The barbell push press is a great exercise for building strength and size in the shoulders, chest, and arms. Not only does it target these muscle groups, but it also helps to improve overall body coordination and stability. The added weight of the barbell helps increase intensity for greater gains and can be modified to make it more challenging. With proper form, this exercise can be a valuable addition to any workout routine.
What is the Barbell Push Press?
The barbell push press is a compound, multi-joint exercise that strengthens the shoulders, chest, and arms. Using a barbell, this exercise begins with the weight held at shoulder level. The lifter then explosively pushes the weight up overhead while slightly bending their knees to generate power from the lower body. This motion creates momentum to help lift the weight and should be controlled on the way back down to the starting position.
Benefits of adding barbell push press to one’s workout routine
The barbell push press is a great exercise for building strength and size in the shoulders, chest, and arms. By using the momentum generated from bending their knees to drive the weight overhead, this exercise provides an intense upper body workout. This exercise also helps improve coordination between the upper and lower body, which can translate into improved performance in other sports or activities. Additionally, it is a compound exercise that can help build overall body strength and stability.
Equipment and Set Up
Required equipment and its quality
The equipment required for a barbell push press is minimal but of high quality. The lifter will need a barbell, weight plates, and an adjustable rack or stand. The barbell should be made from a durable material such as steel with the appropriate diameter and knurling for secure grip. Quality weight plates should also be used that are the correct size to fit on the barbell.
Appropriate weight range
The weight used for the barbell push press will depend on the lifter’s experience level and strength. Generally, it is best to start with lighter weights to ensure proper technique and form before adding more weight. For beginners, a light-to-moderate weight of about 40-60% of their 1RM (one rep max) is recommended, while those with more experience should be able to handle a weight of 80-90% of their 1RM.
Proper barbell and rack set up
Proper barbell and rack set up is important to ensure safety and maximize the potential of a barbell push press. The barbell should be placed on the adjustable rack or stand at shoulder-level, with the weight plates loaded evenly on both sides. Make sure that the weight plates are firmly secured to the barbell before beginning the exercise. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the area around the barbell is clear of any obstructions for safe execution.
How to Perform the Barbell Push Press
Begin by standing in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward.
Bend down and grab the barbell with both hands, keeping your arms slightly bent and your back straight. Your grip should be just outside of shoulder-width.
Lift the barbell up to shoulder level and take a deep breath .
Push your feet into the ground as you drive the barbell up overhead while slightly bending your knees and keeping your arms slightly bent.
Once the barbell is at full extension, pause for a moment before slowly returning to shoulder level under control.
Repeat this motion for the desired number of repetitions or until failure.
The role of the core, legs, and upper body
The role of the core, legs, and upper body are all essential for performing a proper barbell push press. The core stabilizes the body throughout the exercise and helps transfer power from the lower to upper body. The legs provide most of the power for driving the barbell overhead and should be slightly bent when pushing off from the ground. Lastly, the upper body is responsible for controlling the barbell and should remain tight and engaged throughout the motion.
Common mistakes to avoid while doing the barbell push press
Common mistakes to avoid while doing the barbell push press include not bending the knees enough, using too much weight, arching the back, using a grip that is too wide or narrow, and letting the barbell drop instead of controlling it on its way down.
Variations of the Barbell Push Press
Dumbbell push press
The dumbbell push press is a variation of the barbell push press and is an effective exercise for building strength and size in the shoulders, chest, and arms. Unlike the barbell variation, which requires a barbell, weight plates, and an adjustable rack or stand to perform properly, this exercise only requires two dumbbells. The same technique as the barbell push press is used , but with dumbbells instead of a barbell.
Single-arm dumbbell push press
The single-arm dumbbell push press is a variation of the barbell push press and an effective exercise for building strength and size in the shoulders, chest, arms, and core muscles. Unlike the two-arm version which requires a barbell, weight plates, and an adjustable rack or stand to perform properly, this exercise only requires one dumbbell.
Kettlebell push press
The kettlebell push press is a variation of the barbell push press that is often used as a supplemental exercise to help increase strength, power, and muscular endurance in the shoulders, chest, arms, and core muscles. This exercise requires one kettlebell and can be performed with either one or two arms.
The Barbell Thruster is a functional, full-body exercise that combines the front squat and overhead press to target multiple muscle groups. The barbell thruster requires a barbell and weight plates to perform.
Muscle Groups Worked
Primary muscles targeted
The barbell push press primarily targets the muscles in the shoulders, chest, and triceps. The core and legs are also engaged to help stabilize your body throughout the exercise. The primary muscles targeted by the barbell push press are the deltoids, triceps, trapezius, pectorals, abdominals, and quadriceps.
Secondary muscles worked
The secondary muscles worked by the barbell push press include the latissimus dorsi, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. These muscles are engaged to help stabilize the body throughout the exercise and to provide assistance with pushing the barbell overhead. Additionally, these secondary muscles help to increase overall strength and power in the upper body.
Benefits of Barbell Push Press
The Barbell Push Press is an effective exercise for building strength in the shoulders, chest, and arms. This exercise utilizes multiple muscle groups to help increase power and explosiveness in the upper body. Additionally, engaging the core and legs during the push press helps to improve stability and balance throughout the entire movement. Building strength through this exercise can help athletes become more powerful when performing other exercises such as the snatch and clean & jerk.
Improves power and explosiveness
The Barbell Push Press is an effective exercise to improve power and explosiveness in the upper body. This exercise involves pushing the barbell overhead with a powerful movement. The muscles used during this exercise have to work together to generate power and explosiveness, which helps to develop strength and power in the shoulders, chest, arms, core, and legs. Developing power through this exercise can help to improve performance in other power exercises such as the snatch and clean & jerk.
Enhances athletic performance
The Barbell Push Press is a great exercise to help improve athletic performance. This exercise helps to build strength and power in the shoulders, chest, arms, core, and legs. This full-body movement helps athletes become more powerful and explosive, which can result in improved performance in many sports. Additionally, the barbell push press encourages proper form and technique, which can help athletes become more efficient in their movements.
The Barbell Push Press is great exercise for burning fat and calories. This full-body exercise works multiple muscle groups at once to help increase the heart rate, which can lead to an increased calorie burn. Additionally, this exercise helps to increase power and explosiveness, which can help to improve overall performance in other exercises, leading to more fat and calories being burned.
The Barbell Push Press is an effective exercise for improving overall strength and power in the upper body. The muscles used during this exercise work together to generate power and explosiveness, which can help to improve athletic performance. Additionally, this full-body movement helps to increase the heart rate, which can lead to more fat and calories being burned. For these reasons, it is important to include the barbell push press in your workout regimen to achieve optimal results.
Proper form and technique is essential for achieving maximum results with the barbell push press. To ensure proper form, begin the exercise by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the barbell close to your chest. Engage your core and keep your back straight throughout the movement. When pushing the barbell overhead, extend your arms fully as you drive through your heels and use momentum to help lift the barbell. Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement and land in a controlled manner.