T Nation

Push Press

I have been doing push pressed for about a year now and have started wondering what the proper technique would be because I have seen it done two ways.

One way is pressing it and getting full extension of the legs and hips while pressing it and at that point keeping your legs straight (the way I have been doing it) And then second way is almost like a push jerk and after you explode up you dont drop all the way underneath it, but you bend your knees to get underneath it.

Another quick question is the elbow placement. Should they be brought up and have you upper arm relatively parallel to the floor, or to get your arms underneath it. If so why are they placed there. Are the elbows brought up to help eliminate the involvement of the triceps in the movement?

I’m under the impression from what I’ve learned that those are 2 different lifts; the push press & push jerk or jerk.

But on the videos that I’ve seen, they both have been labelled push press. And on the jerk, Im not meaning by splitting your legs just bending a little bit on the extension.

Push press is like you said, with no real re-bend of the knees. The push jerk has you dip under it (like Oly C&J).

[quote]Boyder326 wrote:
Are the elbows brought up to help eliminate the involvement of the triceps in the movement?[/quote]

I’d hate to see someone trying to reduce the involvement of the triceps in a pushing movement.

The elbows are brought up to allow the bar to rest across the front of your shoulders as in a clean grip front squat. The transfer of power from the leg push to the bar is much more efficient this way than if you simply held the bar in your hands. As far as I’m concerned, there should be no dipping once the movement starts.

[quote]Boyder326 wrote:
I have been doing push pressed for about a year now and have started wondering what the proper technique would be because I have seen it done two ways.
[/quote]

The answer depends on why you’re doing push presses. If it’s just to keep doing more weight so you can say, “I do x-weight on the push press,” then form matters. If it’s just to increase shoulder strenth and explosiveness, then whatever variation you’re doing is fine.

“Form” matters only to the extent it helps prevent injuries. If you’re not hurting your joints or losing your balance when doing the movement (and you’d have figure that out by now), then don’t sweat “form.”

[quote]derek wrote:
Boyder326 wrote:
Are the elbows brought up to help eliminate the involvement of the triceps in the movement?

I’d hate to see someone trying to reduce the involvement of the triceps in a pushing movement.[/quote]

Why?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Boyder326 wrote:
I have been doing push pressed for about a year now and have started wondering what the proper technique would be because I have seen it done two ways.

The answer depends on why you’re doing push presses. If it’s just to keep doing more weight so you can say, “I do x-weight on the push press,” then form matters. If it’s just to increase shoulder strenth and explosiveness, then whatever variation you’re doing is fine.

“Form” matters only to the extent it helps prevent injuries. If you’re not hurting your joints or losing your balance when doing the movement (and you’d have figure that out by now), then don’t sweat “form.”[/quote]

I dont agree with this. If you are doing a very heavy or explosive movement you want to be in the safest biomechanical position. Having your elbows pointed wide is akin to having them directly out to your sides when bench pressing.

Keeping your elbows out will hit the shoulders harder just as keeping them out will hit the chest harder in a bench press. However, your shoulder will be put in a very bad position, with alot more torque.

I have done this myself and experienced searing pain which took a few months to subside. Lift in a biomechanically safe way first, dont think about how you are trying to hi your muscles first.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
derek wrote:
Boyder326 wrote:
Are the elbows brought up to help eliminate the involvement of the triceps in the movement?

I’d hate to see someone trying to reduce the involvement of the triceps in a pushing movement.

Why?
[/quote]

“Why” you ask? Why on earth would you try to isolate (or eliminate) the triceps in an elbow extension movement. Especially when we know that the triceps are THE muscle used most heavily in pressing.

You can do your push presses with “soft legs” and follow the weight as it gets heavier or you get more tired. Start off with no knee bend, and as you get tired drop under the weight instead of trying to power it all the way up. Once you’ve decided you’re bending your knees too much to get under the bar stop the set.

Allright I have the leg part down, now what about the elbows. What is the optimum placement for those. Which way is more preferrable for you or the way you teach it?

I try to reduce shoulder rotation by keeping the elbows in as much as I can when doing any pressing. Otherwise, don’t worry about them.