Get Stronger: Power-Up Your Push-Press

Overhead press_rotator

The push-press isn’t just another shoulder exercise, it’s a move that builds strength and power throughout the entire body and core. So if you haven’t made the push-press a staple in your programs – now’s the time. We asked certified personal trainer and athlete, Jason Phillips for his tips to tossing more weight over your head with ease. 

1. Bulk Up Your Lower Body

During the push-press, a great deal of explosive power comes from your legs. Push-presses vs. traditional shoulder presses, “increase bar speed and the ability to handle heavier loads,” says Phillips. 

Training Tip:

For 2-3 weeks, train legs using front squats and stiff-leg deadlifts twice per week along with hamstring curls and leg presses. Perform 3-6 sets of each exercise for 6-10 repetitions. In week 4, go back to training legs once per week. Repeat this cycle for another 4 weeks.


2. Build Up Your Core Strength

Although the shoulders are the primary mover in the push-press exercise, a strong core will support with bigger number lifts. “Core strength is a major player to increasing overhead lifts by providing assistance and stability through your abs and lower back. The lockout phase in particular, can be difficult if the core is weak,” says Phillips.

Training Tip:

For 2-3 weeks, train only one body part per day that includes one compound exercise followed by two isolation movements and two core-specific moves. Here’s the routine to follow:

Monday – Chest
Squats, 5 sets, 6-10 reps
Dumbbell Lunges, 5 sets, 10 reps each leg
Hamstring Curl superset with Leg Extensions, 3 supersets of 8 reps each.
Hanging Leg Lifts, 5 sets, repetitions to failure
Plank Holds, 5 sets, holds to failure

Tuesday – OFF

Wednesday – Back
Traditional Deadlift, 5 sets, 6-10 reps
T-Bar Row, 5 sets, 6-10 reps
Pull Ups, 5 sets to failure
Weighted Rope Crunch, 5 sets, 10-12 reps
Flutter Kicks, 5 sets, reps to failure

Thursday – OFF

Friday – Shoulders
Strict Press/Shoulder Press (No Push Press), 5 sets, 6 reps
High Pulls, 5 sets, 12 reps
Face Pulls, 5 sets, 12-15 reps
Hanging Leg Lifts, 5 sets, repetitions to failure
Plank Holds, 5 sets, holds to failure

Saturday – OFF

Sunday – Arms & Core
Barbell Curl, 5 sets, 6-10 reps
Tricep Rope Push Downs, 5 sets, 6-10 reps
Alternating Dumbbell Curls superset with Dips, 3 supersets of 6-12 repetitions
Weighted Rope Crunch, 3 sets, 6-10 reps
Plank Holds, 3 sets, holds to failure
Flutter Kickers, 3 sets, reps to failure


For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!