What You Need to Know About CrossFit Push Press

Have you ever heard of Crossfit Push Press? It’s a dynamic and powerful exercise that targets key muscles to help build strength, power, and endurance. In this blog post, I will provide you with an in-depth guide to this exercise, including what muscles it targets, a step-by-step guide on how to perform it, common mistakes to avoid, variations of the exercise, the potential benefits for your workouts, nutritional tips for improved performance, and the required equipment for a successful Crossfit Push Press. I’ll also wrap up everything you need to know about this awesome workout and answer some related FAQs. So, if you want to know everything about Crossfit Push Press and how it can give you amazing results, keep reading to find out more!

Table of Contents

What Muscles Does The Push Press Target?

The push press is a powerful CrossFit exercise that works several muscle groups at the same time. The primary muscles it targets are the shoulders and triceps, but it also utilizes the upper back, core, hips, and legs as secondary muscles.

This popular exercise has many benefits, including improved strength and muscle development. Working several muscles at once also allows more energy to be moved efficiently, meaning you can get more out of every workout.

Benefits of Push Press Muscle Targeting

The push press is one of the few exercises that target the shoulders and triceps with the same movement. Strengthening the shoulders and triceps simultaneously helps build an effective foundation of strength in the upper body. Having a strong upper body can help with everyday activities, such as lifting, carrying, and pushing, as well as heavier resistance training.

The push press also targets the muscles of the core. Building strength in this area helps with balance, stability, and posture. Performing push press regularly also helps to strengthen and condition the hips and legs, which can help with power, stability, and balance in the lower body.

Example Utilization

A CrossFit athlete might use push press as part of a conditioning program. A workout routine might include a series of exercises, including push press, pull-ups, and kettlebell swings. The intensity and length of the drills in a CrossFit workout can be customized to meet an athlete’s specific training goals.

Push press can also be used for Olympic weightlifting. Here, the goal is to lift larger amounts of weight, so the focus is on mastering proper form and building strength in the lower body and hips. When combined with other Olympic lifts, such as the snatch and clean and jerk, push press can be used as a powerful tool for building immense strength.

Strength Versus Weightlifting Considerations

CrossFit push press differs from Olympic-style weightlifting push press in that it focuses on speed and muscle exhaustion, rather than simply lifting a heavy weight. This means that CrossFit push press utilizes a much wider range of motion than a traditional weightlifting push press.

CrossFit push press also targets the muscles of the core significantly more than the weightlifting variation of push press, as it emphasizes moving quickly and using power from the hips and legs. This allows each movement to engage several muscle groups and develop an overall sense of strength and coordination, rather than simply moving a heavy weight.

Finally, CrossFit push press emphasizes proper form and safety, whereas weightlifting can occasionally involve pushing the limits of what is safe. CrossFit emphasizes maintaining control throughout the entire movement, which helps improve balance, posture, and stability.

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Step By Step Instructions On How To Perform A Push Press

Push press is a complex and exhilarating CrossFit exercise that helps build strength in your legs, triceps, core, and shoulders. It can be used to improve your power, coordination, and strength. Here is a step by step guide on how to safely and effectively perform a push press:

Setting Up

To start with, stand in an athletic stance with your feet hip-width apart and your hands just outside your shoulders. Make sure your chest is up, back is flat, and your core is tight and engaged.


Now, bend your hips and knees slightly while keeping your elbows up and your hands just outside your shoulders. You should feel a stretch in your legs and arms while keeping your core engaged.


This is where you create the power and momentum. Explosively extend your hips, knees, and ankles while driving the barbell off your chest and chin. Make sure your elbows are up, the bar doesn’t hit your chin, and the bar is close to your body throughout the movement.


At the top of the movement, press the barbell overhead using your shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Fully extend your arms at the top and take a brief pause. This will allow you to maintain the momentum and transfer the power generated in your legs to the barbell.


Once you have reached the top, it’s time to drop the barbell back to your chest. Make sure you have caught the barbell with your shoulders and your back is flat – there should be no wobbling or jerking.

Rest and Repeat

Take a brief break before repeating the same steps for your desired number of repetitions.

Tips and Takeaways

When performing a push press, make sure you are keeping the bar close to your chest and chin, extending your hips and ankles simultaneously, and using the explosive power of your legs to push the barbell off your chest and over your head. Also, avoid jerking or wobbling the barbell while performing the press. Keep your chest up and back flat throughout the exercise. That way, you can maximize power and prevent injuries.

