Four Reasons to Push Press
Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York

For decades one of the popular upper body exercises to perform in the weight room has been the bench press exercise. One common question many high school athletes or any athlete may ask their peer is “How much can you bench”? With regard to upper body strength and power when was the last time any Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Professional has witnessed one athlete ask another “How much can you push press”? This inquiry does not usually occur because the push press exercise is not likely performed.

For decades overhead pressing type exercises appear to have accompanied the deep squat exercise as the “outcast” of the weight room. Overhead weight work has been tabooed by many sport coaches as well as some S&C Professionals as many are of the opinion that the performance of such exercises will result in shoulder pathology as well as be detrimental to athletic performance, especially in the overhead athlete.

klokov-push-press

The following are four (4) considerations for the S&C Professional to include the push press exercise as a component to their athletes (including the overhead athlete) training program design.

1. Strength Development – The apparent reason to perform the push press exercise is to enhance shoulder strength and muscular development. The push press unlike many other overhead upper extremity exercises requires the exercise to be initiated by the legs. Thus, higher weight intensities may be utilized executing the push press when compared to other overhead shoulder exercises that disregard the involvement of the lower extremities.

2. The Rotator Cuff – A rotator cuff (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis, and Teres Minor muscles) pathology of the shoulder is a highly overstated false consequence of the push press (or any overhead exercise for that matter), when appropriately implemented into the athlete’s weight room training program design. It is usually an inappropriate program design and/or an excessively prescribed overhead exercise volume, not the exercise itself that may place the athlete at risk of injury. It has been demonstrated that during overhead pressing type exercise performance the rotator cuff is active, with the supraspinatus exhibiting the highest recorded EMG activity of the muscle group. It is also acknowledged that the supraspinatus is the rotator cuff muscle with the highest incidence of pathology therefore wouldn’t the S&C Professional want to place an emphasis on strengthening this rotator cuff muscle?

3. Gleno-Humeral and Scapulo-Thoracic Rhythm – The gleno-humeral joint of the shoulder is comprised of two (2) osseous structures the scapula and the humerus. The ball and socket articulation of this joint is comprised of the head of the humerus (ball) and the glenoid (socket) which is actually a component of the scapula. The scapula also comprises the scapula-thoracic joint at the posterior aspect of the thorax. During overhead sport skills or exercise performance there is a relationship to both the shoulder range of motion and the gleno-humeral and scapula-thoracic joints “rhythm” to maintain the head of the humerus appropriately centered in the glenoid. Disruption to this “rhythm” over time may place the rotator cuff at risk of pathology. Overhead exercise performance with a bench backing will “pin” or “compress” the scapula of the shoulder between the bench backing and the athlete’s thorax including the athlete’s body and barbell weight. Joint compression is synonymous with joint stability resulting in a less mobile scapula. This likely will affect the natural and necessary required scapula movement and rhythm during the repeated overhead exercise performance thus setting the table for possible shoulder injury. The standing overhead exercise performance allows for free scapula movement and proper rhythm throughout the exercise performance.

4. Lower Extremity Power Development – Yes you read this correctly, lower extremity power development. The push press has been documented to produce greater lower extremity maximum mean power when compared to the jump squat exercise. Thus the push press exercise provides a time efficient combination of lower body power and upper extremity and trunk strengthening during the exercise performance. This exercise may not only be utilized in the athlete’s training, but may also be appropriately utilized at end stage upper and lower extremity rehabilitation as well.

