The military press is one of the best exercises for developing almost every major muscle group in your body, including your shoulders, upper chest, triceps, and core, and even your glutes, biceps, and lats to a lesser degree. Learning proper military press technique boils down to ingraining a few simple habits, and remembering a handful of effective cues (which you’ll learn below). The standing barbell military press is the most popular style, but the seated barbell and dumbbell military presses, push press, and dumbbell Arnold press are worth trying as well.


  1. Unrack the bar and step back.
  2. The bar should be resting in your hands right around your collarbone.
  3. To start the movement, brace your abs, squeeze your butt, tilt your head back, and drive the bar up toward the ceiling.
  4. Once the bar passes your forehead, return your head to neutral while locking your arms out overhead.
  5. At the top of the press, make sure your abs and glutes are still engaged and you’re not bending your lower back.
  6. Slowly lower the bar back down to your shoulders, tilting your head back to make room.