The Difference Between The Push Press & Push Jerk

Push Press vs. Push Jerk


Both the push press and the push jerk begin the same, with the barbell in the front rack position and the goal of putting the barbell overhead.

Each exercise is started with initial movement during the preparation phase which looks like a dip or a quarter squat to load the legs. A full or even half squat should not be performed the initial dip is used only to load the legs for the next phase. During the dip the torso should stay upward with a neutral head position and the heels must remain in contact with the ground. The preparation phase is followed by a drive phase that forces the body upward with the intent to transfer that force into the bar. Lastly downward movement phase is the process of lowering the bar back down to the deltoids and the end of the movement.


The primary difference between the push press and the push jerk starts after the drive phase is complete and the catch phase begins. This is when the bar leaves the shoulders from the front rack position and begins moving upward.

Push Press Catch Phase:

  • Lifter finishes standing tall

  • Legs remain straight

  • Arms extended straight overhead

Push Jerk Catch Phase:

Lifter finishes in a position low enough to get under the bar

A partial squat position, with hips flexed and legs flexed at knees