Below is a good video demonstrating the push press:

21 Comments

  • Steve Buehring,PT,DPT says:

    As a fellow PT, I agree that shying away from overhead activity can be a problem, but I find this article troubling for a few reasons; it doesn’t give due deference to anatomical differences. 1) what type acromian does said trainee have? 2) how is their thoracic mobility, and if they have a scoliosis and/or kyphosis what should you do before performing an overhead movement? 3) what alternatives are there if you don’t have the requisite mobility i.e. Landmine press 4) How much overhead flexion should one have to be safe to perform the movement? 5) there is no acknowledgement that overhead pressing isn’t for everyone, which makes me sad. I agree on principles stated that there are advantages to performing overhead presses, but to write an article without stating some problems to look for or warm ups beforehand (wall Angels, shoulder flexion back against wall, wall Y’s, windmills, foam roll thoracic extensions, etc) could give the uninformed consumer poor information. If someone just saw this post and didn’t know that thoracic mobility or shoulder ROM even factored into overhead pressing, it could lead to problems. It doesn’t have to be a 20 page article, just a brief passing disclaimer would be nice. In regards to this being “geared towards” strength coaches, the information here is waaayyyy too general to be of any use. Any suggestions or research to present? It seems like a loosely stitched together anectdote with generalities that doesn’t teach the target audience anything new.

    • Rob Panariello says:

      Steve,

      Thank you for your post. This article/post is not a research publication it is an internet post, a simple avenue for information. Thus this article is written in that format as I did desire to write the 20 page detailed paper that you described. The information provided can be utilized or not utilized by the reader but I assure you that it is not, as you state, a “stitched together anecdote” as all that is stated is based on science. I have discovered over time that when I post an article I am certainly leaving myself open to scrutiny; your post proves that once again. Many of your concerns I have discussed in previous articles that Bret has posted on his site. My main purpose for this article was my statement found in number 4, but I’ll come back to that. Some of your responses are fair but some, as you have stated, are very “troubling” to me as well. I will address your concerns individually.

      1. The Acromion – Based on your background and education I’m very surprised by your concern for the following reasons. The statement of the “dreaded” (type III) acromion is commonly mentioned yet no answer is ever provided to the reader. Steve how are we supposed to acknowledge an individual’s acromion morphology without an X-ray or imaging? This statement is so common but are we supposed to X-ray everyone we train? So without imaging how do we know how to address this concern? We know based on science. As we both recall in our anatomy classes in school the majority of the population have type II acromion’s followed by type I as the type III are in the minority. Ask any orthopedic surgeon and they will tell you the same. Getz’s classic work published in Radiology reviewed 394 cadaveric scapulars and based on Bigliani’s classification of acromion morphology found that 22.8% were type I, 68.5% were type II and only 8.6% were type III. Studies like these provide us the information to acknowledge the far majority (91.4%) of our individuals training are likely to have a type I or II acromion not a type III.
      2. If you review my article I include the statement “when appropriately implemented into the athlete’s weight room training”. This includes your concerns of postures that are not appropriate for overhead pressing including kyphosis and scoliosis, etc… When these conditions are present there are bigger fish to fry than push pressing and anyone familiar with my writings knows that I have addressed these concerns.
      3. The Landmine press alternative – We do utilize this exercise when appropriate, however if you are concerned with the acromion with the push press why are you not concerned with the acromion when performing the landmine exercise as the arm still elevates over 90 degrees of elevation?
      4. 180 degrees as the olecranon should be in line with the ear
      5. Your statement of wall angels, Y’s etc… is certainly valid in those individuals who lack thoracic mobility, shoulder ROM, etc. However, why do we assume that these exercises are necessary to be performed by everyone? If an individual has the necessary ROM and mobility to perform an exercise or activity why are these exercises commonly stated as “necessary”? I’m not insinuating that a warm-up isn’t necessary, however, as an example does a relief pitcher perform these exercises prior to their warm up or do they actually warm up by pitching in the bullpen and gradually get more aggressive with their pitching velocity? Isn’t the most specific warm up exercise to an activity the gradual progression of the activity itself? Doesn’t form follow function?

      Your requested references are below (2 are classic articles) demonstrating as I previously stated that this article is based on science. In conclusion as far as your statement “…. doesn’t teach the target audience anything new”, the main intention of this the article was to present the recent research of lower extremity power development that occurs during the push press exercise performance. I would wager the majority of the readers found that as new information as well as additional content in the article.

