What are push presses good for? Barbell Push Press, Overhead Press, Military Press, Strict Press, Push Jerk

Experience Barbell Push Press

Push Press

Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

Associated Phrases: Barbell Push Press, Overhead Press, Military Press, Strict Press, Push Jerk

Targets: Full Physique

Gear Wanted: Barbell, Weight Plates

Stage: Superior

The barbell push press is a full-body motion—one among some associated workout routines that help to develop not solely shoulder energy but besides energy and stability by way of the decrease physique and core. Exercisers often embody the push press of their coaching regime after mastering the overhead press (additionally referred to as a strict press or Military press) however earlier than shifting on to the extra superior push jerk or cut up jerk.


Weightlifters generally use the push press to extend muscle mass and construct energy however athletes who take part in sports activities that require leaping power additionally discover the motion useful for reinforcing efficiency.

Whereas there are numerous advantages to the train, the push press is a complicated motion that requires using some completely different muscle teams and coordinated expertise. People who find themselves new to this talent ought to work with a professional coach or coach to study the right mechanics earlier than including vital weight to the train.


The push press is one among some weightlifting overheads urgent derivatives (WOPDs) that has a protracted historical past of use within the sport of lifting. For years, the overhead press was thought of as a gold customary by which the energy functionality of an athlete was measured.

In more modern years, the push press—which provides a lower-body push to the overhead press—has been adopted in CrossFit gyms and in weightlifting rooms throughout the nation as a more practical solution to improve energy whereas additionally enhancing pace, energy, and core energy for more practical athletic efficiency.

In more modern years, the push press—which provides a lower-body push to the overhead press—has been adopted in CrossFit gyms and in weightlifting rooms throughout the nation as a more practical solution to improve energy whereas additionally enhancing pace, energy, and core energy for more practical athletic efficiency.

A 2019 research revealed in Sports activities Drugs recognized some different methods wherein the push press and different WOPDs present advantages.


Decreased Danger of Damage

Studying the push press could assist cut back the danger of damage throughout coaching and weight lifting efficiency.

For a lot of weight coaching and CrossFit athletes, studying the push press is a precursor to a comparable motion referred to as the jerk—a key part of the extensively used clear and jerk train. Following some research, the jerk is taken into account to be one of the crucial complicated and troublesome expertise within the fashionable period of weightlifting and the motion is a part of the clean and jerk that reveals the best incidence of failure in weightlifters.

By establishing a stable basis of alignment and energy with the push press, CrossFitters and different athletes could cut back their threat of damage.

Motor Management and Coordination

The push press is recognized as offering higher advantages that different WOPD workout routines and as in comparison with different well-studied higher physique workout routines for growing motor management and coordination. The train requires the lifter to transmit power by way of the kinetic chain from the decrease physique to the higher extremities, which creates a strong stimulus to strengthen muscle tissue of each the higher and decrease physique.

Moreover, the motion requires motor management and coordination all through the trunk and decrease physique muscle tissue to be able to stabilize and transmit forces whereas standing.

When in comparison with the bench press, the push press is taken into account to be extra relevant to explosive athletic actions and sports activities because of the technical challenges requiring pace, acceleration, timing, and coordination.


Enhanced Energy Improvement for Sports activities

As a result of the push, press requires excessive ranges of maximal energy and energy and since the actions are mechanically just like many duties required in sports activities, the train is taken into account to be an excellent a stimulus to develop speedy power manufacturing, maximal energy, and energy in sporting actions, particularly those who contain sprinting, jumps, and alter of course. These could embody basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and different athletics.

In brief, when athletes study to coordinate the extension of the ankles, knees, and hips with pace and power utilizing the push press, they’re higher geared up to execute the strikes on the ball subject.

Moreover, different research has recommended that energy actions just like the push press are necessary for growing energy within the core so that energy may be transferred from the decrease physique to the higher physique throughout sports activities like soccer. Analysis means that workout routines just like the plank put the physique in a nonfunctional static place and could also be much less efficient. 

Step-By-Step Directions

The push press is a complicated train that builds on different foundational actions. It’s sensible to grasp the overhead press first earlier than trying this train. The overhead press will allow you to to develop the shoulder energy and confidence to feel snug lifting a bar overhead. An overhead press may be carried out with dumbbells, however, you may wish to study the transfer with a barbell earlier than shifting on to the push press.

Additionally, as a result of the push press entails some completely different complicated and coordinated actions, it’s sensible to attempt the motion with little to no weight first. When you’ve mastered the mechanics, add weight slowly.

To arrange for the train, place a barbell on a rack in the entrance of you or at your toes.

