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Push Press Carryover to Military?


I read that the standing military press is a good accessory exercise to the push press but I was wondering if the reverse is true? Can the push press increase one's standing military press


Dude you've got it backwards. The military press has less carry over to the push press than the push press does to the military press.

Think about it...you have a heavier weight going over your head (supramaximal) than a lighter one...which makes those muscles involved stronger?


Furthermore you'd be hard pressed(pun intended) to find a strong man who didn't have an overhead press in the top 5% of the population in terms of stength without even training the lift(many do only push presses but may show a strength feat with a strict press every now and again)


You make a good point. I was curious because I have seen videos of russian olympic lifters using the incline bench (Vardanyan, Rigert) as an accessory exercise. Wouldn't a strong increase lockout strength in a push press though?


Good pun by the way :slightly_smiling:



But, the "problem" with a military press is that the sticking point is rarely the lockout, but usually when the bar is somewhere between the chin and the top of the head.

Dedicated tricep work, or even overhead lockouts, will transfer more to the push press than military press from the shoulders.


Yes but the point would be to use the military press as an accessory exercise to use a similar movement pattern and to also get the tricep and rotator cuff benefits of the standing military press.


You'll still probably get more out of overhead lockouts (for the triceps), overhead holds and/or overhead walks (for the RC), and cuban presses (for the RC).


Of course, if you're just trying to find a reason to military press... just military press.


I am not I am asking a question. I find it interesting that Jim Wendler said that the Push press did nothing for his military press when I found that the extra weight overhead in the push press increased my press dramatically. I just am fascinated that the military press might not have a strong ability to increase the push press :slight_smile:


I'm interested in this as well. My military press sucks, and 5/3/1 doesn't do much for it. The strongest I've ever been at military press was when I was doing a lot of incline DB pressing and DB floor presses - and no military pressing at all.


I guess the question becomes what lift do you want to progress on more? Or does it...perhaps you can program both lifts into a week (if it tickles your fancy). Everyone is different and different exercises elicit differing responses for everyone (for example back squats suck for legs unless I pre fatigue them due to my levers).

Also when a coach says something doesn't work regardless of how experienced he is you should probably ask why it didn't work for them...perhaps he didn't program it for long enough? Or gasp, correctly?? Not to knock Wendler but we are all human...if he didn't like it maybe he didnt give it a chance. But there are plenty of people with a big push press who also military press big weights (google olympic lifter danny shenckle(sp?))

It just seems so obvious to me that something so similar in nature would have a carryover...now that being said the weakest portion of a military press is off the shoulder to the top of the head. You could easily program specifically to overcome this (i.e. isometrics). But honest a the end of the day isn't a bigger weight held over your head more impressive? Also I get bigger from push presses than military sooooo...what ev's


Brilliant; cheers :slight_smile:


Hi nickj_777,

Just my thoughts:

In answer to your question, I think the only way in which the push press would help your military would be if you had a weak lockout as that is the main portion of the lift that is overloaded. However technique wise I feel the push press is a completely different beast so in that respect I don't think it would help that much as the movement, although it seems similar, is not similar enough as recruitment is vastly different.

If you want to get stronger at the overhead press, you just need to overhead press more and find your week points then tailor your movements around them. Also bare in mind the overhead press is one of the purist of strength moves and will take the longest to progress so key is consistency.

Hope that helped a little.