workout routine. 

I don’t know about others but I notice while training that All the upper body exercises consist of push and pull muscle, and thus for the exercises.

Same can be said for the lower workout split.

Let’s see which muscle we are training on which day.

The “Upper Body” Day

It is simple as it sounds. You’ll train your entire upper body on this day except the lower back  because most of the lower body exercises target the lower back and we don’t need it to train on upper body days.

If you’re a power-lifter or want to do dead-lifts or for any other reason you can do lower back exercises on the separate day.

Here’s the Number of exercises  per body part we’ll be doing and The reason behind adding this amount of exercises is the size of the muscle, how important it is to train it and the type of the exercises(compound or isolation).

  • Chest: 2 exercises  
  • Back: 2 exercises
  • Shoulders: 2 exercises
  • Biceps: 1 exercises
  • Triceps: 1 exercises

You can do one compound and one isolation exercises for chest, back and shoulders, or you can do both compound exercises it’s all up to you, but I go with the former option.

The “Lower Body” Day

The lower body day consist quads, hamstring, Glute and calf exercises and The reason behind adding this amount of exercises is that the size of the muscle, how important to train it and the type of the exercises(compound or isolation).

  • Quads: 2 exercises
  • Hamstrings: 1-2 exercises
  • Glutes: 1 exercise
  • Calves: 1-2 exercises

You may notice that there is nothing mentioned about the abs training in the both upper and lower body.

So, if you really want to train abs , you can train it with a little bit of cardio on separate days and it all depends on your goal and your body. 

I’ve seen some people train abs with the lower day exercises in the routine but I personally choose to train them with the low intensity cardio on the separate day. So I can totally focus on them.

What Are The Benefits Of Upper Lower Workout Routine?

There are plenty of benefits to this type of routine compared to other routines but I’ve found that there are three that stand out the most and that’s why people choose to train using this split.

It has a ton of different version to train option

Regardless of which workout split you’ve chosen except this, you don’t have much variation like this routine. This workout routine has 4 popular variation which we will talk later in detail but here is the list of them

  • The 2-Day Upper/Lower Split
  • The 3-Day Upper/Lower Split
  • The 4-Day Upper/Lower Split
  • The 3-4 Day Upper/Lower Split

You can Easily Optimize Your Training Frequency and Volume

Most research paper on the workout frequency has shown that, for achieving any bodybuilding related goals, training every body part about twice per week is optimal for the muscle hypertrophy and works better than once per week. 

Any version of upper/lower workout routine easily allows for this ideal frequency to be met and that’s the most beneficial advantage of this routine.

Easily Customization for the Busy Person

Due to all the advantages this routine offers, if you’re a busy person like businessmen or a housewives with 4 children you can train your body with this routine.

You can choose any variation of it and change the volume and frequency of it as you need.

Overlapping problem is gone with this split.

What happens in the full-body, and each muscle on each separate day is that you most likely over-train your one body part.


When you train your chest muscles with the bench press, you’re training your front shoulders to some extent and some researchers also recommend not train your front shoulders as they’ve enough volume to grow through chest exercises.

Same can be said for the triceps, like when you train the chest and shoulder muscles, the secondary muscles that are being trained are triceps. So if you’re overlapping those muscles.

There are no benefits in doing it, in fact, you’re losing your time.

Best Exercises For Upper Body

We as fitness junkies always want to have the best and top fitness exercises in our list but let me tell you that there is no such thing like this.

However, the only reason why researchers conduct their research is to find which exercise is most effective for which muscles.

Now, keep in mind that by NOT doing most effective exercises for any muscle will also make some muscle growth.

  • Chest Exercises
    • Incline Bench Press
    • Cable Fly/Cross
  • Shoulder Exercises
    • DB Lateral Raise
    • Machine/DB Reverse fly
  • Back Exercises
    • Lat pulldown to sternum(narrow underhand grip)
    • DB row, bend over( underhand grip)
  • Triceps Exercises
    • Cable push-downs
    • DB Kickbacks
  • Biceps Exercises
    • Dumbbell concentration curls(negative eccentric)

I mentioned the most effective exercise for each part  for upper/lower workout split but if you want to take a deep look in the EMG analysis, click on the each muscle group name, Chest, Back, Shoulder, Biceps and Triceps.

