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Push Press

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The push press is an overhead movement that should be making into your workout routine. No matter if you have a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells, you can perform this strength-building exercise.

The push press will help you gain strength in your shoulders and ensure your rotator cuff gets a little work too. As with most weighted movements, you’re going to get some core work with the push press as well.

How to do a Push Press

Start with your feet hip-width apart and the bar resting on your shoulders in what we call the “front rack” position. Hands grip the bar just outside of the shoulders with the elbows slightly in front of the bar.

Next, perform a shallow dip with the torso – keeping the hips stacked under the shoulders. Press firmly through your feet and avoid leaning forward or back. You want your dip to be in a straight line down and up.

Once you’ve reached the bottom of your shallow dip, change directions by extending the legs and hips. Use the momentum from this drive to press the bar up overhead.

At the top, the weight should be locked out over the center of your body. Your arms fully extended and biceps by the ears. Return the weight back to your shoulders. Be sure to slightly bend your knees to receive the bar at your shoulders as a way to “absorb” the weight. This will avoid you slamming the bar into yourself.

This is one rep.

Push Press Variations

Like mentioned previously, this movement can be done with dumbbells or kettlebells. The mechanics stay the same, but it will require a little more stability as you’re dealing with two separate objects.

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on