      References

      Getz JD et al, “Acromial morphology: relation to sex, age, symmetry, and subacromial enthesophytes”, Radiology, June 199(3):737 – 742, 1996

      Townsend H et al, Electromyographic analysis of the glenohumeral muscles during a baseball rehabilitation program, Amer J Sports Med, 13(3): 264 – 272, 1991

      Lake J et al, Power and Impulse Applied During Push Press Exercise, J Strength Cond Res, 28(9): 2552 – 2559, 2014

      Have a Happy 4th,
      Rob Panariello

      • Carl Thomas says:

        Rob,

        The push press requires pretty close to 180 degrees of shoulder flexion (the first picture of the push press illustrates that well), but a landmine press requires significantly less range of motion. As a pure upper body exercise, the landmine press probably accomplishes everything an overhead athlete (and many others, as well) will need in terms of overhead pressing, without some of the risks we often get with a push press. Also, since a push press is a total body movement performed with a heavy load, any postural issues will put the athlete at risk. Granted, we can correct that if we see it, but in terms of overhead pressing the landmine press seems to offer a better training opportunity for developing proper hip and spinal positioning with overhead pressing than a push press (which seems to require proper hip and spinal positioning BEFORE it is performed under load). There is nothing wrong with a push press for an athlete that is properly screened and supervised, but I fail to see enough benefits for an overhead athlete given the risks and the alternative exercises available.

      • Christopher says:

        Rob, this comment was amazing. If all internet comments were like this life would be that much simpler.

  • Bleeding Deacon says:

    Steve, if you continue wringing your hands this hard, it’s going to cut off the blood supply and leave unsightly little white marks all across your fingers.

  • Charles Nankin says:

    starting to focus on delt hypertrophy. was going to omit any vertical pressing. but i miss a high load, compound movement to start off the session and get the whole muscle firing. so it was great to read this. thanks

  • Tony Ricci says:

    I agree with Buehring’s thoughts regarding thoracic mobility, but that consideration is not unlike mobility considerations required for any other compound movement wherein the trunk is a major coupler. Regarding the shoulder, as a therapist, my experience is that those who focus on the bench press are almost guaranteed to have shoulder issues. Aside from pathology-causing adaptive shortening and imbalances, I too wonder what effect the bench has on scapula movement. Personally, the bench press is a semi-useless symbolic exercise with little carryover. In contrast, pushups of all types, loaded or no, are a full body movement with torsal coupling to match. Ditto for Push-presses. Each of these latter two ensures that the core/torso coupling capacity (i.e. ability to stabilize the spine while transmitting force) will always be proportional to the extremity action whereas heavy benching, like leg presses, risks developing extremity strength that might ovrrload core capacity for stabilzation, an example being a guy who can leg press 1000lbs but squat only 250. Hypothetically, if that guy used his huge leg strength to tackle someone, the weak link would be a torso that never developed the stability to couple the legs’ output. In short, the core would be a small weak chain link overpowered by a big link, and either a) shut down the legs’ force production or b) get injured. As with the leg press, what practical good is massive strength of the pecs and some anterior shoulder if maximum force production relies on having a bench behind you, unless say, you are planning to lie down or stand against a wall and push things a dozen inches away from you?

    • Rob Panariello says:

      Tony,
      There is a study which I reviewed some time ago documenting the loss of scapula mobility while lying supine on a mattress. This loss of scapula mobility occurs with body weight alone thus what is the effect of a loaded barbell and a bench upon scapula mobility? Unfortunately I cannot locate that study.
      Another “observation” is that we rehabbed a 3 time Olympic Gold Medal Weightlifting Athlete. During one of his high velocity heavy pulls the head of the humerus migrated superiorly through his cuff. He came to the U.S. to have his surgery performed by a world renown orthopedist. When speaking with the Orthopedist he was amazed that despite all the volume of 10’s of thousands of reps executed and 10’s of thousands of tons of weight intensity lifted how pristine his gleno-humeral joint was. There was no sign of arthritis at all. The same could be said of a Gold medal wrestler we rehabbed after cuff surgery. He only overhead pressed and rarely benched pressed.

