Military Press Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Intermediate
  • Triceps
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Shoulders Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The military press is one of the best old school shoulder building exercises and forms the cornerstone of many good shoulder workouts. Set up for the military press by loading the weight you want to use on a barbell.
  2. Stand facing the barbell with your feet at around shoulder width apart.
  3. Grasp the barbell using a overhand grip (palms facing the floor) with your hands at around shoulder width apart.
  4. Keeping your back straight, pick up the bar off the floor and raise it to your shoulders, and then above your head. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  5. Keeping your back straight and upright (don't lean back), slowly lower the bar down until it almost touches your upper chest.
  6. Pause, and then slowly raise the barbell back up without locking the elbows out at the top of the movement.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

​Military Press Tips:

  1. It's important that you keep your body straight throughout the set. Don't lean back as this could lead to injury when using heavy weights.
  2. Keep the rep timing slow. Don't use momentum to move the weight up!
  3. Use a full range of motion by lowering the bar as far as possible, and raising all the way up without locking your elbows out at the top of the movement.
  4. Don't "rest" with the weight on your chest during the set!
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28 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:13
Jeff

This is the KING of shoulder exercises. If you're not mixing this exercises in with your routines you're missing out on mass

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Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 10:14
jatin

rocking exercise....

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Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 14:43
mohit soni

nice one

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Posted Tue, 04/17/2012 - 06:52
Ibrahim

Can dumbells be used in this exercise

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Posted Mon, 04/30/2012 - 09:51
Tom

Even with man flu when shoulders day comes round you gotta smash it. NEXT

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Posted Thu, 05/10/2012 - 17:03
Chandler

Can you use an EZ barbell for this instead of the Olympic?

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Posted Wed, 07/17/2013 - 17:53
Johnny

Should be able to, its still a bar and your still pressing upward. The wide grip you have to take shouldnt affect it anyway.

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Posted Thu, 05/10/2012 - 20:56
Chandler

Can you use an EZ barbell instead?

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Posted Fri, 07/20/2012 - 00:26
mario

Can it be done sitting down?

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Posted Thu, 10/11/2012 - 15:22
Adam

Awesome exercise! A must for shoulders!

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Posted Wed, 10/17/2012 - 13:56
Satya Prakash

Hi,

This exercise and Smith Machine Shoulder Press look same. Is there any difference. Can I use only one. Which one is better if I use only one?

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Posted Thu, 11/22/2012 - 08:03
Ben

Try to avoid the Smith Machine as it forces you into an unnatural movement.

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Posted Thu, 11/22/2012 - 13:18
Tim

While getting used to the way the exercise feels seated at the smith machine would be fine but the use of free weight will add an extra element to the work because you have to stabilize the weight. While stabilizing the weight all the muscles stay engaged and it will really rip up your shoulders.

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Posted Wed, 11/28/2012 - 00:38
Satya Prakash

Thank you all for the reply.
Yes, I saw that getting experience in Smith machine is easy and safe as I can use the safety bar there. After Smith machine I use free weight with less weight and do more repetition to pump my shoulder more.

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Posted Wed, 07/24/2013 - 13:05
Akash

I think this exercise could might as well be a substitute for the Smith machine exercise.

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Posted Sat, 11/03/2012 - 11:13
Ibrahim300

This workout works like magic. Awesome

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Posted Fri, 12/07/2012 - 05:06
Rohit

Whats the difference b/w Smith press machine and military press if i go with military press is it ok or i have to do both exercise.

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Posted Sat, 12/22/2012 - 00:11
Bajalani

This one made me really sore.

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Posted Fri, 01/18/2013 - 12:02
dharmendra singh

good

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Posted Fri, 03/29/2013 - 09:14
Lenny

Do i increase the weight on the military press like I do the squats,and deadlifts?

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Posted Mon, 04/01/2013 - 23:04
Joe

I've seen tutorials that say to lock out your shoulders and arms at the top of the movement to maximize hypertrophy.

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Posted Tue, 04/02/2013 - 08:26
Tebo

Hi,

Is there an alternative to this exercise, like using dumbells for example? I'm female and I've found that the men at gym tend to hog the bar bells.

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Posted Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:07
mnsjason

You can certainly sub dumbbells for the barbell, so no worries. Simply perform the same movement, and you should be just fine.

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Posted Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:11
Tony

you can also do something called the alternate Russian press, two dumb bells, one in each hand, starting position is with both hands up in the air straight above your head, don't lock elbows, lower one down, keep elbow out front with arm about a 30* in front as well, press back up, lower the other side, repeat, you can do this seated, however standing is harder which means, better for you!! good luck

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Posted Sat, 05/04/2013 - 11:31
Ash

Power clean or military press? Is it ok to mix the two in same work out?

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Posted Wed, 03/26/2014 - 17:39
Michael

I wonder if I could do this with dumbbells?

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Posted Wed, 05/21/2014 - 14:42
Brian

I hurt my rotator cuff about four years ago. I reinjured it doing the military press about two to three years ago. Is there another exercise that I can do that would be safe for me?

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Posted Tue, 05/27/2014 - 08:46
ray

dont seem to be able to get motivated anymore constantly tired workout at home need someone to give me a kick up the arse