Barbell Push Press

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Exercise Library

Barbell Push Press


Target Body Part:
Arms, Back, Butt/Hips, Legs - Calves and Shins, Legs - Thighs, Shoulders, Full Body/Integrated

Equipment Needed:
Barbell

Step 1

Starting Position: Step under the bar in a split-stance position (one foot in front of the barbell and one foot behind your body). Grasp the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width, palms facing forward. Your elbows should be bent and pointing down. Position the bar directly across the top of your chest.

 

Step 2

Before loading your spine by unracking the bar, brace your core and abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine.

 

Step 3

Keep your chest lifted and your head tilted slightly up. Dip slightly to unrack the bar, straightening your hips and knees to lift the bar.

 

Step 4

Take a step backward and re-position your feet to shoulder-width, side-by-side, with your toes pointed forward or slightly outward. Shift your weight over your heels.

 

Step 5

Downward Phase: Begin this phase by hinging at the hips, shifting them back and down. Your hips and knees bend simultaneously. As you lower your hips the knees bend and will start to shift forward slowly. Try to prevent your knees from traveling too far forward past the toes. Keep the abdominals/core muscles engaged and try to keep your back flat (do not tuck the tail or arch the low back).

 

Step 6

Lowered Position: Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. If your heels begin to lift off the floor or your torso begins to round, return to start position. Be aware of any movement that may occur at your feet, ankles and knees. Work to ensure that the feet do not move, the ankles do not collapse in or out and the knees remain lined up with the second toe.
Imagine pushing the floor away from you as you return to standing position.

 

Step 7

Upward Phase: From the lowered position keep your head slightly up, and quickly push through your heels, straightening the hips and knees simultaneously to bring you to an upright position.

 

Step 8

As the hips and knees become straight, continue the movement by rolling up onto your toes while pressing the bar overhead into full extension. You should feel this movement start at the hips, travel through the trunk and continue through the shoulders and arms. Do not allow your back to arch during the overhead push.

 

Step 9

Attempt to hold the fully extended position with the bar overhead briefly before returning slowly to the starting position.

 

Step 10

Start with light resistance then gradually progress this exercise by increasing the weight and increasing the pace of the exercise so that you begin to perform the movement explosively against heavier resistance.
Technique is very important in this lift. Do not progress to explosive movements until you master your technique.