How to do the Military Press
From a seated position take a set of dumbbells held at shoulder height and press (push) your arms straight up and slowly return to starting position.
Photo source Men's Health Magazine
How to do it:
1. Sit on an adjustable bench and raise the back to perpendicular to the floor.
2. Your back should be flat and straight and feet flat on the floor with knees bent 90 degrees so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
3. Take a set of dumbbells and hold them shoulder height with palms facing away from you. Your arms should be wide enough so that your hands are outside your shoulder width.
4. Press the weight straight up holding your arms out wide. Follow your natural arm movement upwards.
5. When your arms are fully extended above you slowly return the weights to the starting position.
Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Don’t arch your back at all.
2. Don’t lean back at all.
3. Do keep your arms wide so that the dumbbells are staying in a plane with your ears.
4. Do bring the weights down low enough so that the dumbbell slightly touches the top of your shoulder.
5. Don’t lock your elbows at the top.6. Don’t move your feet.
1. Machine presses. This is one of the few machines that I will strongly recommend you NOT use. Most of the rack pivots are such that the travel puts a large stress on the shoulder joint.
2. Barbell presses. Exactly the same as the dumbbell press, just much harder. Bring the weight in FRONT of your head stopping at the highest point on your chest. Definitely use a spotter or what I do is use a Smith Machine.
3. There are many variations on hand position, arm width, how far to come down, rotating your palms, grip, standing and more. For relative beginners and the basics standard presses are plenty difficult enough.
Muscle building importance:
This move builds all three heads of the deltoids (shoulder muscles), traps, triceps and a little in the bicep. It is the all purpose shoulder move and even the most advanced lifters will do some form of overhead press for shoulder development.