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Thread: Standing Military Press (in Rack)

  1. #1
    Bleak Harvester Raven Blade's Avatar
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    Standing Military Press (in Rack)

    I am doing WBB #1 and I guess I hadn't read the shoulders day closely because I went to do them and I was like "wait a minute, Rack Standing Military Press??". I was hoping for seated military because it's a strong movement for me. I can get reps with 225 going down even with my ears.

    Anyway, the rack was being used so I did them in a squat rack. I didn't like this much as when I was done a set I had to lower the weight onto my traps to put it back in the rack and this is way to low and puts a lot of preassure on your joints. My left shoulder, especially, was making unhealthy noises.

    So, after all that history...... what I'd like to know is the correct form for doing Standing Military Press in the Rack. I've done them standing before but only on light day with like 80-100lbs.

    Should I be putting the bars in the rack close to the height I want to go down to and doing them that way? <== does what I just said make sense. You know what bars I am talking about, the ones you slide in to make sure you don't go below that point.

    Anyway, any pointers would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    Standing military press behind the head with heavy weight frightens me to think about.

    I do standing front military press... kind of like the similie you included in your post but I go to my chin and back up. The balance this way seems better yet still awkward, but I couldn't imagine doing it behind my head.

    I'll be curious to see what people have to say about your questions because I was wondering the same.

  3. #3
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    Lately I've been obsessed with standing mils, probably because that's where I've been making the most gains. I do them like this:

    Just wider than shoulder width grip
    Try to keep the elbows out front rather than to the sides
    Go as low as you can to get the most shoulder work out of it (try to feel a stretch in your delt). You won't be able to lift as much weight this way, but it's more effective in regard to hypertrophy. After you get to the top of the head, emphesis is more on the triceps

    Also, try a one foot out infront of the other stance. It helps keep the body more upright and helps prevent cheating. Keep the abs tight as well. This is why I feel that standing is supperior to sitting. Actually, I can't conceive why people do it with their feet together..

    Dudes, check it out.. Before my workout today, I was flipping through some mag and I noticed a picture of a russian lifter from many years ago doing an overhead press with his back arched literally 90 degrees. No ****, this bitch was seriously doing a flat press standing up. It was a freakish sight to say the least. Supposedly that's how they did it back in the day in competition, and that's why they did away with OH pressing in the olympics. If anyone can tell me where I can find a pic of something like that online, it'd be much appreciated.
    Last edited by Bong Hog; 07-27-2002 at 08:37 PM.

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    I've heard that it's best not to go below the ear lobes to prevent damage to the shoulders. Seems to be about right for me because anything below that and it feels like my arms are going to rip off.

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    I believe that it's safe to go from all the way down to half way up (how I do em), or to go from half way up to all the way up. There's a point about half way up where something in the shoulder shifts and wear might occur. If I had my book with me I might be able to explain this better.

    Besides, I feel that there's very little contraction in the upper portion of the lift. IMO, the overhead press is most effective from stretching position to half way up, where the delt is pretty much fully contracted. Though, the delt is much weaker from its stretched position, so you will need to use a lot less weight.
    Last edited by Bong Hog; 07-27-2002 at 09:58 PM.

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    Bleak Harvester Raven Blade's Avatar
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    A. Are you doing these in the front of the face or behind the head?
    B. Are you using the rack? If so where are the bars set to?
    You are not your job.
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    Arms out front to work the anterior delts. Behind the neck presses have their place, I suppose. They work the lateral head more. Bad on the shoulders for some people.

    The pins can be set lower than the lowest point. It doesn't matter. Just make it so that the bar won't drop too far if you have to drop it. Just don't let it keep you from getting the bar low enough to stretch your delts.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Bong Hog
    Arms out front to work the anterior delts. Behind the neck presses have their place, I suppose. They work the lateral head more. Bad on the shoulders for some people.
    Yeah, I thought you were talking behind the head which is why I said it's not reccomended that you bring the bar below ear lobe-level.

    When doing MP in front I bring it all the way down to the point where it almost touches my upper chest.