      Then we reviewed some patients who tore their cuffs at the time they were bench pressing. This same surgeon stated that his observation of these shoulders demonstrated early signs of gleno-humeral arthritis. In my opinion overhead pressing and exercises such as the snatch, etc… Not only allow for “normal” GH-ST rhythm but also assists to establish and maintain proper shoulder ROM and thoracic mobility as these overhead positions could not be assumed without them.

      Happy 4th.
      Rob Panariello

    • Derrick Blanton says:

      Tony, very interesting thought process on “coupling” and “uncoupling” the torso, and the risks thereupon. Good stuff! I tend to agree that the bench press when not balanced with other pathways, can turn into a one way ticket to shoulder issues. Two immediate questions come to mind:

      1. Thoughts on dips? Also allows the scapula to glide freely like a push up, with potentially far more loading, but large ROM into extension.

      2. Would this uncoupling limbs from the torso/spine hazard also potentially apply to prioritizing the single leg split squat to train the legs, which allegedly spares the spine to a large extent?

      Could this focus on leg strength while (relatively) sparing the spine also potentially create a similar type problem as you describe with benching over pushups, and leg pressing over squatting? A strength in the leg which the now potentially undertrained spine may not be able to transmit without potential issue?

      Does it roughly follow then that any time you uncouple potentially very powerful muscles from the larger body, i.e. spine, problems might arise when this power is then expressed forcefully in athletic, real life movements?

      • Derrick Blanton says:

        I’m not sure why I just used the word “potentially” five times….ha ha..it’s late. But I think you get the essence of my question.

        Potentially. 🙂

  • Mike Sharp says:

    Thank you very much for this article, its funny you mentioned the bench as the go to question in the weight room what I find very funny is most dont overhead press nor squat, I have transitioned from standard barbell to axle and log pressing, the axle due to its thickness rest better on my hands after surgery, and log press because of the hand possition which puts less stress on my rotator calf, I push press and push jerk to develop more strength both in quads and shoulders. Great article

  • Leo Chavez says:

    I am just here to give the most nonintellectual comment that has been posted thus far. I perhaps am the target audience this article was intended for, but Rob your reply to Steve had me giggling and having flashbacks of my horrid undergrad days which every sentence I wrote in an article/essay was scrutinized by my professors “um wheres the peer reviewed articles of which you say are true?!”

    Thanks again! I will be adding push presses on leg days and I’m not going to bench press anymore” 😉 (sarcasm)

  • Carl Thomas says:

    Rob,

    Thanks for the interesting article. I particularly agree that overhead pressing has become a pariah at the expense of good upper-body training. And your final point, that the push press is an excellent total body power movement is, to me, the main takeaway. For athletes who are properly screened and instructed, the push press appears to be an excellent and economical movement.
    However, I think you could have completely left out your second and third points regarding cuff training and overall shoulder dynamics. For instance, simply because the cuff is activated during a push press does not make it “rotator cuff training”–it simply means that the cuff is being utilized. The rotator cuff muscles really don’t need to be worked under heavy loads in order to improve cuff function–they DO need activation and timing work, along with basic, light load training for strength. I would argue that athletes–particularly overhead athletes–need dedicated cuff training SO THAT THEY CAN perform exercises like the push press without hurting themselves rather than performing the push press AS rotator cuff training. The same basic argument applies to broader shoulder, scapular and thoracic issues–you need to develop and maintain proper shoulder functioning apart from these “big bang for your buck” movement so that you CAN perform them safely.
    A quick example: Mike Reinhold has, I believe, made the point that with the cuff, timing is critical. An athlete whose cuff does not activate just prior to the push press movement will be a day late and a dollar short in that no matter how much force the muscles produce, the humeral head may have already been forced out of position inside the glenoid “socket”. So simply measuring activation and force production is relatively meaningless–you must also have proper timing, which likely cannot be developed performing a push press (it must be developed separately).

