How To Do Standing Barbell Military Press

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How To Do Standing Barbell Military press

The barbell military press is an excellent routine for your shoulder muscles, and with reasonable weight on the barbell, something that even beginners can safely and effectively perform. The entry level to a lot of exercises is, of course, a problem, and even when starting out, you want a balanced set that targets all of your muscle groups evenly. 

Beginner-level exercises for the shoulders can be one of the harder types to find if you don’t know where to look, as a lot of them involve advanced things like lifting your entire body weight, or assuming advanced positions requiring trained control that you haven’t yet had a chance to train into your muscle memory. 

This is such a simple, but effective routine, and excellent for beginners. 

What You Need 

All you really need is a barbell, and with just enough weight to make you work to lift it. You not only don’t need a lot of weight, it’s actually not a good idea, even if you’re already pretty ripped. It’s not a bad idea to also have a good pair of gloves, to ensure a safe grip. 

Standing Barbell Military press Muscles Worked

By Anatomography – en:Anatomography (setting page of this image), CC BY-SA 2.1 jp, Link


  • Grip the barbell at neck level, arms bent at the elbows, hands about 1/3 further apart than shoulder length. Your palms should be facing outward, away from you. 
  • Bending the elbows and shoulders, list the barbell upward until your elbows lock, your arms fully-extended. Your arms should be making a V shape as you hold the barbell in this position. 
  • Hold this for a second or so, gripping the bar tightly. 
  • Lower it back to neck level slowly, not letting gravity do this for you. Watch your head! 


Don’t use a lot of weight for this exercise. It’s not necessary, and is actually very dangerous. If you have upper back, shoulder or elbow joint problems, consult your doctor before performing this routine. 

Be sure that your motions are slow – not thrusts. Otherwise, you’d be surprised how easily you could bonk your chin or head, and it will really, really hurt! 

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