With the push press, the initiation comes from the legs, not the shoulders. It’s imperative that you have good rack position; otherwise you’ll screw up the whole sequence. A rack position too much like an overhead press will likely result in the movement being initiated by the shoulders. This can cause undue stress to the wrists and limit the overall weight used. To lift heavy weights, you must put yourself in the best possible position. The elbows should be placed as close under the bar as possible without sacrificing the rack positioning. This will help you get your shoulders and triceps into the movement – once you have the required momentum from the hips.
Standing PositionYour standing position in the push press is extremely important. If your weight distribution is off, the initial dip will fall apart, resulting in you having to waste valuable energy to correct it. What I’ve found to be extremely useful is to lean back. At first it will feel weird, but once you get used to it you’ll experience a huge difference in terms of smoothness and power. I credit Artie Drechsler and Joe Yu for this tip.
The DipThe dip has to be focused on staying upright – if the hips dip back, the vector force will go forward and wasted energy must be spent correcting it. My lifters get tired of me hammering down positioning drills for them, but to push bigger weights, you need to position yourself for it.
Key Points:The dip is shallow; around a quarter of the way.
- Don’t dip too fast, otherwise you’ll separate from the bar.
- Don’t dip back or forward, just straight down. Bend through the legs while keeping your torso straight up.
Common mistakes of the dip:
- Dipping back
- Dipping forward