Why: The push press develops upper body vertical pushing strength, power, and speed—critical components for effective and efficient athletic movement. The push press allows you to lift up to 30% more load than the strict press.
Set-Up: Start with your feet at a hip-width stance. Place your hands on the barbell just outside your shoulders. Bring the barbell to the front rack position with your elbows slightly in front of the bar. Get a full grip on the bar.
Execution: Brace your core. Bend your knees to initiate the dip. Your torso should dip straight down. Extend your knees and hips, and then press the bar overhead. Keep your heels down until your hips and legs have reached full extension. The barbell should move over your feet. To complete the movement, finish at full hip, knee, and arm extension.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– The bar starts in the front rack position with your elbows slightly in front of the bar
– Your hips, knees, and arms lock out overhead with the barbell over the middle of your feet
– Your knees don’t re-bend after the press (as in the jerk)
Pro-Tip: For high volume push presses at light-to-moderate loads, cycle the movement. Bend the knees as the bar comes back down to the front rack position. It not only feels better (catching the load with bent knees prevents the barbell from slamming into your collar bones) but it also saves you valuable time—you don’t need to pause and re-bend the knees in preparation for the next rep.