It’s no surprise that we find the Military Press magnificent, here are the 7 reasons why;
1. It’s great for building muscle size and strength. The shoulders as a muscle group aren’t terribly big by surface area, but developing good shoulder muscles is vital to give up a nice shape to the upper body. Military press does that because it works the entire traps and deltoid complex, as well as the triceps and core.
2. It helps improve Bench Press strength. This is because in a Bench Press, the last and shoulders work together to stabilise the shoulder girdle, providing a solid foundation for the muscles in the chest to push from. The stronger the stabilisers, the stronger the foundation, and the greater force it can handle.
3. It has a positive impact on shoulder health. This is because as explained in point 1, it incorporates every muscle classified in the shoulders muscle group. This includes the 5 small muscles that work tirelessly inside the rotator cuff to provide stability and support in every rep.
4. It helps strengthen the lower back. This is because as the bar gets higher, the load through the core increases. Your core is made up of 4 major components, the pelvic floor, the diaphragm, the erector spinae and the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is a muscular belt that essentially incorporates the lower back, and wraps around your front to the belly button between the last rib and the top of your hips. This group of muscles has to work together to hold your position steady when the bar is at its uppermost.
5. It improves sports performance. This is again because it is a large compound exercise using more than one group of muscle or one joint. These exercises as we’ve mentioned encourage the muscular system to work as a team, just as they would be required to do in any sporting movement.
6. It’s more than just a shoulder exercise. The Military Press has a few variants, you can obviously go to a seated position, or use a Swiss ball to provide instability and work the core a little harder. Alternatively you can go the other way into push press or push jerk which both load the legs, core, shoulders and arms. Note at this point that a push press can be upto 20% heavier than a static shoulder press. Using the legs to help drive the weight up, and your shoulders and arms to control the weight back down will allow you to significantly boost your gains!
7. It’s a classic exercise, and it’s more fun and effective than it is classic. Seriously, who doesn’t want to come to the gym and be able to lift weight above their heads? It doesn’t only look good, but repeating over head reps in small controlled amounts can have a positive impact on reducing blood pressure in the long term.