So, using a barbell may allow you to handle more weight than using dumbbells. When you stand to do overhead presses, you’re forced to stabilize your body when you do the exercise. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Research Reveals the Most Effective Shoulder Exercises, The Part of Your Shoulders You’re Probably Not Training Hard Enough. Upper Body Workouts, Your email address will not be published. Ultimately, which you do depends on your objectives. In fact, they were able to lift 7% more using the barbell. Secondly, the press is driven more by the lateral deltoids which are usually less conditioned. What about muscle activation with barbells/dumbbells and seated/standing? There are several thoughts on why it’s called the military press, one being; because this variation of the overhead press used to be the general indicator or test of one’s strength in the military. Total Body Workouts Overhead press is an exercise that works the shoulders, upper back, triceps, and biceps. But whether you use a barbell or dumbbells depends on what you’d like to target most. Doing the exercise seated and with a barbell activated the deltoids the least. Is there a benefit to one approach over the other? You can stand or sit while pressing overhead and you can press using a barbell or two dumbbells. Using a barbell also worked the triceps and biceps harder than using dumbbells. You can do the military press with a staggered stance as well, this is where one foot is in front of the other and making the stability even more challenging. Learn how your comment data is processed. In fact, it’s a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups at the same time. How about the biceps and triceps? If you have a history of back pain or spine problems, the seated overhead press may be safer too, but regardless of which approach you take, good form is critical to avoid shoulder problems. In everyday life when we lift stuff over our head it’s usually directly up, hence, not an angle we’re conditioned for, neither from the gym as most presses focus on the front. The overhead press is one of the best exercises for strengthening the shoulders and it also works the triceps and biceps. Required fields are marked *. If It Doesn't Challenge You It Doesn't Change You. At different times, they used barbells and dumbbells. You can also do this exercise standing up or seated on a bench. Kettlebell workouts, courses, books, and articles. advertisement Being a bit intimidated by barbells, most beginners start with dumbbells. Buy the book Master The Kettlebell Press. In other words, your back is taking some of the stress off … Breaking Muscle. Using dumbbells further forces your body to stabilize. Military Press. The overhead press is one of the best mass builders for your delts. When your shoulders have good mobility, there’s less of a tendency to arch your back to get the weight overhead. Again, the added stabilization of being in a seated position likely explains the difference. A lot of work goes into the stabilization underneath the weight which makes this lift a lot harder than a normal shoulder press. This means the guys were able to lift more weight overhead in a seated position than when they were standing. What’s the Best Training to Make Them Look More Defined? This means the guys were able to lift more weight overhead in a seated position than when they were standing. You can do the military press with a staggered stance as well, this is where one foot is in front of the other and making the stability even more challenging. You may find it easier and safer to use a narrow grip when lifting overhead as this reduces the tendency to flare the elbows. 21-days to Weightlifting. The other being; the heels are together like standing to attention and the press itself could be seen as a salute. Narrow Shoulders? The EMG results showed that dumbbell overhead presses in a standing position activated the three heads of the deltoids most. A true military press, no matter what you heard, seen, or been taught, is a standing press with the heels together (even more than I demonstrate in the video) and the hands wide on a bar, or when using kettlebells/dumbbells, going up laterally and working the lateral deltoids. Shoulder Shrugs Don’t Get the Attention They Deserve & Why You Need Them. Also, work on your core strength, especially if you do standing overhead presses. But first, the researchers determined the subjects’ one-rep max using dumbbells and barbells in the seated and standing position. Military presses are a type of overhead press performed with a barbell or Smith machine. Due to the feet being closely together you’re removing stability, stability is great to focus on heavy presses, but challenging stability also helps press heavier because moving the heels together requires more core stabilization, and as we all know, a strong core is key to pressing heavy. If you lack core stability, there’s a tendency to arch your back when you press overhead, and this can damage your back and spine. This variation requires keeping your heels together and using only your arms and shoulders to lift the weight. In one study, researchers asked 15 healthy men to do standing or seated overhead presses. The military press is a great shoulder building exercise that works your front shoulder muscles (anterior deltoids), top shoulder muscles (lateral deltoids), traps and triceps. Military Press Pros. As mentioned, there are various approaches to overhead presses. Again, the added stabilization of being in a seated position likely explains the difference. There is a seated side press. Staggered military press. What about standing vs. seated? Owner of Cavemantraining and Kettlebell Training Education. The motion involves lifting the barbell from shoulder height in front of the chest overhead. Performing overhead presses seated was associated with a higher one-rep max. Your core is activated more and, as this study showed, the deltoids get more stimulation in a standing position.