Monday, August 9, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do The Push Press Exercise

Strong Shoulders Make For A Strong Chest



Have you noticed that the benefits of benching can be transferred to other lifts and vice versa? Well, they can. And in this article I'm going to talk about how the push press exercise can help strengthen your shoulders which will have direct impact on your bench press.

What is the Push Press and How to Perform It?

The push press is very similar to the overhead or military press. It's an exercise that places a demand on overall body strength, drawing muscles from the legs, glutes and shoulders to execute the precise move. You will need a weight bar, rack, and weight plates for this exercise. If you're less experienced you should start with just the rack and weight bar and use a spotter if possible.

Make sure that the bar is racked at shoulder height.* With your palms facing outward and legs shoulder width apart, you now get under the bar. The bar must be rested on the front of your shoulders (some people prefer the bar on the back of their shoulders but this article is intended for beginners and intermediate lifters).

Now you will dip so that your knees are slightly bent. Your glutes will be sticking out behind you but your chest doesn't move forward at all. This is an important note because this exercise is designed to strengthen the shoulders not the chest. The chest benefits when your shoulders are strong enough to help press weights during bench exercises. So remember to dip straight down with the weight bar across the front of your shoulders.

Next you will push yourself up while pressing the weight overhead. The action involves using the muscles in your legs and glutes to propel you back to a fully standing position. This involves a lot of power. At the same time you will press the weight overhead and lock your arms out. After this you lower the weight down to the rack and begin again. Because of the energy demands of the push press, don't be surprised if you aren't able to perform more than four or five repetitions. And that's okay because even Olympic lifters don't press more than a few reps at the upper weight levels of this exercise.

The push press will give your body a fantastic all around workout. And you'll see the results when benching, there will be less strain on your shoulders as you will have trained them to handle heavier loads. This, of course, will make your chest exercises more enjoyable and beneficial.

Well, that's all for this discussion of the push press. Look forward to more articles on my Great Chest Workouts website. Thanks for reading.

* Racking the weight isn't the only way to start this exercise. Experienced lifters know that the weight bar can be cleaned to the shoulders but this article is written for beginner and intermediate lifters.

"Push Press Has A Role In Great Chest Workouts: Strong Shoulders Make For A Strong Chest" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.