The Push Press as a movement is a simple concept, but can be a bit complex to efficiently execute. That being said here are some tips to help improve it!
[For a quick refresh, the push press starts with the bar on your shoulders, elbows up, and you do a quick and short DIP – DRIVE with your legs/hips and then push the bar overhead.]
The Push Press benefits from rapid extension from the hips and legs, which in turn create upward force into the barbell. If you time it perfectly you get the maximum amount of power out of the hips and legs, but delaying or being impatient can hurt that power. One of the best ways to become aware or assist in that timing is grabbing a PVC and really focusing on that extension before the press!
Errors we see here:
- Pressing the bar with your shoulders too early. Let the legs and hips finish, THEN press
- Not using your glutes. Easy to rely on the legs, but don’t forget to squeeze that butt on the way up for more power!
2) Flat Feet
During the dip portion of the Push Press it can be easy to fall forward onto the toes, so to counteract that try wiggling the toes right before you begin!
Errors we see here: at the bottom of the dip, athletes being on their toes. This results in less power, as your hamstrings/glutes are less likely to engage and you’ll be relying mostly on your quads.
3) Shoulder Activation
This movement can’t be all legs; we need those shoulders to finish the job! Right after the leg & hip extension think about punching the ceiling and driving through the barbell with the hands.
Errors we see here: Just not being aggressive enough with the arms/shoulders. PUNCH the bar to the ceiling! FAST!
The way you stand and proceed with the Push Press can dictate the path of the bar and how efficient the movement is. You want that torso to remain straight up and down throughout the entire movement. Try going back to the PVC and using that to find good posture OR stand with your back against the wall and use it to guide you down into a good position.
Error we see here: The chest moves down and forward during the dip, and then as a result the bar goes up and forward (not directly overhead)
Good luck and crush those Push Presses!