    • Rob Panariello says:

      Carl,

      Thank you for your comments. First, and to be clear I am not against the landmine exercise, however, with regard to your statement that the landmine accomplishes everything the overhead athlete will need in overhead pressing, may be true but how do we know? I am not aware of any research regarding the landmine exercise performance (i.e. joint stresses, EMG activity, etc…) but if you are, and I’m not trying to be a difficult as I’m truly interested, please forward me that information as that will assist to substantiate the role of this exercise. Without this evidence all we are left with are our opinions. The reason why our athletes push press is because of the documented substantiation of the exercise. We know the EMG activity, the gleno-humeral-scapular thoracic rhythm (timing), power production from the lower extremities and that it is a total body exercise, the way the game is played, not in isolation. Also why do push presses always have to be heavy? Why is the art of coaching often ignored?

      Why is there a concern with 180 degrees of shoulder motion? Don’t we advocate (when appropriate) exercising through a full ROM? At 180 degrees, isn’t this still “normal” (not excessive) shoulder ROM? At 180 degrees of elevation isn’t there equal distribution of the load to both the anterior and posterior aspects of the shoulder? Can we say the same occurs with the landmine exercise performance?

      Your statement of proper hip and spinal positioning confuses me as you also state there is “Nothing wrong with the push press that is properly screened and supervised” thus what is the excessive risk or concern? Isn’t this true of every exercise to be performed? Is there any more concern for hip and spinal positioning with regard to the push press than there is when our overhead athletes squat, deadlift, or perform single leg work? Do they not perform these exercises as well? If the athlete is deemed appropriate to perform the exercise in question, demonstrates proper exercise technique and appropriate programing in employed (exercise volumes and intensities) why does the push press place greater risk to the overhead athlete than any other applied exercise to any other anatomy of their body? Stress is good for the body and it’s important to remember that we must apply unaccustomed stress for adaptation to take place.

      With regard to the rotator cuff and “timing” we need to differentiate rehab from athletic performance training. If an overhead athlete has a deficit in their deltoid – rotator cuff force couple or in their gleno-humeral scapular thoracic timing, etc. these should be considered rehab problems and be addressed as such. Once these deficits have been resolved and we have appropriate strength and overhead “timing” why do we continually need to “activate” and/or perform so much rotator cuff work when the cuff and para-scapular musculature have been proven to be active via EMG studies during many basic fundamental exercise performances? As you know the rotator cuff is a small muscle group thus overtraining this muscle group may disrupt the deltoid rotator force couple due to excessive exercise fatigue thus negatively resulting in shoulder pathology.

      With regard to the issue of “timing” we need to consider rehab vs. activity performance. For example in a post-operative rotator cuff of a thrower there is a progression in rehab of mobility, strength, neuromuscular timing, etc… Then there is the progression to the athlete’s throwing program where generally speaking includes short toss to long toss to pitching on flat ground to pitching from a mound. With regard to the shoulder, the “timing” of the shoulder musculature as well and the gleno-humeral scapular thoracic joints occur by a progression of increased shoulder velocity via the pitching activity itself. This cannot be accomplished via exercise as the executed exercise velocities are too slow. If the baseball athlete would like to be a better hitter they develop this by neuro-muscular “timing” by practicing hitting. Therefore in a “normal” functioning shoulder the neuro-muscular timing of an activity is enhanced via the progressive performance of that activity. So if the rotator cuff is strong and there is no deficit in overhead elevation “timing” why then do we have to continually “activate” the cuff if it’s working just fine and the appropriate neuro-muscular timing for the push press will be continually maintained by actually performing the push press exercise. Try testing the rotator cuff, lower traps, etc. all the muscles of concern that we read about in rehab with an athlete that is strong overhead. I have via a hand held manual muscle testing system and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results.

