Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press

Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press

The Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press is a challenging upper body exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, but also engages the triceps and upper back muscles. This compound movement is performed by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and gripping a barbell with a close grip, palms facing forward. The barbell is then lifted from shoulder height and pressed upwards until the arms are fully extended overhead. This exercise is effective in developing strength and muscle definition in the shoulders, making it a favorite among fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike. By using a close grip, the focus shifts from the front deltoids to the medial and posterior deltoids, resulting in well-rounded shoulder development. Additionally, the triceps are heavily engaged as they assist in extending the arms overhead. To ensure correct form and maximum effectiveness, it's important to maintain a stable core throughout the movement, avoid excessive swaying or arching of the back, and ensure the barbell is pressed in a straight line directly above the head. As with any exercise, it's crucial to start with an appropriate weight and gradually increase as strength improves. Incorporating the Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press into your workout routine can help you build strong, defined shoulders and improve overall upper body strength. Remember to always warm up before beginning any weightlifting exercises and consult a fitness professional for personalized advice and recommendations.


  • Set up a barbell on a squat rack at shoulder height.
  • Stand in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grip the barbell with a close grip, hands slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward.
  • Lift the barbell off the rack and bring it down to your collarbone, keeping your elbows pointing forward and slightly bent.
  • Take a deep breath and brace your core.
  • Press the barbell overhead by extending your arms, keeping your elbows slightly in front of the bar.
  • Pause at the top, then lower the barbell back to the starting position with control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Engage your core muscles by keeping your abdomen tight and your back straight.
  • Use a grip that is slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart to target your triceps and deltoids effectively.
  • Inhale as you lower the barbell and exhale as you press it overhead to optimize your breathing pattern.
  • Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
  • Add variety to your routine by incorporating different grip widths, such as wider or neutral grip, to target different muscle groups.
  • Ensure your wrists are straight and aligned with your forearms throughout the movement to avoid unnecessary strain.
  • Avoid jerking or using momentum to lift the barbell; maintain a controlled and steady motion.
  • Don't lock out your elbows at the top of the movement; keep a slight bend to maintain tension on the muscles.
  • Perform exercises that target supporting muscles, such as the rotator cuffs and upper back, to improve overall shoulder stability.


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