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Power and Impulse Applied During Push Press Exercise

Lake, Jason P.1; Mundy, Peter D.1; Comfort, Paul2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 9 - p 2552–2559
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000438
Original Research

Lake, JP, Mundy, PD, and Comfort, P. Power and impulse applied during push press exercise. J Strength Cond Res 28(9): 2552–2559, 2014—The aim of this study was to quantify the load, which maximized peak and mean power, and impulse applied to these loads, during the push press and to compare them to equivalent jump squat data. Resistance-trained men performed 2 push press (n = 17; age: 25.4 ± 7.4 years; height: 183.4 ± 5 cm; body mass: 87 ± 15.6 kg) and jump squat (n = 8 of original 17; age: 28.7 ± 8.1 years; height: 184.3 ± 5.5 cm; mass: 98 ± 5.3 kg) singles with 10–90% of their push press and back squat 1 repetition maximum (1RM), respectively, in 10% 1RM increments while standing on a force platform. Push press peak and mean power was maximized with 75.3 ± 16.4 and 64.7 ± 20% 1RM, respectively, and impulses applied to these loads were 243 ± 29 N·s and 231 ± 36 N·s. Increasing and decreasing load, from the load that maximized peak and mean power, by 10 and 20% 1RM reduced peak and mean power by 6–15% (p ≤ 0.05). Push press and jump squat maximum peak power (7%, p = 0.08) and the impulse that was applied to the load that maximized peak (8%, p = 0.17) and mean (13%, p = 0.91) power were not significantly different, but push press maximum mean power was significantly greater than the jump squat equivalent (∼9.5%, p = 0.03). The mechanical demand of the push press is comparable with the jump squat and could provide a time-efficient combination of lower-body power and upper-body and trunk strength training.

1Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester, College Lane, Chichester, United Kingdom; and

2Human Performance Laboratory, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Jason P. Lake,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.