Military Press Vs Overhead Press: Which Is Better For You?

Military press vs overhead press

Military press: An overview

The military press has been around for generations and is still a standard strength-training regime as it is an actual lift. This exercise regime has many benefits, especially if you want to build strong, muscular arms.

The military press is basically a full-body exercise, which challenges your muscles to work together as one. That means that the exercise also helps you work out your back, abs, shoulder muscles, forearms, and even your chest and glutes to some degree. It also makes sure that your knees, hips, and your ankles stay supple.

If you want to make your deltoid muscle grow bigger and stronger or build your chest and shoulder press into impressive strength, there are a few things that you can do to maximize your workouts and ensure that you get the most out of your time.

First of all, you want to make sure that you’re using the right technique for your target muscle. If you’re doing the military press with dumbbells, you need to lift your dumbbells directly above your head. Doing the military press with a barbell will help you keep the barbell lower than your head, ensuring that it’s above your head, too.

The incline press will put a greater strain on your shoulders than a flat-bench press does, so if you’re working on your shoulder presses, use incline presses instead of lying flat on a bench. Finally, don’t forget about working different angles during your workouts.

Military presses are a lot of fun to perform, but they’re also a lot of hard work. People’s biggest mistake when exercising with this exercise regime is that they don’t spend enough time working through their deltoids and triceps. These are the large muscle groups at the front and rear of your body, so spending an hour each day working them will have tremendous benefits both physically and mentally.

Overhead press: An overview

The overhead press, also known as the dumbbell press, lateral raise, or just the old-fashioned press, is an ancient weight lifting exercise with several variations designed to target different muscles and joints. The key to using the overhead press correctly is making sure that you use enough weight, and perform the exercise in a controlled manner, and that it doesn’t cause you to use more than your body can handle safely.

Although the overhead press is often the bane of many a fitness enthusiast’s existence, if performed properly, it can be an extremely effective tool for increasing overall strength, building muscle mass, and adding definition to your physique.

The overhead press consists of a series of lifts, and these lifts are performed by either picking up the dumbbells overhead (vertical) or standing directly behind the dumbbells ( horizontal). This technique can work out different muscle groups and help you gain a better grip on the weight.

To do the overhead press properly, you need first to make sure that your grip is strong enough so that you don’t fall into the trap of lifting the weight too far, causing the entire weight of your body to shift towards your knees.

You can test this by placing a hand on the barbell just above where the elbow would normally go and then extending your arm towards the sky to see if your hand can still reach above your head. Once you are comfortable with your grip, you’re ready to move on to the next step of your workout.

The third and final step of the workout is to do a lateral raise, which is a variation of the vertical or lateral raise, done by stepping back (or even sideways) from the rack and bending your knees to increase the vertical height of your body.

Ideally, you should do three sets of ten reps, each of which should only take twenty seconds, allowing you to spend at least five minutes working through your shoulders. You should alternate between sets, pausing between them every three or four seconds, which will force you to develop an endurance element within yourself as you work out.

As you get more used to exercising with a barbell, you will start to find it easier to lift the maximum weight that you can, which will lead you to build up quite a bit of muscle mass very quickly.

Military press vs overhead press

You’ll quickly learn the difference between military press and overhead press if you’re new to bodybuilding. They can sound almost the same, but there are a few key differences that set them apart.

So let’s begin by learning what each of these exercises does (Military press vs overhead press).

The first difference is that military presses are performed with your hands on the floor or against a wall. They are performed under strict control, as the weight of your body is pressed up against the bar. As the weight is being pressed, your back muscles must work at their maximum potential to avoid being stressed, which often leads to poor form and injury. This type of press method is not often used for beginners, as it does require a great deal of control and concentration.

On the other hand, overhead presses are performed by using a flat bench or an exercise bench that doesn’t have a back. These types of exercises are more explosive in nature and use the entire body to perform them. As your muscles grow in size and strength, you will find that your pressing actions will change since your body will now support the increased weight. The result is a faster workout and better overall muscular development.