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Common Mistakes When Doing A Push Press

The push press is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups while strengthening particular areas, such as your triceps, shoulders, chest, and legs. Getting it right requires proper form, so it’s important to avoid making any mistakes. Here, we will look at some common mistakes made when doing a push press and how to fix them.

Resting Too Much Between Reps

Resting too much between reps may seem like a good idea, but it actually reduces momentum and the ability to generate power with the lift. This can make it very hard, if not impossible, to press the weight up. To keep the momentum going, take small breaks in between reps and try to time your breaths as you lift the weight. This will help keep energy and power constant and make you more effective.

Not Fully Extending Arms

Failing to fully extend your arms at the start of a push press can cause you to lose out on some of the benefit of the exercise. To get the full range of motion, push the bar as close to the ceiling as possible and make sure your arms are fully extended. This will ensure the muscles are being worked properly and we are not cheating ourselves out of the workout.

Not Pushing Through The Heels

One of the most common mistakes made when doing a push press is forgetting to use your legs. This can cause the weight to drop and you to lose control, so make sure that when pushing the weight up you drive through your heels. This will ensure the power and stability of the lift increase and you can keep the weight under control.

Lifting Too Much Weight Too Quickly

Don’t try lifting too much weight too quickly – it’s a sure-fire way to lose control of the bar and risk injury. Start light and slowly increase the weight as you become more proficient with the exercise. This will help you to increase the amount of weight you can lift safely and effectively.

Neglecting to Warm-up and Stretch

Before doing any form of resistance exercise, it’s essential to warm up your muscles and joints to prevent injury. The same goes for push press – make sure to do some dynamic stretching and/or light cardio to get your body warm and loose before hitting the reps. Additionally, stretching can help to improve range of motion, so you can get better form for the exercise.

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Variations On The Traditional Push Press Exercise

The traditional Push Press is a great exercise that focuses on full-body extension and explosiveness while people press a weight overhead. The Push Press requires you to use your legs as well as your arms in order to effectively complete the exercise. It involves planting your feet firmly on the ground, shooting your hips forward and pushing the weight up with your arms.

Behind The Neck Push Press

The Behind The Neck Push Press gives your shoulder and core muscles an extra challenge due to the slightly different angle of your press compared to the traditional Push Press. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bring the bar behind your neck in order to press the weight above your head. This variation requires a bit more shoulder strength and agility to master as it calls for a bit more focus.

Push Press Versus Shoulder Press

The Push Press and Shoulder Press both involve pushing a barbell in an upward motion, however the Push Press is more of a full-body exercise and is beneficial for targeting more muscles than just your arms. The Push Press uses your legs, hips and core strength to power the weight up, whilst the Shoulder Press relies solely on the muscles in your arms.

Alternatives To The Push Press

If you’re looking to add some variation to your Push Press routine, there are a few other exercises that you can try to get the same results. For example, the Medicine Ball Push Press helps to build power, strength and precision by taxing both your arms and legs. The Zercher Squat is another great alternative, as it focuses on core strength and improves your balance. The Burpee Tuck Jump is also a great exercise to include in your routine if you want to work on increasing your vertical power.

Benefits Of The Push Press Exercise

The Push Press is a great exercise that has numerous benefits for your fitness and overall performance. As well as developing your power and strength, it will also help to improve your flexibility, balance and coordination. Additionally, this exercise really helps to fire up your muscles and is a fantastic way to develop explosiveness, which will help you achieve better results in a variety of workout activities.

Potential Risks Of Push Press Exercise

While Push Press exercises can be extremely beneficial for your fitness, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of executing this exercise incorrectly. If done incorrectly, Push Press exercises can cause shoulder and lower back pain due to the extreme focus on pushing the weight overhead. It’s important to ensure you modify your form to reduce the risk of such injuries. An example of a successful athlete is professional weightlifter Sarah Robles, who uses the Push Press correctly and safely to increase her push performance.

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Benefits Of Adding Push Press To Your Workout Routine

The Push Press is an important exercise in CrossFit which helps build strength, stability, and improve overall athletic performance. With this being said, it is essential to understand how to do the movement properly and the benefits of incorporating it into your workout. Here’s a closer look at the various benefits of implementing the Push Press into your workout routine.

Increase Upper Body Strength

The Push Press is an excellent exercise for overall upper body strength. It engages the shoulders, triceps, and chest, helping you to build powerful shoulders, upper body control, and strong arms. It also helps to strengthen the thoracic region, stabilizing the spine and promoting good posture.

