Military Press Exercise
The military press, or the standing barbell press, is an exercise which effectively targets the front and side heads of the deltoids, as well as the triceps. There is some confusion regarding the military press, with some gym goers mistaking the seated pressing variations as sharing the same name as the standing press. The military press specifically refers to the standing barbell shoulder-press.
The exercise recruits the front and side deltoid heads, as previously mentioned, as well as the triceps due to the extension of the arms during the press. Some may choose to limit the range of motion of the exercise, finishing shy of lock out, in the aim of reducing the involvement of the triceps to shift the majority of emphasis onto the shoulders. Due to the exercise recruiting some assisting muscles during the movement, some chose to perform an isolation exercise prior to the press to pre-exhaust the deltoids. Executing the lateral raise before the over-head press will ensure the deltoids are tired prior to the press, maximizing the chance of the shoulders failing on the movement before the assisting muscles.
A grip which is slightly further than shoulder width is usually used, although it would be wise to take a grip which is most comfortable and feels to target the shoulders most greatly. It is worth noting that a narrow grip would result in greater triceps involvement, which would likely want to be avoided if the aim is to exercise the shoulder muscles.
Like with most over-head pressing exercises, the rear deltoid head is minimally recruited during this exercise. It may be in the interest of the trainer to perform an isolated rear deltoid exercise within a shoulder session, to ensure all three muscle heads receive stimulus.
Just as the front deltoid head receives significant stress during chest exercises, the same could be said about the rear head however.
It is argued a rep range between eight and twelve is optimal for muscle hypertrophy (growth), with a low repetition range, say below six, would be best for gains in strength.
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