Military Presses

Anyone here do MP’s with any progress? I want to do them regularly, but my left shoulder really acts up after doing them. Are there certain grips or styles of military pressing that should be avoided? I press with a pretty narrow grip, standing with the back straight, elbows out about 45 degrees. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, guys.


Bro, You are probably experiencing problems with your rotary cuff. Doing some cuff excercise should strengthen the muscles surrounding it.

Also grip the bar with your hands just about 4-6 inches wider than your shoulders.

Works for me. Good Luck

I prefer standing overhead presses (to the front), push presses and jerks. They seem to work the best for me.

Military presses seem to be less effective and do tend to cause pain in many people. You may want to switch exercises.

Cowboy is absolutly correct! Every time you work your shoulers you NEED to do some rotor cuff work FIRST!!! Do you regularly warm-up ? Stretch BEFORE you w/o? Vary grip/style-behind neck,wide grip, very wide,close,narrow.Plus other exercises can help strengthen your press.Don’t be afraid to try something new. IF YOU KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE,YOU WILL CONTINUE TO GET WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS GOTTEN!!!

As far as rotator work, I have a 30-pound lying external rotation, and a 25-pound up-right external rotation. These are for about 5 reps. I can’t bench or OH press ASS, so I think my rotators are in order.

I stretch consistently, too.

One post referred to "front presses" instead of MP's. I think we're talking about the same thing. When I say military press, I'm not thinking bent-back style oly presses; just strait up and down, off the upper chest like you racked the bar for a clean with a supinated grip. Is that what you're thinking? Maybe a detailed description of your front press could help me with my military press, if you have the time. Thanks!


Sorry to say but you need some ART. Exercise form is important, but adhesions in the involved tissue will always hold you back. I would also recommend a very thorough shoulder evaluation by a competent sports physician, such aas Dale Buchberger, D. C. at New York Chiropractic College. He’s one of Dr. Leahy’s instructors and is a whiz with shoulders. He was one of the presenters at the sports injury conference in toronto last weekend.

Military presses go a long way in improving bench poundages. The thing is, go too heavy they often screw up shoulders and vertebral columntoo. Why dont you do a few sets of external and internal rotations before you begin. Train the rotator cuffs to near failure with low sets and high reps, then do the militaries. I may be wrong, but i like to think that this pattern of training leads to increased rotator cuff recruitment when doing militaries. I dont think its important to blast shoulders to failure. You are already getting plenty of delt work if you train back/chest on a regular basis. If your pondages decrase, its no big deal, you are still training your shoulders.

I have used Military presses for extended periods and have gotten very good results with strength. The developement I got was ok, but I did it mostly for the strength gains. Starting pressing types of exercises with a shoulder width grip seems to be about standard. I started all my presses at shoulder width and adjusted outwards in small increments as I gained size.

In poliquins great Achieving structural balance atricle (No.52) he says: “these issues can range from a tight Subscabularis to a weak Infraspinatus”

If you have tight Subscapularis, Strech it!
It helped me immidiately. -Sid

Military presses are the same thing as front presses. You may indeed be a candidate for ART but there are MANY other options available to try BEFORE you have to take out a morgage for this(thanks anyway Doc).