  9. #9
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    Doing this exercise behind the neck is dangerous for many people and is not even really needed. Doing them in front will hit all three heads. The main reason people think that behind the neck is better is because they "feel it more". The reason they "feel it more" is because doing BTN presses puts a greater strain on the joint which they mistake for strain on the muscles. Do NOT put one foot in front of the other. Doing that places uneven stress on your back. Doing that with heavy weight...makes me shudder thinking about it. Keep your feet about shoulder width apart...but level. If you want more emphasis on the rear delts, use a machine or do bent laterals.

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    "Do NOT put one foot in front of the other. Doing that places uneven stress on your back."

    Could you explain this to me a little more? Dudes C&J with huge weights. Seems to me that one leg infront of the other would be fine as long as the hips are even and pointing straight ahead.

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    The clean and jerk is a Olympic lift. It requires specialized training and years of practise. Also it is only lifted overhead one time, whereas the OH press is done for numberous reps. When you put one foot ahead of the other, the hips are out of alignment. Olympic lifters know this or should, and most condition themselves over time...but still suffer injury. Why do you think so many Olympic lifters have suffered back injury at one time or another? Most people do not have the genetic ability of the Olympic lifters to tolerate that kind of lifting abuse, nor are they using the amount of "gear" that these lifters are on. You can elevate more weight with one foot ahead, since you can use the momentum generated by leaning forwards, but that is risky and not good form. Both feet should be level which gives you a stable base and proper alignment.

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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Ok, first, having one foot in front of the other makes the exercise easier. It provides more stability. I know, I have done them.
    Last edited by chris mason; 07-28-2002 at 08:34 AM.

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    I agree that it makes the exercise easier. As I pointed out, you can elevate more weight. But anytime you make an exercise easier you get less from it. Starr (I forget his first name) is a powerlifting coach for a USA team. And he advises against putting one foot ahead of the other when doing OH presses for precisely the same reason I do. If it feels good for you and you like doing them that way, by all means perform them that way. However I feel that people should have access to both sides of a question so as to make an informed decision. Granted, I know a few of my views go against the orthdoxy here on WBB. However, that what makes life and this sport we all love, interesting. If I have made any factual errors however, I welcome your pointing them out.

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    Well the way I see it, the spinal erector muscles play no part in articulation of the hips, as they have no attachments lower than the sacrum. So while one glute may be more contracted than another, it doesn't seem to me that either side of the spinal muscles would be more contracted than the other. Though I suppose it may be difficult for some to assume that position without leaning their hips in some way, perhaps due to a short psoas. Perhaps it has something to do with balance?

    Oh, I love a little debate. Especially over these sort of issues. And you're absolutely right about pointing out the other side of a question. And I'll always be the first to admit that I may be wrong. And if I am wrong, I certainly would want to know about it.

  15. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    I agree that it makes the exercise easier. As I pointed out, you can elevate more weight. But anytime you make an exercise easier you get less from it. Starr (I forget his first name) is a powerlifting coach for a USA team. And he advises against putting one foot ahead of the other when doing OH presses for precisely the same reason I do. If it feels good for you and you like doing them that way, by all means perform them that way. However I feel that people should have access to both sides of a question so as to make an informed decision. Granted, I know a few of my views go against the orthdoxy here on WBB. However, that what makes life and this sport we all love, interesting. If I have made any factual errors however, I welcome your pointing them out.

    Hey, you can disagree all you want, no problems. Offsetting your feet will not create a greater likihood of injury, in my opinion, due to the fact that it makes you more stable. I have performed the exercise both ways, in fact, when I was doing them for a period of time recently, I kept my feet on the same plane. The exercise requires much greater coordination when the feet are not offset, so I think that training in that manner will be more likely to cause an injury. When Olympic lifters use the offset style they are performing a jerk (lifters of today), not a standing press. That makes the movement very different, and not a valid one for comparison (in my opinion).

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    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    Why do you think so many Olympic lifters have suffered back injury at one time or another?
    Name one.
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    If you just bend your legs a bit you will take most of the pressure off your lower back. To me the pressure is felt more in the middle of my back as I think it's practically impossible to not have a pretty bad arch in the back doing these with any kinda weight. With bent legs you can always use a push press as a spot as well.

