How you can Do the Push Press: Muscle Labored, Type, and Advantages


The push press is an overhead urgent train that makes use of your decrease physique to generate momentum and assist transfer the bar upward.

Most weightlifters can profit from the push press as a result of it trains a number of main muscle teams throughout your complete physique and is a superb method to increase your overhead urgent power. 

It’s particularly beneficial for athletes as a result of it additionally helps you develop full-body energy, which is essential for sports activities that require explosive actions, comparable to sprinting, leaping, and throwing

On this article, you’ll study what the push press is, its advantages, which muscle mass it really works, the best way to carry out the push press with correct type, the perfect push press options, and extra. 

What Is the Push Press?

The push press is an overhead press that begins with 1 / 4 squat. You employ the momentum generated as you rise from the squat that will help you press the bar upward till your arms are locked overhead.

This doesn’t imply it’s a sloppy overhead press (as some erroneously assume).

The purpose of the push press is to generate simply sufficient momentum to assist get the bar off your shoulders and thru the primary few inches of the press, the place it’s most probably to get caught. From there, your shoulders and arms do all of the work.

This lets you use heavier weights than with the standing overhead press with out lowering range of motion a lot.

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Push Press vs. Overhead Press: Which Is Higher?

It relies upon. 

The overhead press requires much less coordination and athleticism than the push press, which makes it a better place to begin for new weightlifters. It’s additionally a greater measure of upper-body strength since you’ll be able to’t depend on a powerful lower body to spice up your urgent numbers. 

Then again, the push press trains extra muscle groups throughout your complete physique and means that you can raise heavier weights than you’ll be able to overhead press. That is vital for 2 causes:

  1. It makes your coaching extra environment friendly (one train can do the work of a number of).
  2. It means that you can practice your shoulders with extra weight than you’ll be able to press with “strict” type, which is generally better for muscle and power acquire and may help in case your overhead press progress stalls.

The draw back, nevertheless, is that the push press is a extra technical train than the overhead press, which some weightlifters discover off-putting. 

In different phrases, they each have deserves, which is why it’s typically helpful to incorporate each workouts in your program.

A great way to do that is to incorporate the overhead press in your program for 8-to-10 weeks of coaching, take a deload, then change the overhead press with the push press for the next 8-to-10 weeks of coaching.

Then, you’ll be able to both proceed alternating between the workouts each few months or stick to the one you like.

That is how I personally like to arrange my coaching, and it’s just like the tactic I advocate in my health e book for intermediate and superior weightlifters, Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger.

(For those who aren’t positive if Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger is best for you or if one other power coaching program could be a greater match on your circumstances and targets, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the proper power coaching program for you. Click here to check it out.)

Push Press: Advantages

1. It improves your athletic efficiency.

Energy and energy are completely different.

Energy refers to your potential to generate most pressure to beat resistance. Conversely, energy refers to your potential to generate pressure shortly. Energy is power plus pace, mainly.

Few sports activities require distinctive power (powerlifting being an apparent exception), although most require energy (to dash, bounce, deal with, throw, punch, kick, and so forth).

Research shows that the push press is especially helpful on this regard as a result of it includes lifting weights explosively, which helps you develop full-body energy that may enhance your efficiency on the sphere, monitor, or court docket.

In contrast to many urgent workouts, the push press can be a closed-kinetic-chain train, an train the place your palms or toes are mounted on a stationary object (on this case, the ground).

Specialists usually agree that closed-kinetic-chain workouts are higher at boosting sports activities efficiency than open-kinetic-chain workouts as a result of they enable you to develop greater steadiness and stability, extra intently mimic the kind of actions concerned in sports activities, and practice extra “stabilizer” muscle mass throughout your complete physique. 

2. It improves your overhead press.

Most individuals fail the overhead press because the bar reaches their brow as a result of it’s right here that your physique is in an inherently weak place (your elbows aren’t stacked over your shoulders and your wrists aren’t stacked over your elbows).

The push press helps you acquire power on this vary of movement by permitting you to coach with heavier weights than you’ll be able to overhead press, which ought to carry over if you return to strict urgent. 

The push press additionally forces you to regulate heavier-than-normal weights through the eccentric (reducing) part of the train. That is vital as a result of research shows that doing heavy eccentric train is efficient for gaining muscle and power and enhancing athletic efficiency.

3. It trains a number of muscle teams concurrently.

Many individuals consider the push press as a shoulder train.

Whereas it’s true that the push press trains all three heads of the deltoids to a excessive diploma, it additionally successfully trains a number of different main muscle teams throughout your complete physique, together with your higher and decrease back, abs, forearms, glutes, quads, pecs, and triceps.

