Video Article

At the CrossFit Level 1 seminars, three overhead movements are taught together: The press, the push press, and the push jerk. All three take a barbell (or other object) from the shoulders to locked out overhead. The difference is in the use of the hip.

In this Part 2 The Push Press, Adrian Bozman explains the basics of performing the push press correctly, including the essential role of torso angle. The difference between the press and push press is the powerful use of the hips to generate upward momentum on the barbell. Typically, 30% heavier loads can be used with the push press over the press.

Companion videos are Part 1 The Press and Part 3 The Push Jerk.

The video was captured at the CrossFit Level 1 Certification Seminar in Golden, CO on October 24, 2008. Chris Spealler is the demogirl.

6min 32sec

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5 Comments on “The Overhead Series - Part 2 The Push Press”


wrote …

not a big deal, but i happened to notice since i'm currently taking a stats course haha. don't mean to be a stickler

"You can press about 30% less than you can pushpress, you can get an increase of about 30%"

pressing 30% less than you can push press means (1.0/0.7 = 1.43) you can pushpress 40% more than you can press, which is significantly higher than 30%

30% is pretty crazy actually. lets say you can press 200lbs for a 1 rep max. that means you can push press 260lbs, provided excellent technique?!


wrote …

I'm curious where the 30% stat comes from? (Sorry Dan, not you) Was it actually tested and found 30% is "typical"?


wrote …

Daniel and Miki,
Technically, Boz's statement was imprecise. We see good athletes with solid mechanics and competent hip drive able to push press about 30% more than they can press. This isn't a hard and fast number, but anecdotal observation. We also see an additional 30% increase from the push press to the jerk (or about 70% more than the press). I know that Pat Barber and Nicole Carroll are in this range. Pat's push press is about 35% more than his press and his jerk is about 65% more than his press. Nicole's jerk is about 80% more than her press. Chuck Carswell has a 200lb press and though he's never maxed the push press, he has done 245lbs x 3 and the other day he did a 275lb thruster (which, obviously, is a front squat push press).

These ratios can give you a ballpark assessment of both the quality of your mechanics and the degree to which you have potentiated the hip. If they are greatly different from these 20-30% increments, it might mean some remedial work is in order. Similarly, the ratio of overhead squat, front squat, and back squat can also speak to the quality of your mechanics. Well integrated athletes "typically" see a 20% increase from OHS to FS, and then another 20% increase from FS to BS. Anything greatly divergent from that might indicate a mechanical weakness.

Perhaps "typical" should be qualified with "for skilled athletes." Again, these are ballpark numbers not meant to be precise.


wrote …

i'm guessing:

overhead squat/front squat disparity - lack of core strength, or perhaps shoulder strength/flexibility

front squat/back squat disparity - strong posterior chain, but weak quads?


wrote …

Maybe I missed it, but I would have liked to see some mention of bar position. In the press I don't think it is as crtitcal, but for the push press, I'm guessing that the bar needs to rest somehow on the torso before the dip,drive or momentum/velocity will be lost.

I just did the exercise after watching this, and I was able to rest the bar on my chest, just below collar bone. Couldn't reach deltoids with it. i hope this was correct.

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