Military Press (Overhead Shoulder Press)

Military Press (Overhead Shoulder Press)

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Secondary Muscle(s) TricepsAbdominals
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push

Military Press (Overhead Shoulder Press) Instructions

  • Feet positioned in an athletic stance slightly outside shoulder-width. Your knees are slightly bent and toes pointed straight ahead.
  • The core is braced and engaged.
  • Grip the barbell slightly outside of shoulder-width. Your wrist should be stacked on top of your elbow. Do not let your wrist "roll back".
  • As you grip the barbell, create torque off the bar by externally rotating your shoulder blades back into their sockets. 
    • You are creating a strong, safe shoulder position to press from
  • Keep the bar-path as straight as possible as you press, moving your head around the bar. 
    • Think about bringing your armpits forward as you press
  • At the top, the bar is directly above your head with your elbows are locked out.
    • Neck is in a neutral position with your eyes fixated straight ahead.
    • Ribs are stacked on top of your pelvis.
    • Glutes are engaged with your knees slightly bent.
  • Lower the bar on the same path and move your head behind the bar to the starting position.
  • Lower to roughly eye-level then press back up. 
    • The bottom position is relative to each person and his/her mobility restrictions. 


  • Do not let your low back excessively arch (lumbar). You do have thoracic extension while keeping your core braced.
  • Your elbows should not flare excessively. 
    • Either internal or external.
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