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Pros and Cons: Push Press vs Military Press

Both the push press and the military press are great exercises that can produce phenomenal results.

The push press and the military press are both great options for developing your shoulder muscles. Find out which is best for your deltoids.

Getting Strong Shoulders

When it comes to developing your shoulder muscles, there are many resistance exercises that you can perform. Two exercises that stand out among the rest are the push press and the military press.

Both these compound exercises will help you get well-developed deltoids, but they also have their advantages and disadvantages. This article will list the pros and cons associated with the push press and the military press.

Both the military press and the push press can help you build great muscles.

Push Press Pros

The push press is a multi-joint exercise that will primarily work your shoulders and triceps. The added advantage of the push press over the military press is that it will also develop your quadriceps, gluteal muscles, and your hamstrings.

Other muscles used when performing this exercise are your abdominals and lower back. When performing push presses, you will get a whole body workout.

Another advantage of performing the push press is the ability to lift heavier loads. Since you are using your legs to help you get the weight up, they will take some of the burden off of your shoulders and triceps when lifting the weight.

If you are looking for a shoulder exercise that will allow you to lift heavy, the push press is a great option for you.


If you are looking to gain muscle and power quickly, then the push press will help you do that. Once you learn how to properly perform this exercise, you will be using muscles in both the upper and lower body. Multi-joint exercises are the best way to increase strength and lean mass.

Push Press Cons

The push press is an exercise that must be executed correctly in order to avoid injury. This means that strict attention must be paid to form.

Before gaining the benefits of doing this exercise, a personal trainer or someone who really knows how to do this exercise must teach you. It will be worth it in the end, but without using strict form this exercise can do more harm than good.

Military Press Pros

The military press is a great shoulder building exercise that works your front shoulder muscles (anterior deltoids), top shoulder muscles (lateral deltoids), traps and triceps.

With this one exercise, you will work all three muscles in your shoulder (with emphases on those mentioned above). Not only will your traps get a good workout with this exercise, but you will also be giving your rhomboids a workout as well.

Another advantage of doing the military press is versatility. You can perform this exercise standing or seated. When standing, you will also incorporate stabilizing muscles like your abdominals, so you can get a little extra ab work with this variation. Seated military exercises will focus on those muscles mentioned above.

The military press can also help you stabilize your spine. The muscles in your back work synergistically to help you lift the weight. You can strengthen muscles in your back as well as your shoulders and triceps.

The military press can also help you get stronger on other exercises that use the stabilizing muscles. It can help you get stronger biceps and triceps. Some say you don’t need to do isolation exercises if you perform many compound exercises like the military press.

If you choose to perform isolation exercises to help you get bigger biceps and triceps, you will notice an increase on those lifts after performing the military for a few weeks or months.

Military Press Cons

One disadvantage of the military press is that you can’t lift very heavy weight. Lifting too heavy with this exercise will compromise your form and potentially lead to injury. There is also the chance to put unnecessary strain on your lower back with this exercise.

Another disadvantage is versatility. Even though you can perform this exercise seated or standing, the movement is basically the same. You will exercise various muscles in your upper body, but the focus will always be on the same muscles and you will only exercise your upper body (especially when doing seated military presses).

The military press and the push press can be used in combination to optimize your results in the gym.

Summing Up Pros and Cons

Both the push press and military press are great exercises that you should add to your workout routine. The push press is an overall muscle builder that will primarily focus on your shoulders, but also help you increase strength in your legs, abs, and back.

The military press can be done seated or standing and focuses mainly on your shoulders. Try both exercises and see which one you like best. Whichever one you choose, it’s guaranteed that your shoulder muscles will grow.


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