Barbell Shoulder: Barbell Military Press

Are you coming from Best Shoulder Workouts for Mass? If not, we recommend you check that article out first so you can understand why the Barbell Shoulder/Military Press is just one exercise to include in your shoulder workout routine. However, if you’re ready to jump into the Barbell Shoulder Press, let’s get started.

The Barbell Shoulder Press is a great workout for the Anterior head of the shoulder, one of the three parts that make up your shoulder. It will also give your triceps a good workout and all you need is a barbell and a weight rack to hold it on. You’ll be doing this exercise seated, so make sure that the bench you are sitting on is comfortable and properly positioned beneath the weight rack.


  • 1. Take a seat onto an exercise bench, underneath your weight rack. Ideally this should be a specific kind of bench- a Military Press Bench. The Barbell should be securely racked behind your head.
  • 2. Now, maintaining a straight back, grab the barbell using a pronated, palms forward, grip. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart and a 90 degree angle should be formed between the upper arm and the forearm when you lift the barbell off the rack and lower it down. Look for this 90 degree angle as an indicator of good form, because as always, better form means better, safer results.
  • 3. Once you have a solid grip on the barbell, go ahead and carefully lift the barbell up and over your head with locked arms. Maintain the barbell at about shoulder level and just in front of your head. This is how you will begin the barbell shoulder/military press.
  • 4. Now, in order to execute this barbell press, you’ll slowly lower the barbell to your collarbone. Take a deep breathe as you are doing this part of the exercise.
  • 5. Finally, lift the barbell back to the starting position, breathing out as you do so.
  • 6. Keep going until you complete your set(s). Make sure to balance this shoulder workout with the other shoulder exercises like the dumbbell bent over lateral raise and the dumbbell side lateral raise in order to maintain a healthy routine and ensure maximum gains.


Featured Image and Video: One Tallman.