    I do them in front of my face pretty much as far down as possible, I don't know about the ear lobe thing...the top part of the press I think incorporates more of the triceps than the shoulders, so you'd be losing the benefit of the movement. I think overall if you want the least stress/arch in your back do them seated with something against your back...I prefer the added stress to my back as like chris said, it is good too keep balance, coordination, etc. My grip usually has my pinky finger on the power ring, so that would be wider than shoulder width.
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    I can get reps with 225 going down even with my ears.
    Go deeper. You're not getting full ROM at all. The bottom part of the movement is the hardest part so I can bet that you wouldn't be repping 225 with full ROM. (I know there is a debate as to what full ROM is for BB overhead presses but personally I believe you should bring the bar down to your collar bone, others say to below the chin. Regardless, to your ears is not full ROM)

    I had to lower the weight onto my traps to put it back in the rack and this is way to low and puts a lot of preassure on your joints.
    No offense, but that makes no sense at all. I presume you squat. What you have just described is the same as the bar resting on your traps while squatting. I hardly believe that its putting a lot of pressure on your joints in that position unless you are gripping your hands very closely. Which could very well be your problems, so perhaps you should attempt a wider grip.

    As far as proper form for them I'd say you can do your two feet together OR as Mason suggested you can put one foot forward. I've done both. Both are good, neither is worse for you so don't worry about it. I'd do them infront rather than behind the neck, but thats personal preference. I prefer behind the neck BB presses while seated where I feel I have more control and stricter form.

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    I was talking about behind the neck at first and then realized it was military press.. MILITARY press!!!! which means in front. When I was talking about 225 they are seated and behind the neck. And when I said it was not feeling good to go from a standing behind the neck press to resting the bar on the traps (as you said like a squat) I meant it. Felt like my shoulders were tearing from their joints. I was taking it easy on the weight (only went to 165) and I could not imagine heavier.

    All this input has been great though and I look forwards to doing them the RIGHT way.
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    I still don't see how that would hurt. I have personally done the same thing (letting it rest on my traps at the end of a set) and never had problems. I believe it may be in your hand positioning (they might be too close together). If you ever try it again go wider and see how it feels.

  21. #21
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    I really wish people would actually read my posts instead of jumping to conclusions. Mr. Mason if you read my post again, you would see that I was agreeing NOT disagreeing. Also I pointed out in my post that the Olympic lift was different than the standing press, and could not be compared. I was responding to a question to Bong Hog. So again we agree. Offsetting the feet, puts uneven stress on the back. Some people can tolerate it, but some can not. As I said, whatever floats your boat. This is actually the only point I differ from you. But no problem, everyone's entitled to their opinion. Powerman, judging from your post, you're a well-read person. So here's the one you requested. Vasili Alexeev.

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    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Alexeyev was also 36 and suffered a popped tendon in his hip during a jerk attempt. A jerk, I might add, that weighed 529 lbs.

    I was more referring to back injuries from Olympic pressing.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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  23. #23
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I love Vasily Alexeyev. He was incredible!

    His most impressive lift, for me, is his record press of 521.5 lbs. That is a standing press, not a jerk involving the hips and legs! Think about that, he overhead pressed, without his legs, more than 99% of the population can bench press! He also did this without the benefit of bench shirt. Yes, he arched his back amazingly, but I don't care, he pressed 521.5 lbs while standing!!!

    Guys, I think we can agree here, if someone lifts long enough and trains with huge weights, a back tweaking is in the cards at some point. This is true for bodybuilders, Olympic lifters, and powerlifters.
    Last edited by chris mason; 07-29-2002 at 06:39 PM.

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    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    500+ OH press! Jesus H. Christ.
    Deadlifts are like women, they'll hurt you everytime, but they'll also make you a man. - Me

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    I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

    Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk.

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    One guy, a previous Canada strongman, at my old gym was at the squat rack one time psyching himself up. He had 3 plates a side (315). I was like "What the hell, this guy can do this in his sleep". He gets under the bar and proceeds to do behind the neck shoulder presses. I was like He got out about 8 reps, went up to 3 1/2 (365) and got out about 4-5 more. I'm sure I looked something like this ==> Guy's name was Grant McReynolds. One strong mofo.
    Last edited by Raven Blade; 07-31-2002 at 04:05 PM.
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    See my WBB #1 Journal and pictures of my progress Here

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