Push Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Secondary Muscle(s) Triceps, Quads, Abdominals
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push

Push Press Shoulder Press Instructions

  • Grip the bar just outside shoulder-width.
  • Your feet are just at shoulder-width.
    • To provide a mental image, place your feet as if you are about to jump as high as possible
  • Your core is braced and engaged.
    • Chest is up with your shoulders back.
    • Ribs set over your pelvis.
    • Knees slightly bent
    • Neutral spine and flat back position.
  • To begin, slightly dip your knees then explode upwards extending your hips, knees, and ankles to push the bar to a stabilized position overhead.
    • Imagine bringing your armpits forward to stabilize the bar overhead.
  • At the top, the bar is directly above your head with your elbows are locked out.
    • Neck is in a neutral position with your eyes fixated straight ahead.
    • Ribs are stacked on top of your pelvis.
    • Glutes are engaged with your knees slightly bent.
  • Lower the bar to the shoulders in a controlled manner. You want to achieve a strong starting position for the next rep. 


  • Do not let your low back excessively arch (lumbar). You do have thoracic extension while keeping your core braced.
  • Stabilize the bar overhead by keeping it close to your center-of-gravity.
  • The momentum generated from your lower half accelerates the bar overhead. 
  • This is an athletic, rhythmic movement.
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