      In conclusion as both a Rehab Professional and a Strength and Conditioning Professional myself I have concern with the recent ambition for adaption of rehab into strength and conditioning. I’m not insinuating that there isn’t some overlap, but these are 2 distinctly different professions with distinctly different educational curriculums. If this were not true why are there an athletic training staff as well as strength and conditioning staff at every pro team and University setting? Why not just employ one staff (profession) to do both? Ask yourself this question if you were in charge to hire a professional to performance enhancement train a team or an individual for a world championship would you hire a healthcare professional to do this? If you were to rehabilitate a world class athlete’s post-operative pathology would you have the Strength and Conditioning Professional begin this process day 1? This is not a knock on either profession; my point is that they are different professions and what may be employed in one profession may not be appropriate nor necessary due to the different circumstances that occur in a different profession. Are there individuals that are qualified to do both, yes there are, but this is the exception vs. the rule.

      • Derrick Blanton says:

        Preach, Rob P!

        Great perspective. Perhaps a topic for one of your future articles. This overlap, alleged or otherwise, of PT rehab and strength training technique.

        I feel a need to opine freely. “Get off my lawn” rant ahead:

        I get it. People are hunched over all the time now, and driving and have crappy posture. But shouldn’t we keep the same gold standards for movement, and work towards achieving them?

        Effectively, are we not starting to regress movements to some kind of lowest common denominator movement curve?

        Are we going to start banning monkey bars and bowling because they take the shoulder past neutral? “Do it for the children….”

        The S&C industry is starting to lose its mind with this contraindicated exercise safety preoccupation. Every single muscular action is morphing into a walk across a pit of sand infested with razor blades.

        BC took RDL guy out to the woodshed for banning exercises, but maybe RDL guy is just a modern day product of our hot take times. Plenty of the made men in the industry have been banning exercises for years.

        The snatch grip DL is out, the hamstring curl is out, (strangely the GHR survives). The OHPR is out, the landmine press is in.

        We’ve ditched the straight bar DL for the trap bar DL, which allegedly “provides the best of the SQ and the best of the DL in one safer lift!”.

        (Sounds like ad copy. But no, it doesn’t. What it does do is allow you to load up the plates to perform a quarter squat with a bar in your hands , while not robustly training the lower back, so there’s that. Do it from a deficit where your ass is on your calves? Now, we are getting somewhere, but you may have to drop the load….bro.)

        By the way, this preoccupation with loading up the bar? Ego. Big part of the problem.

        Can’t lift overhead safely? Can you raise your arms and reach?

        Can you do so with five pound dumbbells? Tens? At what load do the problems begin? What is the compensation, and can we solve it? Can you find an angle of pronation or supination that allows you to do this?

        Can’t control the spine when you do so? Can you do so half kneeling? Can you do so if we band your back into kyphosis while half kneeling. Now you feel it, don’t you? Now you feel the spine solid and neutral. Now your scaps are rolling, gliding freely, and your core is turned on.

        Look at me, MA! I’m raising my arms directly overhead! I’m f-ll–yying…

        (big breath) LOL!

        Instead of using 180-degrees of flexion as a litmus test, as a standard that you should be able to achieve, we…just make up workarounds. Landmine is Exhibit A.

        Look, I have no problem with using it as a starting point. But at least gradually and progressively raise the pivot point to begin to approximate a true overhead reach. Are we just going to surrender that ROM for life?

        The thing about ROM? It NEVER comes back passively. You are not going to wake up in ten years, and magically find that you can put your palms on the floor, or reach high overhead, or put your ass on your heels. You are going to have to go DIRECTLY into the danger zone at some point, or just accept the fact that you can’t move freely.

        Cement partial ROM with load, and never reach directly upwards ever again? I say NO! The people say, “NO!” (wait, what?)

        “Well you don’t have the mobility to go overhead because you have been too busy impressing your bros benching all the damn time. Good news, though! We have this landmine here which approximates a pre-stabilized machine, a de-facto high incline bench press favoring the shoulders, and you can really load it up like always!”

        And then once the new, workaround lift becomes a “thing”, then that opens up a whole new host of dangers. Good news is that we now have a new market: coaching and advising the workaround lift dangers as well.

        We are now officially flying in circles up our own backside.

        Apparently, not only is going overhead with load highly dangerous, but now even the corrective workarounds themselves require extensive cueing, and coaching. Just an off the cuff sampling from Eric Cressey:

        “Eight Ways to Screw Up a Row”. “Correcting Common Landmine Press Mistakes” “3-Tips for Improving Your Back to Wall Shoulder Flexion”. “Fine Tuning the Band Pull Apart”.