Best Exercises For Lower Body

Lower body consists of two largest body parts in the entire human body i.e. legs and glutes(sources here).

You’ve to train them properly if you want to grow your body effectively otherwise your body looks like the image below.

The Complete Guide to Upper Lower Workout Routine

  • Quad Exercises
    • Squats – to parallel 
    • Hack squats – to 90°
  • Glute Exercises
    • Barbell Hip Thrust
  • Hamstring Exercises
    • Leg curls – peak contract. or partials
  • Calves Exercises
    • Donkey calf raise – peak contract

Like the upper body exercises, see the emg analysis of each exercise by clicking on it, Glute, Quard, Hamstring, Calves.


How to Set Up Your Upper Lower Workout Routine For You?

There are different upper/lower workout splits but the most popular ones are 2-Day and 4-Day.

Let’s see how you can set them up for yourself.

The 2-Day Upper/Lower Split

A typical week with 2 day  upper/lower split routine looks like this:

  • Monday — upper body
  • Tuesday — off
  • Wednesday — Lower body
  • Thursday — off 
  • Friday — off 
  • Saturday — off 
  • Sunday — off 

If you want to have a simple workout routine just add the best exercises for upper and lower body for this split I mentioned above and that’s it.

Your 2 day upper-lower workout split is ready!

Just keep in mind that you could place those workouts on ANY day of the week but I placed like this as most people prefer this way of training.

I choose Monday and Wednesday in this example but you can easily choose Saturday or Sunday or any day you would like.

The 4-Day Upper/Lower Split 

A typical week with an upper/lower split routine looks like this:

  • Monday—upper body
  • Tuesday—lower body
  • Wednesday—rest day
  • Thursday—upper body
  • Friday—lower body
  • Saturday—rest day
  • Sunday—rest day

This is the most popular version of this split as it involves 4 workouts per week and trains the entire body twice with proper rest.

One thing I really want to tell here is the actual day you choose doesn’t really matter at all, just consider this while making one for yourself.

Some people like to add variety in this split like 2 day training one day off, then one day training and one day off and so on for the rest of the week. Which is look something like below!

  • Monday: Upper Body
  • Tuesday: Lower Body
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: Upper Body
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: Lower Body
  • Sunday: off

You can choose whatever day for your upper and lower body workout which based on your fitness level, how you’re comfortable with and other few factors. 

Just try to add different things if you want to try something new in the 4 day upper/lower workout routine.

Sample Upper Lower Workout Routine

Now that you’ve chosen which version of the split is ideal for you and you want to go with, the next thing you’ll need is a workout routine to go along with it.

However, you can add exercises from the list I mentioned above.

Here’s an example routine that you can either use exactly as is, or adjust slightly to better suit your needs, goals, and preferences.

The Sample Routine

Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 5×6-8
  • Rows: 5×6-8
  • Shoulder Press: 3×8-10
  • Pull-Ups: 3×10
  • Cable Cross: 2×10-15
  • Dumbbell Curls: 2×12-15
  • Triceps Extensions: 2×12-15

Lower Body

  • Squats: 5×6-8
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 5×6-8
  • Leg Press/HackSquat/FrontSquat: 3×8-10
  • Leg Curls: 3×8-10
  • Standing Calf Raises: 5×6-8

Just keep in mind that this is the sample routine that you can make using the method you saw earlier.

This is  the one version of the upper/lower workout routine, you can make many of them. many of them means many, many, many using various exercises, types of sets etc.

What Now?

You now know all things about the upper/lower workout split. If you really want to have an amazing body, just put this workout routine into action with a proper diet plan.

Make sure to follow this plan and your diet plan for at least 6 weeks in order to see visible changes in your body.

If you’ve any doubt feel free to comment, I would love to help you out with any fitness questions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top