The Military Press: a Basic Exercise for Strong Shoulders

28th November 2019
The military press is a very basic exercise--and that's precisely why we sometimes lack the care and precision needed during execution. In our post today, read about how to do it properly, step-by-step and how to prevent injuries.

The military press is a must for any shoulder routine. Many people perform them as they come in many variations and don’t require advanced techniques. But there are certain recommendations you should keep in mind when doing them.

Their easy execution and high efficiency make them a forever classic for shoulders. In addition, they help define and build muscle mass.

In our post today, let’s take a look at each step in this exercise. We also want to explain the possible dangers that you could face if you do the exercise incorrectly. There are three easy tips to keep in mind.

What body areas does the military press work out?

The military press is one of the most popular shoulder exercises. The shoulders get a really good workout from the reps. In addition, the upper arms also have to chip in some effort as well.

Not many exercises as simple as the military press can work out so many muscles at the same time. Here are all the muscles that benefit from this exercise:

  • Deltoid muscles.
  • Pectoral muscles.
  • Biceps.
  • Triceps.

Military press with dumbbells or barbell

To do a military press with dumbbells, you just need a pair of light dumbbells. We recommend sitting down when doing the exercise as it’ll help you keep your back straight.

First, straighten your back and neck. Separate your feet until they’re hip-width apart. After, grab your dumbbells and lift them towards your shoulders. Keep your palms facing forward as you lift.

military press dumbbells

Now, tighten your stomach muscles to stabilize your posture and to work out those muscles as well. When you’re stable, lift your arms up and lower them back down to your shoulders.

See? It’s not complicated at all. But make sure you follow each step carefully!

If it’s hard for you to lift both of the dumbbells at the same time, swap the dumbbells for a light barbell instead. A barbell with save you coordination problems and allow you to follow through the exercise more easily. Follow the same steps.

If you work out at a gym, keep in mind that there are military press machinesThey’ll make the exercise even easier.

In addition, you can count on the help of professional trainers to make sure that you’re doing the exercises correctly. The correct technique is essential for preventing workout-related injuries.

Don’t make these mistakes!

As with all kinds of physical exercise, you should follow through all military press variations in the proper way. Executing an exercise incorrectly won’t only hinder you from reaching your objectives, but will also raise your risk of injury.

Considering those risks, you should try to tackle the exercises under professional supervision. Or, at least seek help from a personal trainer for your first sessions. After you feel more comfortable with the exercises, you can do them on your own.

military press help

The biggest mistakes that you should avoid are the following:

  • Hunching your back forward: make sure you keep your back straight at all times. If your back isn’t straight, your body will experience overload and might suffer an injury. As you’re doing the exercise, keep a close eye on your back. You can also stop after each set to check your posture.
  • Slighting tilting your head down: in addition to the back, we often forget to keep our neck in the proper position. Try to follow the line of your back; don’t tilt your head down as a way to monitor your movements.

Lastly, another big mistake is tackling weights that are too heavy. Lifting heavier weights won’t help you reach your goals faster. Instead, make sure your weights suit your level and progress. Increase them progressively.

And don’t rush progress. Follow the recommendations of your personal trainer. These simple recommendations and preventative measures will make sure that you can enjoy all of the benefits that the military press has in store for your shoulders.

 

  • Pablo Añón. Entrenamiento de la fuerza orientado a actividades deportivas. Biokinetics. https://g-se.com/uploads/statics/img/g-se/CEP-ENTRENAMIENTO-FUERZA-ORIENTADO-ACTIVIDADES-DEPORTIVAS.pdf
  • Ejercicios para el tren superior. AMICI. http://www.amicivirtual.com.ar/assets/files/musculacion/7ejercicios%20para%20miembro%20superior.pdf
  • Press militar: técnica, consejos, errores comunes, etc. Youtube Powerexplosive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_Buh54Sb-w
  • Araya, G. A. (2012). Actividad Fisica, Ejercicio y Deporte. Universidad de Costa Rica.