Performed correctly, the Push Press is the best upper body, total body for that matter, strengthening exercise. This movement is unique in its ability to develop the strength, balance and core stabilization of the entire body. During the exercise the body is kept tall and straight throughout the movement.
The lift affects the upper pectorals, the deltoids the arms(biceps and triceps). The upper pectorals and upper trapezius help to stabilize the scapula as the movement is performed. The deltoids are directly affected through this move, as well as the triceps as assisters.
The Push Press can be implemented as a Power Exercise or A Strengthening Exercise depending on the individuals program goals.
Perform a proper warm up prior to beginning your workout.
How to Perform the Push Press
- Position your feet shoulder width apart.
- Stand tall with the bar/dumbbells in a closed grip and slightly wider than shoulder width
- Keep the wrists rigid, positioned directly under the bar/dumbbells and over the elbows at all times. Do not allow your wrists to hyperextend backward as this may cause an injury.
- Just prior to the upward pushing motion, slightly bend the knees to initiate the movement. Take a Breath in.
- Explosively push upwards extending your arms straight up over your head. Moving it a bit anteriorly helps prevent excessive back sway during the lift and balances out the move by keeping the body in direct alignment as the bar/dumbbells is pushed upward.
- Your arms will be fully extended at the top of the movement.
- The bar/dumbbells will now be straight over your head and NOT out in front of your body.
- Pause briefly at the top, maintain control of the weight, then lower it back down to near the shoulder height before starting again for a count of one repetition.
Indications of an Incorrect Lift
- Lack of full extension in the arms
- Uneven extension
- Bouncing at the bottom
- No leg drive to get the weight overhead and into a locked out position
- Leaning backward (Hyperextending) as the bar is moved upward.
- Failure to lower the weight to shoulder height to the next lift attempt.
- Not Breathing
Spotters are recommended as you perform this exercise movement.