If you’ve ever considered a career in competitive weightlifting, mastering the Push Press should be your first goal.
This full-body lift is typically performed by professional strength trainers and Olympic athletes, and proper form is necessary to avoid injury.
What Is The Push Press?
The Push Press is a strength training exercise using a barbell and weight plates. It works the deltoid muscle; specifically, it strengthens the anterior head of this muscle.
Birth Of The Push Press
Dumbbells and many modern weight training exercises were born of the physical culture movement in the late 19th century. Powerlifting and bodybuilding evolved from this collection of strength training exercises, and the Push Press has its roots here, too.
For years, the Push Press was out of favor among best lifters because it was thought to cause shoulder injuries at a high rate. However, this lift has seen renewed interest since 2010 and is considered safe with proper form.
Understanding More About This Exercise
The Push Press is a full-body, strength and power weightlifting movement. It simultaneously works the abdominals, glutes, quads, triceps and shoulders. The momentum for the lift, however, is created by the legs.
How To Prepare To Perform A Push Press
Before attempting the Push Press, you should have a solid foundation of weightlifting experience.
You will also need a barbell and weight plates to perform this exercise.
The Push Press In Six Steps
Even more so than in most lifts, proper form is integral for a safe and effective Push Press. Begin with a moderate amount of weight so that you can master form before upping your weight, and follow these steps:
- Lift the barbell with a pronated (overhand) grip and hold it with a grip-width that is a little greater than shoulder-width apart. Pull it up just over your shoulders, keeping your elbows near your body.
- Bend at the knees, then lower your body down to the half-squat position.
- Press the barbell over your head, pressing down through your heels to create explosive energy as you stand up.
- Once standing, straighten your elbows to lock-out position.
- Hold for one second, then slowly lower the weight back down to your starting posture.
- Try for three sets of 1-5 repetitions.
The Push Press: Six Benefits
This is a difficult lift to master, and it takes time to learn to do it properly on a consistent basis. However, sticking with it will eventually earn you the following benefits:
- The Push Press works the whole body, but its practitioners reap these special benefits:
- Upper body strength and muscle growth
- Enhanced Overhead Stability
- Progression to the jerk and snatch
- Improved athletic performance
- Muscle hypertrophy
Two Common Modifications of the Push Press
The Push Press is traditionally done with a barbell while standing upright. However, it can be modified in two ways:
- Use of dumbbells instead of a barbell
- Sitting on a weight bench instead of standing
The Push Press is making a comeback, and it’s an effective lift for those with experience and a goal of becoming a serious weightlifter. When done with proper form, it offers a host of full-body strength and power benefits.