Push Press Exercise Breakdown
What Is a Push Press?
A Push Press is a slightly more athletic movement than an overhead press. Reason being it gets more of the full body incorporated into the movement. Using the leg drive in a push press will assist you in getting the weight up, meaning more then likely you will able to use more weight than you typically put on the bar in a strict overhead press.
Why Incorporate a Push Press to Your Workout Plan
Incorporating a push press into your routine might be an addition into your accessory section in an olympic weight lifting program or to typically switch up your standard overhead press and help increase your volume with a weight you couldn’t put overhead for x amount of reps and by controlling eccentric (down) portion of the movement which will help overload and possibly help you surpass a plateau with the strict overhead press.
Are You Ready for the Push Press?
Being that the push press is a very complex movement it requires a seasoned user who is comfortable with a barbell. Before mastering the push press you need to master the clean movement which allow you to get the weight where you need to get it to be for a push press, another consideration is the lowering phase when fatigued, it is very important that you are able to lower the weight down to the ground with proper form after completing a set, the last thing you want is an injury, so practicing the clean and lowering phase should be the first priority before moving onto the push press itself.
Push Press Variations
Barbell Push Press
Clean the barbell up at shoulder height, elbows pointing forward, dip into a semi-squat, using the momentum press the weight up overhead, locking out the weight and ensuring your biceps are inline with you ears.
Kettlebell Push Press
Clean the kettlebell up at shoulder height, keeping your knuckles pointing up, take a big dig breath in, dip down into a semi squat and pop up using the momentum to press the weight up overhead, lock out the arm and ensure that you are standing straight up and not leaning to the opposing side with no weight.
Dumbbell Push Press
Clean the dumbbells up to the shoulder, keeping your elbows pointing forward and knuckles pointing up take a big deep breath in, dip down into a semi squat, drive up and use the momentum to press the weight overhead. Ensure that you are keeping your weight directly overhead by keeping your biceps in line with your ears.
Basics Cues for All Push Press Variations
Get your weights into a front rack position by cleaning the weight up, get your feet underneath your hips, elbows pointing forward. Drop your torso down, extend your hips, and legs, then using that momentum press overhead. Ensure that the bar or weight is resting at your upper chest/shoulder and moving over the middle of your foot the entire time.
How to Determine What Weights to Use for a Push Press
When deciding a weight to use for your push press, ensure that is a weight that you can properly clean up to your shoulders with good form firstly, ensure that your are also loading correctly to rep and set scheme you have planned out.
Benefits of Using the Push Press
The push press can be a great asset to your training regime when used properly! The push press and strict overhead press use nearly the same muscles, minus the momentum. With this momentum we can strategically overload the muscles, how you might ask? Using the eccentric portion of eccentric overloading, the eccentric portion of a movement is the down phase of a movement, in the push presses case it'll be the lowering phase after getting the weight over head. The eccentric portion of a phase cause the most "trauma" to the muscle, which is what we want when our goal is to build muscle. The more tears we cause (to a certain degree) will result in more building of muscle when paired with a good diet of course. Another great scenario would be to use it as a mainly strength portion, same concept but we would use a near 1 rep max weight for our overhead press and use it for the push press for a few reps! This will also prepare our nervous system to lift such a heavy load when it comes time to do a strict overhead press.
Push Press vs Military Press (Strict Overhead Press)
What is the difference between the two? Well let's start off and say that both movements are very technical and have their places in one's programming. The true difference between the two movements lies in the fact that the push press uses momentum, this is not inherently bad. The push press as stated previously will have great transfer over into a plateaued military press or struggling jerk in an Olympic clean and jerk. When It comes to recommendations it would be best advised to start simpler and go with the military press. It requires less technique which is great for a novice lifter and once mastered you can start to play around with the push press for overloading purposes or just to spice up your regular routine!