Purpose: The Push Press is an explosive movement, meaning the athlete's intent is to move the bar as fast as possible. The lift's purpose is to synergistically recruit and fire several large muscle groups in unison to produce a summation of forces and thus move the load overhead with power.
Using either a power rack (full rack or half rack) or a squat rack, position an empty bar at your mid to upper chest height. There should only be a 2-3 inch lift to get the bar off the rack, and you should never have to go up on your toes to get the bar off the rack, nor should you have to drop below a short quarter squat to unrack the bar. If a rack is not available you could power clean the bar up to shoulder level to begin the lift, and/or it can be utilized as part of a combo lift with the power clean.
First teach the athlete how to properly execute a military press before teaching the push press. The athlete must have a good understanding of how to get the bar overhead safely before increasing the bar speed.
Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width, with your feet positioned directly under your hips.
Position the bar across your shoulders with your elbows pulled up in front of the bar.
Tuck in your chin, hold your chest up, and keep a tight arch in your back.
Begin by quickly dipping down to a 1/4 squat position and then explosively reverse your movement and drive upward so that your hips and knees fully extend.
As the energy of your movement travels up and the momentum of the bar moves upward push with your arms and press the weight over head.
Recover by lowering the weight back to the starting position.
This exercise is performed in a very quick and explosive manner, think of "jumping" the weight up.
Your shoulders and triceps should be used to press the weight out at the top of this exercise.
Make sure to pull your chin back to begin the lift and then again as you lower the weight. This will help avoid hitting yourself with the bar and help keep the bar on vertical path.
Coaching Cue Words:
DIP - DRIVE & PRESS! or DIP - JUMP & PRESS!
Push the Play button to watch the video. You can pause the video to study the notes and technique.
Produced by Master Strength & Conditioning Coach, Greg Werner from James Madison University
Athlete in the video is Strength & Conditioning Assistant, Phillip Brown, spotted by Senior Assistant, Callye Williams