Standing Military Press – A must-do for your shoulders!

The standing military press is a shoulder exercise that developed the name “Military Press” because it was originally used as a test in the military to test strength.  The military press is not a complicated exercise.  It is however recommended that when you first start doing the standing military press that you start with lighter weights until you’ve battle tested your strength.  Your rotator cuffs are vulnerable when training with this exercise so it’s very important to make sure you execute proper form.  It’s not worth blowing out a shoulder and costing you valuable time out of the gym due to recklessness.

The Standing Military press is another fantastic full body workout.  When you do the exercise standing you do cushion a little bit of the pressure off your rotator cuffs because you engage your lower body at the same time.  Seated Military presses tend to put more direct pressure on your shoulders putting your rotator cuffs more at risk.  If you aren’t feeling much of a leg workout when doing a standing military press, chances are your form is not perfect.  Practice feeling it in your legs similarly to the way you would if you were doing a deadlift.

How Do I Do a Standing Military Press?

  • Place the Barbell or Dumbbells on the floor at your feet.
  • Reach down, knees bent and pick up the barbell or dumbbells.
  • Slowly raise the barbell or dumbbells to your shoulders.
  • Push the barbell or dumbbells up until your arms have fully locked firmly above your head.
  • Rinse and repeat for your next reps, always keeping your knees slightly bent.

Below is a great video executing the proper form of a Standing Military Press:

Standing military presses are another compound exercise that works the following muscles in tandem:

  • Shoulders
  • Traps
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Glutes
  • Triceps

The standing military presses are great mass builders for your shoulders.  Because it’s considered a compound lift, I would not add military presses to a workout day that would include bench presses.  They work similar muscle groups so it’s more beneficial to have each exercise utilized on alternate days to get the biggest benefit.  I can’t stress enough how important it is that when you are first attempting this exercise, you have to go light to break yourself in.  Work yourself up to the heavy weights and once you’ve gotten a feel for the exercise, feel free to test yourself.  Speaking from personal experience, a rotator cuff injury can be extremely disabling when it comes to keeping your strength training routine in good form.

Standing Military Press Wrap Up:

The standing Military Press should be part of any strength training workout routine.  With the advantages of working so many body parts in one training session, the standing military press should be a part of any workout routine, new beginner or someone that’s been lifting for years.  If executed properly, the hard work you put in on Standing Military Presses will pay out dividends to your overall conditioning.  As always, nutrition and proper supplementation will play a major role in any fitness routine, so make sure you do your research and check out our full list of supplement reviews as well.

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