T Nation

Military Press Question

I have one question, after reading another forum(my bad) on military press, when pressing infront of your head how far are you meant to go down? generally i go till i hit my chin pretty much, is this correct?

Yep, to the chin.

Can anyone explain the differences between pressing in front and behind the head? Is one better than the other for certain muscles? Is one worse for the shoulders?

Thanks!

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Can anyone explain the differences between pressing in front and behind the head? Is one better than the other for certain muscles? Is one worse for the shoulders?

Thanks![/quote]

behind the neck is more efficient at recruiting motor unit but it is harder on the shoulder. I personally prefer military press bringing it down to the chin instead to the clavicle to keep the muscle contraction during the entire exercice.

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Can anyone explain the differences between pressing in front and behind the head? Is one better than the other for certain muscles? Is one worse for the shoulders?

Thanks![/quote]

Hope i can help with my spanglish:

Behind the head:

This works the deltoids(posterior deltoid), trapecius, Triceps brachii, and the serratus major…

Front shoulder press:

Deltoids (posterior, externe), Pectoralis Major (Clavicular Head),tapecius,Triceps brachii,serratus major…

Info taking from:

Frederic Delavier
“Guia de los moviemientos de musculación”

[quote]sarah1 wrote:
Can anyone explain the differences between pressing in front and behind the head? Is one better than the other for certain muscles? Is one worse for the shoulders?

Thanks![/quote]

Well the behind the neck press is an awesome shoulder movement too, which hits the delts a little differently, but a lot of people can’t do them because it’s a little harder on the shoulders and can injure the delts easier than regular military…so one has to be aware of this, and if you have good delts, give it a go, but watch your form etc…if you have any delt issues, stick with regular military…

                 ToneBone

[quote]InTheZone wrote:
sarah1 wrote:
Can anyone explain the differences between pressing in front and behind the head? Is one better than the other for certain muscles? Is one worse for the shoulders?

Thanks!

Well the behind the neck press is an awesome shoulder movement too, which hits the delts a little differently, but a lot of people can’t do them because it’s a little harder on the shoulders and can injure the delts easier than regular military…so one has to be aware of this, and if you have good delts, give it a go, but watch your form etc…if you have any delt issues, stick with regular military…

                 ToneBone[/quote]

I think it has a lot to due with shoulder flexibility. Charles Poliquin says that people should work on their flexibility if they can’t do behind the neck presses at first.

BTW, Nice avatar InTheZone! I saw Satch, Vai and Malmsteen when they came to Portland, OR 4 years ago. Incredible show!

The behind-the-neck military press is marginally better for the muscle development of the deltoids but is much harder on them as a joint. And what if you have to ditch the bar? That could get very ugly.

I partially dislocated a shoulder doing BTN presses. According to my doctor, whenever you have your hands behind your head while they’re supporting weight, you’re putting your shoulder joints in a very vulnerable position.

Now I just do front presses. I bring the bar all the way down to my chest when I press. I’ve asked about this before, but I’m not sure why you’d stop at your chin. Nobody advocates doing half-squats or half-benches.

I know CT has recommended BTN presses from time to time and I have heard from plenty of experienced lifters who have never had shoulder issues from pressing behind the head.

Isnt the final bar position in the snatch behind the head?

[quote]rmexico wrote:
I partially dislocated a shoulder doing BTN presses. According to my doctor, whenever you have your hands behind your head while they’re supporting weight, you’re putting your shoulder joints in a very vulnerable position.

Now I just do front presses. I bring the bar all the way down to my chest when I press. I’ve asked about this before, but I’m not sure why you’d stop at your chin. Nobody advocates doing half-squats or half-benches.[/quote]

Chin = you keep the tension in your shoulder during the entire repetition, better TUT.

[quote]rmexico wrote:
I’ve asked about this before, but I’m not sure why you’d stop at your chin. Nobody advocates doing half-squats or half-benches.[/quote]

thats why I’m asking this boards opinion on this, I’m interested too see what everyone else thinks, I had massive shoulder growth once i started doing these, too the point where i have two red stretchmarks…signs of honour(btw my weight has stayed the same during this period, so i can only assume my delts and other muscles are getting bigger because all my lifts went up)

[quote]Xanthos wrote:

Chin = you keep the tension in your shoulder during the entire repetition, better TUT. [/quote]

I don’t think that argument makes sense. If TUT’s the justification for going halfway down on a shoulder press, then it would be suboptimal to touch the bar to your chest when you bench. I’ve never seen a big, strong guy do half reps when benching (unless it’s a board press for triceps).

The half-rep TUT argument would also imply that great exercises like Pendlay rows and deadlifts aren’t good mass-builders, because you’re supposed to de-weight the bar between reps.

[quote]rmexico wrote:
Xanthos wrote:

Chin = you keep the tension in your shoulder during the entire repetition, better TUT.

I don’t think that argument makes sense. If TUT’s the justification for going halfway down on a shoulder press, then it would be suboptimal to touch the bar to your chest when you bench. I’ve never seen a big, strong guy do half reps when benching (unless it’s a board press for triceps).

The half-rep TUT argument would also imply that great exercises like Pendlay rows and deadlifts aren’t good mass-builders, because you’re supposed to de-weight the bar between reps.[/quote]

For bodybuilding purpose, the romanian deadlift is used instead of the standard deadlift because of the no sense TUT like you said. Pec are involved in the lower part of the bench press ( tricep kicks in on the top ) that’s why you lower the bar down… I humbly suggest that you read some material from CT… the answer I gave you come from the book High Threshold Muscle Building by CT page 107 and 108 by the way.

why would it be easier for me behind than infront?

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
I know CT has recommended BTN presses from time to time and I have heard from plenty of experienced lifters who have never had shoulder issues from pressing behind the head.

Isnt the final bar position in the snatch behind the head?[/quote]
I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, but the snatch has nothing to do with a BTN press. My shoulder flexibility is pretty good, but BTN presses can give me trouble.

Some people will do BTN presses their whole lives and never have issues, others will never be able to do them without pain or risk of injury. Personally, I think the difference it’s going to have on your development is negligible.

[quote]rsg wrote:
Yep, to the chin.[/quote]

should I do this too? Which chin?

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
rsg wrote:
Yep, to the chin.

should I do this too? Which chin?[/quote]

The 2nd one from the top, ofcourse.

Upper thoracic mobility issues, if I remember right, were more of a red light for BTN presses. limited thoracic motion made up for with shoulder motion is a recipe for shoulder issues.

Aaaaaarghhhhhhhhhhhh!
No such thing as a ‘military Press behind neck’ or seated for that matter. Its a Press Behind Neck (or a Seated Press).
A Military Press is a press performed while in a ‘military’ stance (i.e. at ‘attention’ with heels together, hence the name) to keep it strict.
End of Rant