The standing military press is a compound resistance training exercise to strengthen the musculature of the back and shoulder and prepare the athlete for Olympic lifts.
Aside from enhancing strength, the standing military press improves body control, coordination and prepares you for complex movement, including overhead pressing action.
Since the standing military press activated numerous muscles of the upper-body simultaneously and is part of the Olympic lifts, such as the power clean.
You want to include the overhead press into the preparation- or hypertrophy training phase if your goal is to become a powerful athlete.
Military Press Progression
If you use additional weights…make sure you use appropriate resistance so you can control the action throughout the entire range of motion. Otherwise you defeat the purpose of the exercise.
Very often, people use too much resistance and they become sloppy. Especially when it comes to maintaining core stability repetitively.
Also, don’t just progress with adding more weight. First, maximize the speed while maintaining perfect form.
Military Press Description
- Position barbell chest level on the rack; add resistance (plates) and attach safety clips
- Take an athletic stance; stand straight, feet are shoulder-width apart; knees slightly flexed; toes point forward
- Use a pronated grip (palms facing down) and place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the bar; wrists remain neutral and are in line with elbows; elbows remain close to the torso and point towards the ground; lift barbell off the rack and take a step back
- Move head slightly backward, push barbell upward and extend the elbows; while barbell moves past the head, push head forward through the arms; look forward
- Flex elbows, move head slightly back, and return barbell to starting position
Note: Exercise can also be performed with dumbbells!
Military Press Targeted Musculature
In this section we provide you with some exercises you can use to optimize your training.
The exercises have been grouped and selected based on the major muscle group(s) they target – the prime movers.
The first exercise is a dynamic warm up to increase muscle tissue temperature to prepare you for your workout.
For more info take a look at the benefits of a proper warm up routine.
The second exercise is a free-weight resistance training exercise to strengthen the respective prime movers and improve neuromuscular system efficiency.
Why? Find out more about the purpose of weightlifting for tennis players.
The third exercise is a static stretching exercise you can do following your workout as a cool down to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
Here is more information on the benefits of static stretching.