The second difference (When it comes to military press vs overhead press) is in which parts of your body are targeted during each press. While the primary muscles trained during military presses are your back, shoulder, chest, triceps, and your legs. Because the legs are used to support the weight, your calf muscles will be engaged when you perform this type of press, requiring more calf muscle strength than with military presses. This will allow you to perform a much more intensive workout, which is good if you want bigger calves.

Overhead presses can be performed with dumbbells, barbells, and with a mixture of both. The key thing to remember is that the most effective workouts combine the best of both press methods to provide maximum results. The best thing about these types of exercises is that they stress and stimulate all of your muscles simultaneously so that your body learns how to recruit and use its fullest potential. These exercises are also highly effective for your lower body since your legs utilized to maintain good balance and prevent injuries.

The third difference between military press and overhead press is in what order you perform them. Military presses are performed with your arms directly behind your head, while overhead presses are performed with your shoulders over your head, placing the weight on your upper body.

This can make a dramatic difference in your form, as your shoulder kept lifted during the whole exercise. Overhead presses do not require that much muscle to perform, but they are incredibly strenuous because you are lifting the weight from out of the air.

The military press requires that you keep your shoulders elevated all the way up because if you try to cheat and lift the weight by bending your knees, it can damage your back.

Military press vs overhead press: Which is better?

This is a common debate among bodybuilders, fitness experts, and other people who train their chest regularly. The reason why this debate exists is that each of these styles of pressing has its own merits. While both pressing styles perform similar functions in terms of increasing the amount of time it takes to lift a certain weight, they also have unique advantages and disadvantages.

When it comes to pressing strength, there is no real contest about military press vs overhead press. Both styles can put out a similar amount of strength, which is around 95 pounds per muscle. The difference lies mainly in how much weight you can lift and in which style you can perform these presses.

When it comes to increasing your maximum strength, both styles of presses can get you to a particular limit. However, when it comes to increasing your functional strength, only overhead presses surpass military presses.

When you compare military presses with overhead presses, the winner is military presses. Military presses involve an elevated range of motion that is more difficult than any regular pressing. This means that, unlike regular presses, your pec muscles (the ones that actually do the work during a press) must be recruited to perform the movement.

This increased muscle recruiting results in a stronger, higher-velocity contraction, which means that your workout will be quicker and more effective.

In addition to recruits being used to perform these presses, overhead presses differ from military presses because you do not have to fully extend (or return) to the top of the rep. Instead, you simply lower the barbell down, keeping it at the original height, and press it again.

Military presses require that you return to the starting position as if performing a regular pressing movement. Because of this, the motion used to lower the barbell to the starting position, known as the concentric motion, is used. Since the distance you need to travel to get to the top is longer than that required for standard pressing movements, military presses can be much more time-consuming, thus, faster.

While both pressing styles require different ranges of motion and exertion, how you perform differs as well. With overhead presses, you use your pecs to handle the stress of the motion and, therefore, have to recruit muscle to carry out the motion. This makes the movement take longer to potentially end up using more muscles to complete the exercise than with military presses.

The military press, by contrast, uses lighter weights and does not require the use of extra muscles to complete the exercise. As a result, military presses are usually quicker and more efficient than overhead presses.

As you can see, there is no clear winner when it comes to the question of “what is better: military press vs  overhead press?”

So make sure to consider how each style of pressing exercise will best meet your goals before making a final decision. If you do so, you will find that there is no right or wrong answer but rather a mixture of the best presses to hit the target muscle area in the most efficient and natural way possible.

Also Read:

Cardio Vs Strength Training: Which Is Better For Losing Weight And Building Muscle?

Squats Vs Lunges: Which One Is More Effective Than The Other?


In conclusion, there’s no clear-cut winner between the military press vs overhead press, at least from a functional standpoint. Both workouts give you a solid workout that helps you build strong, functional muscle.

As far as which one is superior, I personally prefer the overhead press because it’s easier on my joints, and I can do more weight. If you have a few weeks or days when you’re not doing much else, a regular barbell press would be better. It’s just that these two exercises don’t necessarily do a good job of either complementing each other.

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