Paleo Fitness Beginner Power Move: The Push Press

The push press is what people tend to do naturally when attempting to press a weight that's too heavy for them — they use their legs to help drive it up. The difference with this power movement is that you do the leg drive intentionally, not out of desperation.

The push press shows you how to generate force from the ground and transfer it through your body and up overhead. You often see movements similar to the push press, such as the Viking push press, in strongman competitions because it's a clear demonstration of upper body power and work capacity as well as a developer of both.

Simply follow these steps:

1

Clean a weight (either a kettlebell or dumbbell) up into the rack position.

Keep your forearm vertical in the rack position, not angled, to ensure a smooth transition into the overhead lockout.

2

Dip down, slightly bending your knees.

It's okay if your knees come forward here because you're performing a dip, not a squat; just be sure you don't dip too low — dip just enough but not a smidgeon more. Doing so will diminish your power and fatigue your quads prematurely.

3

Immediately reverse the dip, driving your heel hard into the ground and imagine that you're trying to jump the weight up overhead. Catch the weight overhead in a full lockout position.

The bell should float up overhead from the drive of your lower body. The arm assists, but the legs do most of the work.

4

Let the weight drop back down into the rack quickly (don't resist it) and catch it softly by re-entering the dip.

The groove, or path of the weight, with the push press is slightly different from the military press. Because you're driving the weight up more so from your lower body than your upper body, the path should be more vertical, or straight up and down, instead of arcing slightly outward. Other than that, if you have a solid military press, you should be able to master the push press in no time.

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