How to Push Press: Gym Shorts

New to the push press or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

How to Push Press

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

How to Push Press: Follow These Steps

  • hands just outside shoulders
  • wrists bent
  • elbows forward
  • squat stance
  • shallow knee bend & quick extension
  • finish with shrug
  • bar over shoulders over midfoot
  • elbows extended
  • gaze straight ahead
  • big held breath between reps
  • tight abs

What is the Push Press

The push press is a press variant that incorporates a slight knee bend to propel the bar up off the lifter’s shoulders. Because of the incorporation of the knee bend (and quadricep extension), more weight can be used.

This exercise removes much of the contribution of the pectoralis major, which contribute more in the bottom portion of the movement. This means the triceps brachii and front deltoids still work.

The push press involves a wider grip than the press with bent wrists, as the power in the bottom of the lift comes from the quadriceps. The setup contributes to throwing the bar up off the shoulders.

Programming the Push Press

The push press tends to be performed by CrossFitters or Olympic lifters. It may also be performed by Strongmen. That being said, the push jerk, which features a second knee bend as the bar moves up, tends to be more specific for these lifters.

Programming for the push press occurs similarly to the press, with sets of 2-5 of typically 1-8 reps.

If this lift is not programmed for helping improve the push jerk or general overhead strength that a Strongman might need, an alternative purpose for this lift is as part of an upper body circuit.

For example, instead of thrusters, an athlete could perform a modified Fran of 21 then 15 then 9 of push presses and chin-ups or some other pulling variant.

Click HERE to listen to a podcast on advanced press programming and HERE to read about the muscles worked in the press.




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