The push-press is an overhead press variation in which the barbell is pushed upward with assistance from the lower body. This "push" helps the weight travel through the sticking point of a strict press. The push-press is commonly performed as part of barbell complexes, power training for all types of athletics, or as a powerful shoulder exercise.


  1. Builds full-body power, strength, and coordination
  2. Allows you to put heavier weight overhead than with a strict press
  3. Works for low reps and moderate to high reps
  4. Great full-body move with a shoulder emphasis

Push-press Images


Push-press Instructions

Push-press muscle diagram

Beginning Position:

  • Use the floor-to-shoulder lifting technique described in the Power Clean exercise to move the bar from the floor to the shoulders.

Upward Movement Phase:

  • Slightly flex the hips and knees, keeping torso erect.
  • Immediately follow with an explosive push upward by extending the knees.
  • Keep torso erect and tensed.
  • At maximum hip and knee extension, shift body weight to balls of feet and extend ankle joints.
  • At maximum plantar flexion, push bar from the shoulders.
  • Push the bar with the arms to a fully extended elbow position overhead.

Downward Movement Phase:

  • Lower bar to shoulders.
  • Flex hips and knees slightly as bar touches shoulders.
  • Straighten the hips and knees before the upward movement phase begins again.


  • Exhale through the sticking point of the upward movement phase.
  • Inhale during the downward movement phase.