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The push press is similar to the military press; however, the movement is started by a 'push' from the legs. This begins the momentum of the movement, the weight is then slowly lowered back to the chest or dropped from overhead. It can also be used from behind the neck. Behind the neck push presses are not recommended though due to an increased risk of injury.
The push press is used to help develop shoulder strength. It can be used to push past a sticking point or develop power for the Clean and Jerk (though 'pressing' is illegal in competition). The ability to drive from the legs and through the torso to the arms is important for sports (this is also found in the bench press).
The push press can improve all over body coordination (though not to the extent of the weightlifting movements). It can also allow a trainee to use the eccentric portion of the exercise with a weight that may be too heavy for the concentric phase, thereby increasing strength.
As the momentum is initiated by the legs, the bottom portion of the range of motion may be under-developed compared to the middle and end portions. The entire range of motion is more reliably trained in a shoulder press. One method of training is to initiate lifting with a shoulder press, and then gradually turning it into a push press when the lifter no longer has the strength to lift it with his shoulders alone and does not want to train with a lighter weight.
- "Reebok CrossFit ONE Movement Demo "Push Press"". 13 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- Nunez, Kristen (13 June 2019). "Behind the Neck Press: Is It really That Dangerous". healthline.com. p. 1. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
A behind-the-neck press does indeed place a lot of stress on your rotator cuff muscles, which stabilize your shoulder joints. The position is also awkward. If you have poor shoulder mobility, or if your weight is too heavy, you could tear a shoulder muscle. You can hurt your neck, too.