Military Press

MILITARY PRESS

Muscles used

military press

The military press, (also known as an overhead press) is a powerful shoulder exercise worth adding to your routine. 

Note that this exercise will predominately target your shoulders.  It will also naturally recruit other upper back muscles as well as your triceps.

How to perform a military press

Start with a barbell up over your head and your arms locked out, your grip should be just outside of shoulder width apart.  Your palms should be facing forward.

Next; slowly lower the bar down towards your shoulders (in front of your face), and stop just before the bar reaches your shoulders. 

Finally; through the same controlled movement, push the bar back up over your head in one fluid movement until your arms are fully extended.  Go for reps.

Military press: Common mistakes to avoid

Stand upright with a stable foot stance, it is important to avoid using your body as momentum.  

Incorrect form on your military press will most likely recruit other muscle groups, which in turn will poorly engage the intended muscle groups.  As a result, this will hinder your gain potential.

In addition to the above, you should keep the muscle you intend to work in mind while you are performing the exercise.  Mind muscle connection is the ideal way to ensure targeted results.

Reps and sets

Your military press needs to be worked into your overall bigger picture.  Reps and sets depend entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.

As a rule of thumb; beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point.   For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things.  The most important thing at this stage is to get started, the rest will come with experience.

On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.  See our One Rep Max Calculator for further guidance.

Beyond the military press...

Check out more shoulder exercises and of course, be sure to track your lifts.

More shoulder exercises coming soon...

Just so you know, this list of shoulder exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive.  We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates.  Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.

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