You can push jerk more than you can push press, and you can push press more than you can shoulder press. No secret there.
But did you know that most can push press roughly 30 percent more than they can shoulder press and push jerk roughly 30 percent more than they can push press? So says CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman.
Although not an obvious core-to-extremity movement, the shoulder press requires midline stabilization, says HQ trainer Matt Chan.
“You’re using your body as a brace, basically,” he explains. “And basically you’re trying to resist hyperextension of the lower back as you press.”
The push press, meanwhile, allows for a quicker cycle time of the same weight, says HQ trainer Pat Sherwood. And the movement feels more metabolic.
Finally, the push jerk is “the weightlifting equivalent of slappin’ somebody in the face,” says HQ trainer Adrian “Boz” Bozman. “It’s a big wind-up and, bam—you’re done. It doesn’t happen slowly. It hits you pretty hard.”
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Additional reading: Building a Strong Shoulder Girdle by Bill Starr, published Aug. 26, 2011.