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Push Press – Use this Exercise to Work More Than Shoulders


The push press exercise is an excellent way to lift more significant weight overhead. In addition, it is a great weight training exercise for strengthening the shoulders.

The push press is an overhead press variation. It incorporates your lower body to help increase your shoulder training and place your muscles under greater tension.

Novice man performing a push and press

The push press is like the military press. However, you start the movement by pushing your legs. Then, you slowly lower the weight back to the chest. Apart from this, it is also possible to use it from behind the neck.

However, we do not recommend pushes behind the neck because of the greater risk of injury. Push press helps strengthen the shoulders, but it is also an excellent exercise for improving full-body coordination.

How to perform the Push Press exercise?

The push press is an overhead press variation. In this exercise, you use your legs to generate energy. To begin the lift, bend the legs into an athletic dip position. Now extend the body quickly to propel the weight overhead. You complete the lift when the bar is overhead, and the legs and arms are straight.

1. Bring the barbell to your shoulders in front of you, as if doing an overhead barbell press. Take a comfortable, open hold on the bar in both hands. Maintain a tall torso and strong upper back. The legs should be straight. The feet should be hip-width apart.

2. After setting up, dip the legs to a quarter squat position. The hips should travel straight down a few inches as the knees point out over the toes. Perform the dip with your chest raised high. The dip is included at the start of a movement to get you in the correct posture to generate leg force.

3. After the dip, turn directions quickly. Apply force to the barbells with your legs. As the bar moves off your shoulders, fully stretch your ankles, knees, and hips. Tilt your head back to allow for vertical movement of the barbell. Then transition from a loose to solid grip as you press the barbell overhead.

 4. Push your head “back through” to its initial position. As the barbell passes eye level, your heels should touch the ground. Next, you should fully stretch the elbows. Finally, you should fully lock your arms and legs at the end of the lift.

5. For push press repetitions, you must make a re-racking motion of the bar to your shoulders. The bar returns to the shoulders from overhead. As the bar returns to your shoulders, bend in your legs. The legs should bend to the quarter squat position. Then return to standing securely. Finally, reset for the next repetition.

Muscles Worked by Push Press

Push press exercise involves strong muscle engagement. The muscles worked by the Push press are:

Quadriceps

  • Facilitate dipping motion of legs
  • Forceful contractions
  • Generate upward speed on the bar

Glutes

  • Forceful contraction
  • Create extra vertical force on the bar
  • Control the rate of dip and drive

Shoulders

  • Finish the lifts
  • Solid shoulders and triceps are necessary for a successful push

Core

  • Responsible for powerful lift
  • Upright the position of the torso underneath the weight

Physical Benefits

The push press exercise is an effective training tool. However, it would help to stick to the correct technique to maximize benefits. You can apply the improvements in push press execution to various overhead motions. However, you can also use it for functional activities like Cross Fit and traditional sports.

Following are the benefits you will get from this exercise;

  • Push press improves your ability to speed up your movement under a weight load. This acceleration enhances the power and capability of shoulders and arms beyond the limit.
  • Push press helps to increase the lower body power of the person. You produce the force with your legs. That’s why you produce an outrageous amount of energy. Also, this increases the efficiency of a person.
  • Olympic lifters frequently employ the push press as a supplement to the jerk. Also, this is because the push press’s dip and drive motion are identical to the loading portion of the jerk.
  • Push press also helps to strengthen the stability of arms and shoulders. In addition, it improves the person’s ability to lift heavier weights.

Modifications and Variations

To challenge your shoulders more, you can add the following variations to this exercise;

Dumbbell Push Press

The dumbbell push press is essentially the same movement. However, it is more complicated since you must maintain the same weight in each hand.

In addition, you can’t distribute one weight on one side as much as you can with a barbell. So, it is better to create muscle with a more balanced approach.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place a dumbbell over each shoulder. Lower into a shallow squat. Then lift the weights overhead as you drive up through your shoulders. Finish with your arms fully extended. Last, return to the start under control.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is more difficult than any other push press. It’s all about your shoulder strength. You can’t use your legs to fuel movement.

Stand with the barbell against the upper half of your chest. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your palms are facing front. Make a strong push-up, then fully extend your arms. Return to the beginning with full caution.

Safety Tips

To get the maximum benefits from exercise, it is necessary to perform it correctly. In addition, you must follow the following tips to avoid any injury:

  • Squatting too low is a common mistake in the push press. You only need to decrease the time you can erupt into the press. Bend your knees just a little. Then drive up as hard as you can. Also, this could be enough to lift the bar with modest weights without exerting extra effort.
  • Maintain a narrow grip. Keep your forearms upright beneath the bar. However, if you squeeze the bar hard before lifting, an action known as irradiation occurs. Thus, this means you’ll stimulate the surrounding muscles more.

The Last Word on the Push Press 

The push press is a great shoulder strengthening exercise. It prepares you for other compound exercises like bench presses, pushes, and jerks.

Push press works for upper and lower body muscles. These muscles include quads, core, and shoulder. You can do it at home under careful supervision. The best way to get the most out of a movement, like the push press, is to practice it frequently.

You can watch videos to learn the exact technique. Push press practice will help you grasp how to use your newfound power more methodically. However, it will also help you enhance your power output.

Proper exercise technique is critical for ensuring the safety and success of an exercise program. Still, depending on your specific demands, you may need to alter each exercise to achieve the maximum benefits of this exercise.

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