Workout Tips

How to: The Push-Press

Raise your hands if you're sure you want powerful, whole-body gains.



Nothing is quite as exhilarating as performing a powerful squat or deadlift with flawless execution. As many of you know, any feelings of anxiousness and fear that creep into your mind before a big lift or grueling set are usually forgotten and replaced with thoughts of accomplishment and fatigue on the way home from the gym.

This week, we analyze an exercise that’s popular among strength and power athletes who know the kind of whole-body results this move can summon. From your legs up through your low back, chest, shoulders and triceps, the push-press is a standing barbell exercise that - when done correctly - can be a substantial addition to your powerful repertoire of love-to-hate compound movements. So chew up the butterflies, swallow your fear and lift with the big boys.

How to: Push-Press

  • Rack the barbell at shoulder height in a squat rack.
  • Grasp the bar using a wide, overhand grip. Wrap your thumbs around the bar for safety.
  • Step under the bar and place it across your upper traps.
  • Slowly walk out a couple of steps in front of the squat rack.
  • Raising your chest high, take a deep breath and tighten your abs.
  • Dip your body straight down about 10-12 inches by bending slightly at your ankles, knees and hips.
  • Powerfully drive through your legs and calves as you explosively thrust the bar straight up to an overhead position. During the movement, keep your body straight and your core tight.
  • Lower the bar to your traps, simultaneously absorbing the weight by bending your legs and hips as you “catch” the bar with your body. Quickly return to the start position, steady the bar, then repeat for reps.