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The military press is a variation of the overhead press weight training exercise.

The military press targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders. Additionally, it works the core and legs, because the lifter must use them to help stabilize the weight.

The lift begins with the lifter standing heels together and the barbell on the anterior deltoids. The lifter then raises the barbell overhead by pressing the palms of his hands against the underside of the barbell.

In professional wrestling, the Gorilla press slam is sometimes referred to as the military press slam. It involves lifting an opponent clear overhead and then dropping or tossing them, or modifying the move into something else.



The deltoid muscle has a dynamic activation to about 90 - 120 degrees of abduction, then it has an almost static function the rest of the lift. The rest of the movement is mainly due to contraction of Trapezius muscle pars acendens, Serratus anterior muscle and trapezius pars decendens. They work together to tilt the Scapula to a position that make the glenoid cavity point superiorly enabeling the last degrees of abduction of the shoulder. Other muscles contributing is the Supraspinatus muscle and biceps brachii muscle caput longum. The rotator cuff is also active to pull the caput humeri into the glenoid cavity and counteract the superior forces of caput humeri created by the deltoid. The triceps contributes to the extension of the elbow, and counter act the force from biceps caput longum.

See also


Further reading

  • Mark Rippetoe with Lon Kilgore, Starting Strength, The Aasgaard Company Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-9768-0540-5.
  • A.I. Kampanji, "The physiology of the joints, Volume 1: The upper limb


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