Fitness and Diet

Shoulder Press VS. Military Press.

Military press and shoulder press are both workouts for your shoulders, but they’re not the same. 

People often mix them up without knowing how they work different muscles. Basically, the military press is strict and works more muscles, while the shoulder press is a bit more flexible and focuses on your shoulders. Use them right to get the best results in your workout.

The Key Takeaway. 

The military press is a strict workout that strengthens your shoulders by pushing up weights without help from your legs. The shoulder press is more flexible, letting you use different moves and equipment, sometimes including your legs. If Both are great for shoulder strength, but they’re not the same thing. 

What’s the Difference Between Military Press and Shoulder Press?

Military PressShoulder Press
This exercise doesn’t use leg drive. It’s great for building muscle. If you’re a bodybuilder or want to grow muscles, go for this one. Here, you use leg drive. It’s very helpful for Olympic lifts or overall strength gain.

The Military Press.

The military press is an exercise where you lift a barbell while standing up. It mainly targets your shoulders and triceps. When doing the military press, avoid jerking or using your legs to push the weight up. Doing so removes the purpose of the exercise.

The military press is great for building muscle. But, it’s not the best choice if you want to focus on pure strength. 

Why? Because the strict form (no jerking or leg drives) prevents you from lifting the heaviest weights and generating maximum force. So, if you want strong shoulders, the military press makes sense. But if you’re after total strength, there are better options.

How to do it:

  • Use a power rack or squat rack.
  • Place your hands a bit wider than your shoulders.
  • Lift the barbell without jerking or using your legs.
  • Keep your core (stomach) tight to maintain balance.

The Shoulder Press.

The shoulder press exercise is using a barbell where you use your legs to lift heavy weights over your head. It helps build strength by using leg power to lift the most weight. It boosts coordination and leverages and it directly helps competition performance.

How to do it:

  • Start at a power rack or squat rack.
  • Place your hands a bit wider than shoulder width.
  • Lift the bar by pushing with your legs.
  • Keep your core tight for balance.

Military Press VS. Shoulder Press.

Military Press.

The military press is a compound strength-training exercise that mainly targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders. In a strict military press:

  • The lifter stands with their feet together.
  • They lift a barbell from shoulder height to overhead in a vertical motion.
  • Leg drive or momentum is not used. 

Shoulder Press. 

The shoulder press refers to different overhead pressing exercises that target the shoulder muscles. 

  • It can include the military press, but it’s also used for exercises where weight is pressed overhead using the shoulders.
  • The dumbbell shoulder press or machine shoulder press fall under this category.
  • The shoulder press allows for more flexibility in body positioning and equipment used.

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