T Nation

Shoulder Press variations

Could anyone tell me what’s the difference between a Shoulder Press, a Behind-the-neck Press and a Military Press ? I can figure out about the behind-the-neck Press as I’ve been doing it for a while. As long as a Shoulder press goes, it’s the same as the previous but you lower the bar in front of the head instead of behind it. But what’s the difference between those and the military press, is it that you do it standing instead of seated ? Am I out of the track ? Thanks.

I can see why you’d be confused. There isn’t a consensus on the actually shoulder press movement. I found three variations online without even trying.

Military press is a barbell exercise like incline press, except on a completely vertical plane. Standing or sitting, it matters not. Elbows are typically angled 150 degrees away from the chest. Emphasis on front and middle delt.

Behind-the-neck presses force you to keep your elbows completely back and use more of your middle delt.

Shoulder press can be whatever you want it to be. One generally uses dumbbells, and the elbows are more like 120 degrees out. More front delt emphasis.


I’ve always subscribed to the logic:

Shoulder Press = Military Press

Makes sense, thank you guys.

But wait! What about the…

…ARNOLD press???

Bwa ha ha ha haaaaa!

…and let’s not forget the bradford press or the push press.

Don’t forget the Bradford Press . . .

You forgot the “trouser press” :slight_smile: SRS

Ok, I’ve read a lot about push press, but I don’t know how to do it. Anyone explain?

I was under the impression that the military press had to be standing…

Is this incorrect???

A push press is where you use your legs to drive the weight off of your front delts and then you use your delts and tris to lock it out. It’s a great overall power movement.

Holding the bar in the rack position just like after you catch a clean, you dip down into a 1/4-1/8th squat and then drive the weight all the way up to lockout.

Basically, it’s what you do when your delts get tired and you want to cheat a few more reps out, except this is planned cheating.