Military Press/Overhead Extension

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Military Press/Overhead Extension

Exercise Description

Main Target Muscles

Shoulders

Secondary Target Muscles

Abs, Traps, Triceps

Workout Type

Strength 

Gym Gear

Barbell

Fitness Level

Intermediate

Compound/Isolated 

Compound

Power Move 

Push

Target Muscle Group: Shoulders

Military Press/Overhead Extension Overview

The military press is an excellent shoulder exercise that builds shoulder muscle. There are many different names for the military press. It is also known as the overhead press, shoulder press, and strict press.

The primary purpose of the military press is to build deltoid muscles. The military press indirectly targets your shoulder muscles, triceps, and core. The military press is performed standing up and requires a lot of core strength to stabilize the spine while lifting weight overhead.

 You can target the deltoids in various ways with the military press.

The military press variations include

  • Seated Military Press
  • Dumbbell Military Press
  • Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Arnold Press
  • Behind The Neck Military Press
  • Smith Machine Military Press

To reap the benefits of one of the best shoulder exercises, add a variant of the military press to your shoulder exercise. 

How to do it

  •  Set the barbell at just below the shoulder height and then add the weight you desire to the bar.
  • Take a shoulder-width stance and hold your bar with a pronated grip.
  • While balancing your spine neutrally, step underneath the bar to unrack it. 
  • Get two steps back, inhale and brace your chest. Tuck your chin then press the button to lock out the bar overhead.
  • Once the bar locks out, exhale and slowly reverse the movement while keeping the bar close to your chest.
  • Continue repeating until you reach the desired number of repetitions.

Military Press/Overhead Extension Tips

  1. At the top, reach high, and don't be afraid to keep your shoulders down.
  2. Allow your elbows to turn and point outward at the top of the movement, but keep them tucked into your ribcage at the bottom.
  3. You can control the bar by rolling your wrists in extension. Instead, think about "rolling your knuckles towards the ceiling.”
  4. You should keep the momentum going and not add leg drive by flexing or extending your knees.
  5.  Press your belly and squeeze your glutes. The pressing shouldn't cause you to lean back too much. 
  6. Imagine that you are trying to see out the top of a window. Your ears should align with your biceps.
  7. Try a wider grip or one of the vertical pressing techniques if your shoulders are bothering during the movement.
  8. To prevent your lower back from arching too much, you can try a staggered stance. If that fails to work, you can use the half-kneeling regression shown on the site.

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