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Barbell Push Press: What is it, How to do, Benefits

What is a Barbell Push Press

The barbell push press or standing barbell push press is a weightlifting exercise performed for an overall increase in strength in the upper as well as lower body. It is done by keeping the elbows close to the shoulder, which helps you in maintaining tension on the shoulders while pushing the barbell overhead.


  • The barbell push press can be easily incorporated into your training program, and it does not take much time to master.
  • It allows you to gain maximal strength in minimal time.
  • It requires the right muscles to contract or relax at the right time, functioning as an integrated system.

Barbell Push Press Exercise Information

Other Names Push Press with Barbell
Exercise Type Olympic Weightlifting
Skill Level Advanced
Equipment Needed Barbell
Muscles Worked Primary: Shoulders; Secondary: Abs, triceps, quads, hips, glutes
Mechanics Compound
Alternative Forms/Substitute One-arm Kettlebell Push Press, Behind the Neck Push Press

How to do

  • Hold a barbell using a grip less than your shoulder-width apart and pull it just above the shoulders with your elbows close to the body. It is your initial position.
  • Bending your knees, lower your body so that you are in a half-squat position.
  • Push the barbell over your head while pressing through your heels and stand up explosively.
  • Pause at the top of the movement before lowering the barbell back to your initial position.

Barbell Push Press Tips

  • Drive through your hips upward so that you can do the lift explosively.
  • Avoid overextending the lower back when your elbows are locked out at the top.
  • Keep your torso straight and tense, when flexing your hips and knees.
  • Exhale while pressing the barbell up and inhale while lowering it down.

Video: Barbell Push Press Proper Form

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