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Is a Military Press the same as a behind the neck shoulder press?

By: anonymous
I feel like being politically correct today!

Apparently a lot of people are confused with the term of a real military press. The term Military Press has been dubbed for all shoulder presses now apparently and that was not it's original description.

The term "military" refers to the posture taken during the execution of the exercise: hold yourself like a soldier standing at attention: chest puffed out, heels close together, legs straight, chin tucked in, shoulders back.

That's a real MILITARY PRESS...soldiers don't sit at attention, they stand, thus the term!

So the only difference between a shoulder press and a military press is that military presses are done standing up and shoulder presses are done in the seated position, both in essence though are shoulder presses.

ALSO: A true military press is NOT BEHIND THE NECK either..
Behind the neck is a basic shoulder press or "behind the neck shoulder press".

Standing Military Press
Correct way to do a Military Press

So all those who have referred to seated shoulder presses or behind the neck presses as being MILITARY PRESSES, you were wrong!

Behind the head puts lots of stress on the rotator cuff. You may not have problems now, but the more weight you try to press, the higher the risk of injury. It's not wrong, it is a good exercise for light weight-high reps, but there is a "better" way. Again, genetics may have gifted you with such a build that this is less risk based on your size/frame/etc.

It is NOT a natural movement (behind the head shoulder press). I've gone to standing barbell press (from seated Smith machine). Whenever I see people doing the press behind the head, you can see they can not really put a lot of weight on the bar, or they start to lose form, or it doesn't feel "right" as they put it. Not really sure if it's the "best" mass builder, but it's definitely top 3.

There is one way, and there are better ways. What works for you, and the risk you accept is up to the individual.






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