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Push Press: Muscle tissues Labored

The principle muscle mass labored by the push press are the . . .

It additionally trains your mid and decrease again, abs, forearms, quads, and glutes to a lesser diploma, too.

Right here’s what the primary muscle mass labored within the push press appear to be in your physique:



Push Press: Type

One of the best ways to discover ways to do the push press is to separate the train into 4 components: arrange, dip, press, and descend.

1. Arrange

Regulate the hooks in an influence rack or squat rack so the bar is across the top of your collarbone like this:

Front squat/overhead press bar rack position

Face the bar and grip it along with your palms going through ahead and thumbs wrapped across the bar, barely wider than shoulder-width.

With the bar in your palms, bend your knees barely and lean ahead, positioning the bar on high of your shoulders and upper chest. Rise up, lifting the bar off the rack, and take one step again with every foot. 

Right here’s the way it ought to look:

Push Press Form

Regulate your toes so that they’re about hip-width aside and level your toes out about 20-to-25 levels (round one and eleven o’clock). 

2. Dip

Take a deep breath into your abdomen and arch your higher again sufficient so the bar is immediately over your midfoot and your head is barely behind the bar.

Drop your butt 3-to-6 inches by bending your knees and permitting them to journey ahead in the identical route as your toes, then shoot your hips upward and prolong your knees as explosively as potential. 

3. Press

When you attain the highest of the squat, use the momentum generated by your decrease physique and press the bar straight up. Because the bar passes your eyes, push your head and chest ahead and underneath the bar. 

Maintain pushing the bar towards the ceiling till your arms are straight.

4. Descend

Reverse the motion and return the barbell to its beginning place on high of your shoulders and higher chest. Bend your knees once more to “catch” the bar because it descends for those who desire.

Don’t let the barbell fall again to the beginning place or attempt to decrease it slowly—the whole descent needs to be managed however take lower than a second.

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The Greatest Push Press Options

1. Dumbbell Push Press

The dumbbell push press (or “DB push press”) confers lots of the similar advantages because the barbell push press. The distinction is that within the dumbbell push press, you utilize dumbbells as an alternative of a barbell. 

Utilizing dumbbells is helpful as a result of it trains all sides of your physique independently, which helps you establish and even out any muscle and strength imbalances you may need. It additionally means that you can transfer your shoulders, arms, and wrists extra freely, which some folks discover extra comfy. 

Nevertheless, you usually can’t raise as a lot weight if you use dumbbells, which limits the muscle- and strength-building potential of the train.

2. Kettlebell Push Press

Equally to the dumbbell push press, the kettlebell push press (or “KB push press”) trains all sides of your physique independently and means that you can transfer extra freely than if you use a barbell, which helps you keep away from and proper muscle and power imbalances and will really feel extra comfy.

This makes the kettlebell push press a viable various to the dumbbell push press.

3. Single-Arm Push Press

Within the single-arm push press, you practice one aspect of your physique at a time. This forces your core to work tougher to stabilize your torso, making it a greater ab and core train than the common push press. Utilizing one arm at a time additionally reduces how a lot weight you’ll be able to press, so the single-arm push press isn’t as efficient at serving to you acquire muscle and power as different push-press variations.

4. Snatch-Grip Push Press

Within the snatch-grip push press, you grip the barbell about twice as extensive as on the common push press. Individuals primarily carry out the push press with a “snatch grip” to enhance their efficiency on Olympic weightlifting workouts, notably the snatch.

Except your aim is to enhance your snatch efficiency, utilizing a special push press variation might be wise. That’s as a result of adopting a snatch grip requires a level of shoulder mobility most individuals lack, and it considerably reduces how a lot weight you’ll be able to raise, which suggests it’s not as efficient as different variations for gaining muscle and power.

5. Landmine Push Press

Within the landmine push press, one finish of the barbell is anchored in a landmine attachment. This implies the bar travels in an arc as you dip and press, which some folks discover extra comfy and secure than utilizing free weights.

The Greatest Push Press Exercise

Right here’s a exercise that features all the perfect workouts for coaching your “pushing” muscle mass, together with the push press:

  • Push Press: 3 units of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 units of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation
  • Dumbbell Facet Lateral Elevate: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation
  • Overhead Triceps Extension: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation

(And for those who’d like much more particular recommendation about what workouts to incorporate in your coaching program to succeed in your well being and health targets, take the Legion Strength Training Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the proper power coaching program for you. Click here to check it out.)

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