T Nation

Is This an Okay Exercise?

I’ve had just these plateus that I really can’t break with my shoulders, so recently I started trying to do something where it is like a barbell overhead press, but I “help” by bending my knees just SLIGHTLY and using the upward force to start the bar moving. I can lift about 20 lbs more by doing this.

Is this not a good idea though? Should I instead continue to try to progress just with standard presses?

Part of the problem is that I’m not that strong with overhead presses (I use 20s for single arm presses) so to jump to the 25s is like a 25% increase. I find I just can’t quite do the 25s most of the time (on a good day I can do a few sets of 3) but then with the 20s I can do many reps.

What you’ve described is called a push press.


It’s fine to do.

As soon as I saw the bending of the knees I knew it was push press. A lot of people do it and it is a good exercise. Sort of funny that you ran into it on accident, though.

In my opinion the shoulders do most of the work at the very beginning of an overhead press, so I try to keep it that way, rather than bypassing that part of the exercise by using leg drive. The top part of any press involves the triceps to a large degree.

I would say use a barbell for overhead pressing since you can add smaller incriments of weight.

Push press is a great exercise for overall strength/mass building. Mr Popular makes a valid point, but if your routine would allow for barbell push presses and perhaps seated dumbell presses (either in the same session or seperate days) then you could have an effective plateau buster without sacrificing on shoulder stimulation.