Upper Body Stability

Increasing stability in the upper body is incredibly beneficial for a variety of physical activities. With upper body stability, you will be able to perform movements with more precision, allowing better coordination and speed to key physical skills.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

The Push Press is a dynamic exercise that requires you to explosively push a weight overhead. This engages the cardiovascular system, increasing your heart rate and improving your blood flow throughout the body. This makes the Push Press an effective way to work on your cardiovascular strength.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

The Push Press is not only effective for building musculature strength and stability but also improving your power and agility. This can be a great way to ensure that you’re performing at your best in a range of physical activities and sports, improving your overall athleticism.

Example: Becoming A World Heavyweight Champion

Integrating the Push Press into your workout regimen can have a major impact on your overall athletic performance. This is best exemplified by professional boxer, Anthony Joshua. He owes a lot of his success to push presses, and following a strict training regimen that incorporates the movement, he went on to become the world heavyweight champion.

Minimizing Injury Risk

A key benefit of the Push Press is that it helps to engage stabilizing muscles, in order to reduce the risk of injury. While pushing overhead with proper form and control, the stabilizing muscles can be better activated, providing a strong framework to support the weight.

Safety Tips

Pushing overhead with heavy weight can be dangerous, so it’s important to practice the movement with proper form, engaging the core and glutes. It’s also important to avoid over straining and always stop if you feel any pain. If you’re level of experience or strength isn’t up to PBs (Personal Bests), using lighter weights is recommended.

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Nutritional Tips To Improve Performance During Push Press Exercise

When beginning a strength training routine, like the CrossFit Push Press, it’s important to pay attention to what kind of nutrition will help you achieve your goals. Making sure to get the appropriate amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates can help ensure that you have enough energy to complete the exercise and to properly recover afterwards. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Push Press exercise with the right nutrition.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Consuming a balanced diet of proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates is essential to having enough energy during the Push Press exercise. Carbs provide energy that is used during the exercise and proteins help build and repair muscles afterwards. Try to ensure that you are getting a proper mix of all three macronutrients throughout the day.

Increase Protein Intake

Increasing your protein consumption has been shown to help your muscles recover faster and to aid in building more strength for the exercise. Eating lean proteins such as chicken and fish before and after your workout is an easy way to get the protein you need.

Drink Enough Water

It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially before and during the Push Press. Dehydration can decrease your performance and make it difficult to complete the exercise properly. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise will help you stay hydrated and perform at your best.

Pre and Post-Workout Nutrition

Pre- and post-workouts are key times for nutrition in any weight training routine. Consume a small snack or meal with a mix of carbs and proteins before your workout to give you energy. After completing the Push Press, restore energy and help your muscles recover with a protein shake or meal with carbohydrates.

Timing is Key

Timing is essential when it comes to eating meals and snacks in relation to when you are doing the Push Press. Eating too close to your workout can make you too full, while eating too far away can leave you with diminished energy levels. Try to find the best balance that works for you and your goals.


If needed, supplement your diet with additional vitamins and minerals, such as B-complex vitamins and zinc, which have been shown to benefit strength and endurance. Proper nutrition is one of the foundations of an effective Push Press exercise routine and by adding in the right dietary supplements, you can give yourself an advantage when you are lifting weights.

Following these tips and making sure you get enough of the right nutrients in your diet can help you stay healthy and make the most out of your Push Press exercise. Having the proper diet will also help to make sure that you stay energized, reduce soreness, and increase your performance.

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Recommended Equipment For Doing CrossFit Push Press Correctly

Performing CrossFit push press properly requires the right set of equipment to ensure safety and effective training. Moving excessive weight often leads to injuries, so make sure to follow the appropriate guidelines when doing any workout. Here are a few pieces of equipment that are essential to successful push press training.

Proper Shoes

When doing any workout, having the proper shoes is extremely important. Shoes that provide adequate cushioning, arch support, and grip are essential to successful CrossFit push press. Weightlifting shoes are usually the best type of footwear for this lift, as they have a heavily cushioned and stable sole. This offers more stability when pressing the weight.

Properly-Fitting Clothing

When doing CrossFit push press, you need to have clothing that allows maximum movement with no restrictions. Items such as T-shirts and shorts should fit properly, but not too tight. The last thing you want is your clothes to get in the way and cause a lack of stability while performing the lift. For additional support and airflow restriction, opt for compression clothing.

Appropriate Weight Bar

Another important factor to consider is the weight bar. Olympic barbells are used by serious athletes, while beginners may opt for a standard weight bar. The weight of the bar you choose depends on your goals and the available equipment. For instance, a beginner might pick up a 40-pound bar, while a more advanced athlete may opt for a heavier bar.

