If Rambo was a real person, the standing military press would be his favourite weight training exercise. A variation of the overhead press, it derives its name from its use in the military as a strength indicator.
If you want to get in shape, the military press is definitely a move worth mastering, as it targets the shoulder, upper arm and leg muscles simultaneously. Here's how to do it correctly.
A military press involves lifting a weight straight upwards until the arms are locked out overhead (similar to the finishing position that professional weight lifters adopt.) It's essentially a whole-body exercise that works the core, legs, deltoid muscles and triceps all at once.
Here are the main steps from the Bodybuilding.com website:
- Grab the barbell using a pronated (palms facing forward) grip. Make sure to grip the bar wider than shoulder width.
- Slightly bend the knees and place the barbell on your collar bone. Lift the barbell up keeping it lying on your chest. Take a step back and position your feet shoulder width apart from each other.
- Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip length, lift the bar up over your head by locking your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.
- Lower the bar down to the collarbone slowly as you inhale.
- Lift the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
As with any exercise, it's a good idea to observe the lift being demonstrated before trying it yourself to ensure you have the right technique. Here's a video to set you on your way. Good luck!
Like most guys of a certain vintage, I have mixed feelings about my body. Staying lean and not surrendering to the siren’s call of the dreaded 'Dadbod' is a key concern. But then so is building and maintaining enough muscle so that I can keep up with the young bucks on the soccer field or in the gym.
One of the main keys to success is your diet. You need a meal plan that's high in healthy carbs, fats and proteins. More importantly, it needs to be easy to prepare and affordable - so you'll actually stick to it.
This story has been updated since its original publication.