        “Wall Slides, the Movie!” OK, I made that last one up…

        “Don’t Overcue!”

        (But on the other hand, please keep these eight different coaching points in mind, and for the love of God, don’t bring the shoulders back behind the body, as anterior humeral glide is real, and super dangerous! )

        It reminds me a bit of nutritional science. Read enough of it, and you will suddenly find yourself terrified to eat an egg.

        Maybe it’s like 24-hours news channels. The beast must be fed. Content must be pumped out. There are perils lurking around exercise. To misquote Gordon Gecko: “Fear is good…Fear works”.

        Next time I’ll tell you what I really think.

        • Rob Panariello says:

          Derrick,

          I wouldn’t lose sleep over this. All you can do is state your case and those that want to attempt what you state will, those that don’t won’t. You can’t control what anyone else is going to do, just place the emphasis on yourself. That is the only person you really can control 100% of the time. Never stop leaning and be the best that you can be. Don’t worry about everyone else as you can’t control them nor likely do you want to.

          There will always be those who scrutinize what you say and as long as it’s constructive, in a way that’s good as it keeps you on your toes so to speak. It’s concerning how let’s say a football player tears his ACL in a game and eventually the athlete or those working with him are presented in situations where that player would not be permitted to perform certain exercises, even if appropriate, to prepare them for the game for fear of re-injuring their knee. However eventually they will be cleared to return to the game that initiated all of their problems to begin with.

          With regard to your statement about losing range of motion, going back to throwers, the push press and overhead range of motion i.e. 180 degrees. There is research published in 2014 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrating that pitchers who lost greater than or EQUAL TO FIVE (5) DEGREES OF SHOULDER FLEXION had a 2.8 TIMES greater risk of injury. This is just another reason why we push press with our overhead and baseball athletes, our pitchers, our $100,000,000 All Star, and haven’t had a problem yet.

          Hope all is well.

          Rob Panariello

          • Derrick Blanton says:

            Rob, thanks, all’s well, and no sleep lost, :). Your points are well taken.

            Not to mention basketball players, volleyball players, and football receivers and DBs who must often jump with arms straight up violently and explosively.

            Think a hips flexed hamstring curl is non-functional? Explain this to your next MMA client whose facial structure may depend on his ability to keep his opponent’s torso hamstring curled and close in guard..

            Cannot…stop…ranting… ha ha! A visit to the squat rack is in order to burn off this energy.

            Be well, Rob!

  • Re says:

    Great article Rob, i have pushed press and press for years and never had any issues. Mind you i did have issues flat benching and then an old man told me “maybe you should start overhead pressing?”
    I enjoy the movement of violently exploding the bar over your head.

  • Mark says:

    Good article, thanks. I am 52, I push press every week (in addition to deep squats and other compound exercises). it is a great all around exercise for developing strength. I originally learned how to perform this exercise from a skilled trainer. The key to this and any other compound exercise is to have a coach who is able to determine any imbalances or lack of mobility that you may have, implement corrective exercises, and then progress you to the point that you are able to perform the compound exercise correctly (if possible). You cannot compare the push press, to landmines, it is way better. Landmines maybe useful as an accessory exercise, but why bother. Why drive a Honda when you can drive a BMW. There is no need to fear this exercise more than any other compound exercise. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the benefits. It will keep you strong as you get older. In fact I did single arm dumbbell floor press, and push press today, and feel better than most 30 year olds l!

  • david pigozzo says:

    I use to do push presses when I wasn’t training for a powerlifting meet. Unfortunately for the last 11 years I have not been able to do push presses from the front due a restriction of flexibility to my right elbow. T he alternate to this is that I do behind the neck push presses with a snatch grip.

Leave a Reply

SIGN UP FOR THE FREE NEWSLETTER

and receive my FREE Lower Body Progressions eBook!

You have Successfully Subscribed!