Shoulder Press: Overhead / Military Press Exercise

Shoulder Press: Overhead / Military Press Exercise

The shoulder press is the best way to bulk up and tone your shoulders. The shoulder press, or Overhead / Military Press, as it is also known, also works your traps and triceps. You can use barbells, dumbbells, or use your body weight as part of a cardio workout. With weights, keep them in front of you for this exercise, don’t lift them behind your head. This exercise specifically focuses on the anterior portion of your shoulders.

  • Main Muscle Used: Shoulders
  • Secondary Muscles: Traps, Triceps
  • Equipment Required: Dumbbell, Band, or Barbell
  • Movement: Compound
  • Exercise Type: Push

Here is a great video explanation of how to do the Shoulder Press:

To do the Overhead / Military Press Exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart, (a bit tighter for Military Press).
  2. Exhale, as you lift the barbell or dumbbells above your head.
  3. Lock your shoulders out briefly, then inhale as you bring the weight back down to starting position.

Shoulder Press Variations

Shoulder Press Exercise

  1. Use a narrow grip with low reps to work the bulkier, closer section of your shoulder.
  2. Use a wide grip with high reps, if you are going for definition and toning.

Popular Shoulder Press Workout:

Harley Pasternack, a celebrity personal trainer, has his clients do the seated shoulder press. He wants them to have  a mental cue, while doing the exercise. He says:

Reach for the ceiling, as if you’re cheering for your favorite team.

Marco Borges, Jay-Z and Beyonce workout trainer, says that when doing the bicep curl into the shoulder press:

Curl the dumbbells up to the chest, then press up above your chest. Keep your movement fluid and smooth from the first step through the last.

Also, you can get your hips and knees involved in this exercise. On an incline bench, perform your normal routine. In addition, raise your legs until they’re tucked into your body. Lower your legs as you lower the dumbbells.

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press

A popular version of the Shoulder press is the Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press. Here’s a video illustrating to you how to do the Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press:

Resistance Band Shoulder Press

The Resistance Band Shoulder Press is great if you can’t get to the gym. With resistance bands, you can work your shoulders from anywhere.

Kettlebell Shoulder Press Variations:

You can also do the shoulder press using kettlebells. Don’t mind the dogs, throughout the video!

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