Barbell Military Press: What is it, How to do, Muscles Worked

By , January 22nd, 2018 | Shoulder workouts | 0 Comments

What is Barbell Military Press (Barbell Overhead Press)

The barbell military press or the barbell overhead press is a weight training exercise that targets the deltoids and the triceps. Performed using a strict form and without any pre-movement momentum, it is one of the most effective workouts used for developing the shoulder muscles. The movement involves plenty of core strength for helping in stabilizing your spine when you press the weight overhead.

Barbell Military Press Benefits

  • The standing variation of the exercise helps strengthen and stabilize your core muscles – the abs, glutes, lower back, and thighs.
  • It helps improve your lockout strength and trains your muscles thereby providing a foundation to perform other movements like bench pressing and front squatting.

Barbell Military Press Exercise Information

Other Names Strict Press
Exercise Type Strength
Skill Level Intermediate
Equipment Needed Barbell
Muscles Worked Primary: Shoulders; Secondary: Back, triceps
Mechanics Compound
Force Type Push (bilateral)
Alternative Forms/Substitute Dumbbell Shoulder Press, Smith Machine Military Press
Variations Standing Barbell Military Press, Seated Barbell Military Press

How to do Seated Barbell Military Press (Seated Barbell Shoulder Press)

  • Assume a seated position on a military bench with a barbell behind your head. You may pick it up with your palms facing forward (pronated grip) or have someone to assist you with the bar. Make sure to maintain a wider than shoulder-width grip and your forearm should also make an angle of 90 degrees with the upper arm.
  • After picking up the bar with the proper grip, raise it overhead and lock your arms. Be sure to hold the barbell slightly in front of the head. It is the initial position.
  • As you inhale, bring the barbell down to your collarbone.
  • Then as you exhale, take it back to the initial position.
  • Do the required number of reps.

Seated Barbell Military (Shoulder) Press

How to do Standing Barbell Military Press (Standing Barbell Shoulder Press)

  • Place a barbell at your chest level on an adjustable squat rack. After selecting the weights, hold the barbell with your palms facing forward (a pronated grip). Make sure to maintain a wider than shoulder-width grip.
  • Slightly bending your knees, lift the bar from the rack so that you can keep it lying on the chest. Move several steps away from the rack and have your feet positioned at shoulder width.
  • Lift the barbell up and lock your arms, holding it in front of the head. It is the starting position.
  • As you inhale, bring the weight down to your collarbone.
  • As you exhale, press the barbell to return to your initial position.
  • Repeat the steps to perform the desired number of reps.

Standing Barbell Military (Shoulder) Press

Barbell Overhead Press (Strict Press) Tips

  • Keep pre-movement momentum out of this exercise and do not add any leg drive by extending and flexing your knees.
  • As you press the barbell, tighten your abs, squeeze your glutes, and avoid leaning back excessively.
  • Use a staggered stance if you are having trouble preventing an exaggerated arch in your lower back.

Video: Seated Barbell Military Press Proper Form

Hi. My name is James Gold. I'm a Fitness trainer. My goal is to inspire and motivate you to live a better life. I want to share the knowledge on how to workout properly, how to eat right when working out and to improve your health and well being.

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