Military Press: How To Military Press With Perfect Form

The military press, also known as an overhead press and a shoulder press is one of the most effective strength training exercises that can help you build bigger and stronger shoulders. We’re going to talk about the benefits and how the military press can transform your performance.

What Is The Military Press

Military press or commonly referred to as a shoulder press, strict press, or an overhead press, is a strict shoulder press, which activates several interconnected muscles groups and joints, stimulating the anterior and medial deltoids, trapezius, and upper chest. Military press is often seen in several different training methodologies, such as bodybuilding, functional training, and high-intensity workouts. Military press is traditionally performed with a barbell, as a static lift, pushing from the bar resting on your upper chest, to a complete lockout overhead.

Military Press Muscles Worked

The military press works and stimulates the upper chest, trapezius, erectors, triceps, and deltoids. Military press is a great exercise to build total upper body strength, which can translate to better athletic performance across training modalities, for better strength, core stability, peak power.

Benefits Of Military Press

1. Upper Body Strength

Military press confines and isolates the upper body and stimulates the upper chest, traps, deltoids, and triceps. What’s great about the military press, is that it’s very effective at stimulating the shoulders, helping you build a bigger and more powerful frame.

2. More Muscle 

Heavy, isolated compound movements like the military press will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and build more muscle mass and strength. As an overhead movement, the military press will also build core strength and core stability, improving posture, and balance, which translates into better athletic performance and power for other overhead movements, such as the snatch, clean and jerk, push press, and devils press.

3. Improved Body Composition 

As with all resistance training exercises, the more muscle mass you add to your frame, the more efficient your metabolism, as well as calories spent through the after-burn affect.

The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Strength training will help build more muscle mass, therefore burning more calories at rest, boosting your metabolic rate, aka increasing your body’s thermic effect. Resting muscle tissue burns 6kcal/lb per day at rest, thus the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Post workout your metabolism stays elevated through a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC also known as the after-burn effect, refers to the oxygen and energy (in calories) it takes for your body to repair your muscle tissue during recovery. EPOC can be a major contributor to your total daily caloric expenditure by increasing your body’s thermic effect [R]. Prolonged workouts with more intense resistance training at heavier weights have been associated with a more substantial EPOC [R]. 

RELATED ARTICLE What Is Thermogenesis

How To Military Press

Begin with loaded a barbell with a manageable weight for at least 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.

  • Once your barbell is loaded, place a barbell on a squat rack at about chest height. 
  • Grab the barbell with a pronated or palms facing forward grip.
  • Feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent place the barbell across your collarbone or clavicle, against your anterior deltoids.  
  • Press the bar overhead, with palms under the bar, keeping your core right and head tilted back.
  • Once the bar reaches overhead lockout, and push your arms back, and punch your face forward like you’re looking through an imaginary window
  • Push your head back, lower the bar down, coming back to starting position with the barbell resting on your collarbone.
  • Pause and repeat.

Military Press: Takeaway

Military press is a must have resistance training movement in your exercise program. Strength, power, and muscle mass are just a few of the added benefits military press can add to your performance. With heavy weight controlled and pressed overhead, military press can also provide better core strength, stability, and mobility, to produce raw power and strength in all your lifts, for optimal functionality. 


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