The military bench press is mainly aimed at working out the front deltas. Some mistakenly believe that this exercise was invented by the SEALs and popularized by bodybuilders. In fact, the exercise has been known for a long time, and powerlifting competitions and the introduction of crossfit complexes into training contributed to the popularization. In this article, the Spirit fitness club team. Fitness will tell you what options exist, what are the differences from the military press, and what mistakes even experienced athletes make.

The following muscles are actively working in the military press:

  • deltoid;
  • large chest;
  • triceps muscles of the shoulder;
  • anterior dentate;
  • supraspinatus muscle.
The basic exercise with the classic technique (standing with a barbell) involves many muscle groups, but it pumps the front deltas best of all, making the shoulders visually more voluminous. At the same time, unlike the press for the head, the movement is natural for our body, “does not break” the usual movements in the shoulder joints. Another benefit is that the military bench helps prepare the body and learn the timing for other benching exercises in the future.
Failure to follow the technique can result in injury. This usually happens if the athlete takes too much weight or holds the bar with the wrong grip (too wide or narrow, does not control the placement of the neck in the center of the palms). Weak back muscles (this is especially true for office workers) can prevent you from working at full amplitude, which will reduce efficiency, so a beginner should discuss with the trainer the appropriateness of this exercise.
You can not press the barbell from the chest with pain in the wrists, elbows and shoulder joints, with injuries and diseases of these joints. In case of problems with the spine, it is also recommended to consult a doctor first.

There are several options for the military press: with a barbell and dumbbells, sitting and standing. Choose a technique depending on the purpose.

  • Strength growth. In this case, you can work with both shells, but you can take more weight while standing than sitting.
  • Working deltas. 2014 study showed that the vertical dumbbell press is the best exercise to load the anterior bundle of the deltoid muscle.
  • Increased tone and increased muscle mass. More muscles are involved when the bench press is standing.
  • Reducing the load on the spine. The sitting position helps to take some of the load off the spine. The type of projectile doesn’t matter.
The military press is a heavy exercise that involves several joints, so the warm-up cannot be ignored. Increasing elasticity and warming up muscles, joints and ligaments help reduce the risk of injury.
Perform preliminary and special warm-ups. Preliminary: make circular movements with your shoulders, elbows and hands, knead each joint for 30 seconds. A special warm-up involves performing a military bench, but with less weight than what you use in working sets. Its purpose is to prepare the joints and muscles for the load, and not to load them.
Before talking about the correct technique, let’s take a short digression and explain how this exercise differs from the military and overhead presses, with which it is constantly confused.
The Military Press is a bench press exercise with a barbell in the prone position. And not just lying down, it is important here that the legs do not rest on the floor or bench: they are bent at the knees, crossed in the calf area and kept in weight. The main load falls on the muscles of the chest.

Press from behind the head – a more traumatic exercise, requires high elasticity of the muscles of the chest and shoulders. Such a movement is rarely used in everyday life, it is less characteristic of the joints, and the range of motion is less than when working from the chest.

Standing with a barbell

At the beginning of the exercise, the bar should be placed on racks at shoulder level, so it will be more convenient for you to remove it. To remove, grab the bar, put one foot forward, squat slightly and lift the barbell, then take a side step back, stepping out of the rack.
Hold the bar with a medium (shoulder-width) straight closed grip, lower it to chest level and check that it rests on the center of the palms. The legs should be parallel to each other, the forearms should be perpendicular to the floor throughout the exercise.
Squeeze the bar as you exhale: the movement of the hands should not be strictly vertical, but slightly in an arc. At the peak, the arms are straightened, the head looks forward. Then slowly lower the bar to chest level. During the push, do not help with your legs, the top should work.


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