The push press is an incredible training tool for increasing upper body power and a large contributor to increasing bench press output. It’s a functional movement in the sense that if you ever need to shot put two infants at the same time from your shoulder directly to a ledge 10 feet up, there is probably a good dose of applicable skill transfer.
What Does the Push Press Do?
How Often Should I Push Press?
The push press will likely be a staple in any proper strength and conditioning program as accessory work to the strict press, the bench press, and the jerk. Depending on application (are you playing a sport or just trying to look awesome?) we need to work upper body pressing strength a couple times a week and the push press should be cycled with regularity in these pressing elements.
Push Press 4 Points of Performance
When we set up for our push press, we should unrack the bar high and tight to our clavicle with our elbows just in front of the bar but pointed toward the ground. We shouldn’t be fully racked like a front squat, but rather with a more vertical forearm to create leverage under the bar. The torso should be upright and vertical throughout the entirety of the movement dip, weight on heels.
There are different cues and descriptions accounting for how to initiate the Push Press, but most often, this part is called the “Dip.” Effectively, we want to sink into our heels, bend our knees about 1-2 inches, and explode out of the bottom. To get athletes to move the bar faster and maintain the stretch reflex of our legs, I’m a fan of Mark Rippetoe’s description of this movement as a bounce vs. a dip. In short, don’t sink slowly or get into a squatty type of mentality. Simply “bounce” the knee and start accelerating that weight up!
Speed wins in the push press. We’re not going to grind this lift out and you’re not going to see a slow tempo notation (or for that matter, any tempo notation) assigned to this lift. Bounce the knee, punch the weight, lock it out. PR.
- Explosive hip & leg extension
- Bar locked out over heels
- Rib cage down in overhead position