We have often included the Push Press in many of our list articles because it is simply an awesome full-body exercise that transfers to a host of athletic movement.

Not only can it crank your athleticism up a notch or twenty, but it can also build considerable muscle in your shoulders, improve your coordination, and add poundage to your Bench Press.

You often see people doing a half-baked version of the Push Press when they tire of strict presses but want to get in more reps.

But, as a standalone, the Push Press is one of the very best exercises you can do in the gym — especially if you’re an athlete.

The Push Press: The Ultimate Exercise for Athletes

CrossFit | The Push Press

Think about it this way: if you’re an athlete, you cannot be spending hours upon hours in the gym as it can take away from your direct athletic training since both require plenty of recovery.

Therefore, you need to be crafty with your exercise selection — and the Push Press covers a lot of your bases.

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What makes this exercise so great is that it will:

  • build pressing strength
  • improve vertical jumps
  • improve sprinting speed/starting speed
  • build core strength
  • increase striking/fending power
  • build tackling power
  • improve coordination

Another added benefit of this movement is that it can be featured on either a lower body or upper body day, and it’s not as technically demanding as other Olympic lifts.

But, since it is fairly tiring and taxing on the Central Nervous System, we recommend doing it as one of your starting main movements on training days.

Athletes from football players, to mixed martial artists, and shotputters will all benefit from doing the Push Press on a regular basis.

As we’ve previously explained, there is no better exercise for hitting opposing players harder on the Gridiron:

Beginning with a quarter squat, into a triple joint extension, before a violent Overhead Press, the Push Press is by far the best exercise to tackle harder as it contains the entire movement required for tackling and a whole lot of other movements in one fell swoop.

This one has it all.

The explosive power required to tackle and drive through your opponent along with the wrapping of the arms, the Push Press is basically tackling practice and strengthening off the pitch.

Aside from strengthening every area of a hard tackle, it will also instill correct neuromuscular coordination to making a big hit.

Catching the weight between reps will also help teach you how to absorb the blow from hard hits.

I would recommend 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps for best results. As this exercise is demanding, it is advisable to keep the rep ranges low and to avoid attempting reps in a state of fatigue to minimize the risk of injury.

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