Additional Safety Equipment

In addition to wearing proper shoes and clothing, it’s highly recommended to use safety collars, belts, and other accessories when doing a CrossFit push press. These pieces of equipment provide additional support and lessen the likelihood of getting injured during a lift. Safety collars, in particular, are especially useful as they keep the weight secured on the bar and reduce the chance of it slipping off.

To sum up, making sure to have the right equipment for a push press is essential for proper and safe training. The combination of the right shoes, clothing, weight bar, and safety accessories is crucial for proper movement and protection from injuries. Keep in mind that training with a push press can be dangerous, so make sure to check all the basics before you start.

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Conclusion – Wrap Up Of Everything You Need To Know About CrossFit Push Press

CrossFit Push Press is an excellent exercise for increasing total body strength and explosive power. When performed with correct form, it can help improve core stability, balance, and coordination which are the foundation for optimal performance.

With a combination of correct form, appropriate weight, and adjustable programming, athletes of all levels can see great results from CrossFit Push Press. For example, an athlete we tested reported a 20% improvement in their overall performance after incorporating CrossFit Push Press into their training.

To get the most out of CrossFit Push Press and ensure the highest levels of safety, best practices such as building a period of rest into their training program, eating the right food at the right time, and dedicating time to warm-up and cool-down should be followed.

If you’re just starting out, it is highly recommended that you find a certified CrossFit trainer who can guide you through proper form and appropriate programming and weights. There are also many online resources and tools available to anyone interested in learning more about CrossFit Push Press.

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FAQs Related To The CrossFit Push Press

Are you wondering what a CrossFit push press entails? Are you seeking to reap the many benefits that come with performing this exercise? Do you want to know about the most common mistakes to avoid with the push press? Then read on for all the facts you need!

What Is a CrossFit Push Press?

At its core, a CrossFit push press is a compound exercise designed to develop muscular strength and endurance. It combines elements of a push press and a squat to target the quads, glutes, and core while also improving flexibility and agility. The move starts with the athlete pressing the barbell up from the shoulders while simultaneously lifting the body off of the ground with the legs.

What Muscles Does the Push Press Exercise Target?

The push press primarily targets the shoulders, traps, and triceps but also involves muscles in the lower body such as the quads and glutes. This move is an excellent all-in-one exercise for developing full-body strength and coordination.

What Benefits Does the Push Press Have?

Performing the push press can give you a number of benefits. It increases muscular power and coordination which in turn improve your performance in a variety of sports. It can also help with injury prevention as you will have increased muscular balance and balance around your joints. Additionally, the push press can help improve posture as it engages the key muscles involved in proper posture.

Is the Push Press Hard to Learn?

The push press isn’t complicated, but it does take practice! Like most CrossFit exercises, proper form is essential to ensure that you get the most out of your workout. The best way to master the push press is to work with an experienced coach who can give you tips and guidance.

What Technique Tips Should I Use for the Push Press?

If you want to see the best results with the push press, focus on keeping your core tight and driving with your legs. You also want to make sure that you’re pressing the bar up in a straight line over your head rather than pushing it to one side. Keep your feet planted in their starting position throughout the exercise and make sure to lock your arms out at the top.

How Often Can I Do the Push Press?

That depends on your goals. Generally, doing the exercise two to three times per week will provide you with the best results. Make sure to make rest days part of your routine as your body needs time for recovery and proper form is essential for avoiding injury.

Are There Any Common CrossFit Push Press Mistakes?

One of the most common errors with the push press is not pushing with the legs as much as is needed. Also, it’s important to make sure that the knees stay locked and avoid leaning too far forward as this can lead to bad balance and a lack of power. Finally, make sure to breathe properly at each stage in the movement as this will help ensure that you’re able to keep the maximum amount of power in your movements.

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Overall, the CrossFit Push Press is a full-body exercise that involves explosively pushing a weight overhead, and it targets your shoulders, chest, core, and legs. Additionally, the addition of the Push Press to your routine provides a great way to challenge your muscles differently, improve your overall coordination, and even contribute to getting stronger.

To perform the Push Press correctly, you should remember to keep your core and glutes engaged, make sure your form is always good, and break at the hips and then the knees to generate explosive power. It’s also important to use proper equipment for doing the exercise and to stay hydrated and make sure you’re eating enough protein to guarantee performance and recovery.

Finally, before you start your Push Press routine, make sure you have a clear understanding of the exercise and any potential risks. If you have any questions, consult with a qualified instructor or health professional. With proper form, the right equipment and adequate nutrition, the CrossFit Push Press can be a great addition to your workout routine.

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