  1. Stand with toes hip-distance aside. Place the barbell throughout your chest at shoulder peak so that it rests at your collar bone. Arms need to be positioned on the bar barely wider than shoulder-distance aside with palms going through ahead. Elbows are relaxed under and barely at the entrance of the bar. Legs need to be straight however not locked. Knees and ankles need to be aligned straight beneath the hips.
  2. Holding the bar at your chest and preserving the torso robust, bend the knees right into a slight dip. Then push by way of the toes and begin to straighten the legs. This motion is finished rapidly to realize momentum.
  3. When you attain full hip extension, press the bar up. You may have to maneuver the top barely again to make room for the bar to go.
  4. Prolong the arms overhead, preserving the torso correctly aligned (it shouldn’t feel just like the chest is prolonged ahead or the hips are arching again). As soon as the bar has moved up previous your head, transfer it again by way of its unique place and barely ahead.
  5. Return the bar to the beginning place to start one other repetition.

The push press train needs to be accomplished in a single fluid motion. You may wish to full not more than 5 repetitions. If you can do greater than 5 reps, you will not be utilizing sufficient weight.

Frequent Errors

There are frequent blunders which might be usually seen when performing the push press. Most errors contain alignment, particularly within the dip part of the train.

Improper Beginning Stance

Watch out to not place your toes too large when getting ready for the push press. It’d feel extra secure to have your toes additional aside, however it is very important to hold them at solely hip-distance aside. Toes need to be parallel.

Additionally, watch out of your hand and elbow placement in the course of the preparation part. The push press is just like different workout routines that contain putting the barbell at a chest peak. In a few of these workout routines, the elbows level ahead and the palms face up. Within the push press, nevertheless, it is necessary for the elbows to naturally loosen up down so the palms are going through ahead once you start.

Sloppy Dip

All the energy on this transfer comes from the dip that occurs earlier than you press the bar overhead. Some issues may go incorrect throughout this necessary motion.

First, it is pure to decrease the physique right into a squat somewhat than a dip. In a squat, the hips transfer again when the knees bend and the torso comes barely ahead. In a push press dip, nevertheless, the hips keep straight under the chest and head. The knees come ahead—which can really feel odd, however, you do not bend deeply sufficient that the heels feel like they should come off the ground


It is also attainable to arch the again in the course of the dip. It is a signal that you’re lifting an excessive amount of weight. If you cannot manage the dip, lower your weight.

Lastly, some exercisers lean again on the dip, placing stress on the decrease again. Once more, hold the top, chest, and hips aligned as you bend the knees.

Untimely Raise

Whereas the push press needs to be a fluid motion, you do not wish to begin lifting the bar till you’re at full hip extension. That signifies that till your legs are straight, the bar stays at a chest degree.

Should you discover that you simply at all times wish to start the overhead press with the knees bent, observe with dumbbells, and have a coach watch to offer motion cues.

Not Partaking the Core

Hold you’re again lengthy and robust all through the overhead press. Should you discover that you’re arching your again remind your self to interact with your core. Think about that you’re tightening your midsection to arrange for a punch to the intestine. Should you battle to maintain the core engaged you might be lifting an excessive amount of weight.

Should you feel that you’re lifting the correct quantity of weight and you continue to discover that you’re arching the again, double-check that you’re partaking by way of your core by way of each part of this train. Core stability protects your again and helps to forestall damage.


Doing Too Many Reps

The push isn’t designed that will help you enhance your endurance or common health conditioning. This motion is designed to construct power and energy. As such, you need to solely carry out between one and 5 repetitions of the motion. Including extra repetitions also can result in a breakdown of a kind and ultimately to damage. Add extra weight should you can comfortably full greater than 5 reps.

Modifications and Variations

Want a Modification?

Newbies ought to work with a coach when studying this transfer. But when you do not have entry to an expert, you possibly can attempt the transfer at residence utilizing no weight in any respect or just utilizing a protracted bar. This lets you study the sequence of actions without the danger of damage.

Whereas it’s common to load the barbell with 45-pound weight plates or extra, there isn’t a have to elevate that a lot when you’re first beginning out. Begin with 10-pound plates and even much less if vital. If no mild weights can be found, contemplate attempting the motion with dumbells or with kettlebells to get stronger and extra snug with the sequence.

Up for a Problem?

When you grasp the push press, contemplate advancing to the jerk motion. A jerk is similar to a push press however it provides barely extra momentum. This train begins precisely just like the push press however simply earlier than the arms are prolonged overhead, you may add another dip to place the physique beneath the bar.

The variations between the jerk and the push press are refined however necessary. The jerk is a necessary part of the clear and jerk train. The jerk needs to be mastered first earlier than placing it along with a clear.

Security and Precautions

The push press is a frequent train that you’re going to see in nearly any weightlifting gymnasium or Crossfit field. You may be tempted to seize a barbell, load it up, and provides it an attempt. However, this can be a complicated motion with a threat of damage to the shoulders, again, knees, hips, and wrists. It is sensible to interrupt down the actions and study them with care earlier than trying it. The payoff is substantial should you study to do it correctly.


For security’s sake, work with a licensed coach to study essential actions. Then (if attainable) carry out the actions in entrance of a mirror so that you’ll be able to examine your alignment throughout every part.

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