Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press – Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press - Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Are you looking to build strong, defined shoulders? Then the Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press is the exercise for you.

Watch This Exercise Video

In this video exercise guide, we'll show you the proper technique and form to maximize your gains.

Learn the benefits, avoid common mistakes, and discover tips for progression and variation.

Get ready to take your shoulder workout to the next level with this challenging yet effective exercise. Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • The barbell close grip military press improves upper body strength and muscle development.
  • It targets the shoulders and triceps for noticeable strength gains.
  • The exercise promotes functional strength and core stabilization.
  • Engaging the upper back muscles is important for maintaining proper form.

Benefits of the Barbell Close Grip Military Press

You will experience significant improvements in upper body strength and muscle development by incorporating the barbell close grip military press into your workout routine. This exercise is highly effective in activating and strengthening your muscles, leading to noticeable strength gains.

The barbell close grip military press primarily targets your shoulders, specifically the deltoids, which are responsible for raising and rotating your arms. By performing this exercise, you engage these muscles and stimulate growth and development. Additionally, the triceps, located at the back of your upper arms, are also activated during this movement, contributing to overall upper body strength.

Not only does the barbell close grip military press emphasize muscle activation, but it also promotes functional strength gains. As you press the barbell overhead, you engage your core muscles to stabilize your body, improving your overall balance and stability. This exercise also recruits your upper back muscles, such as the traps and rhomboids, to assist in maintaining proper form throughout the movement.

Incorporating the barbell close grip military press into your workout routine won't only enhance your upper body strength but also contribute to a well-rounded physique. Remember to start with an appropriate weight and gradually increase as you become more comfortable and confident with the exercise.

Equipment and Set-Up for the Exercise

To properly execute the barbell close grip military press, you'll need the appropriate equipment and set-up. The main piece of equipment required for this exercise is a barbell. Make sure it's loaded with an appropriate weight for your fitness level and goals. Additionally, you'll need a weightlifting bench or a sturdy, flat surface to stand on.

To set up for the exercise, first, position yourself in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, bend your knees slightly and grip the barbell with your hands placed slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing towards you.

Once you have a secure grip on the barbell, lift it off the rack and bring it to the front of your shoulders. Make sure your elbows are pointing forward and your wrists are straight. This is your starting position.

Now that you have your equipment and set-up ready, you can move on to the next section, which will cover the proper technique and form for the barbell close grip military press. It's important to execute the exercise with correct form to maximize its effectiveness and prevent any injuries.

Proper Technique and Form

Mastering the proper technique and form for the barbell close grip military press is essential for maximizing its effectiveness and preventing injuries. When performing this exercise, shoulder stability is key to maintaining proper alignment and preventing strain on the joints.

To achieve this, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the barbell with your hands slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart. As you lift the barbell, engage your core and keep your shoulders pulled back and down. This will help to stabilize the shoulder joints and prevent any unnecessary movement.

Additionally, focusing on muscle activation is crucial for targeting the correct muscles during the exercise. To activate the shoulders and triceps, push the barbell directly overhead, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Be sure to fully extend your arms at the top of the movement, and then lower the barbell back down to your chest in a controlled manner.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure optimal results and reduce the risk of injury, it's important to be mindful of common mistakes to avoid when performing the barbell close grip military press. Here are four common mistakes that you should watch out for and correct to maintain proper technique:

  1. Arching your back: One of the most common mistakes is arching your back during the exercise. This not only puts unnecessary strain on your lower back but also takes away from the effectiveness of the movement. Keep your back straight and engage your core muscles to maintain proper alignment.
  2. Using too much weight: Another mistake is using too much weight, which can compromise your form and increase the risk of injury. Start with a weight that allows you to complete the exercise with proper technique. As you become more comfortable and proficient, gradually increase the weight.
  3. Leaning forward: Leaning forward while performing the exercise can shift the focus away from your shoulders and onto your chest and triceps. To target the shoulder muscles effectively, keep your torso upright throughout the movement.
  4. Neglecting the warm-up: Skipping the warm-up is a common mistake that many people make. Warming up before any exercise is crucial to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout. Spend a few minutes on dynamic stretches and light cardio to get your body ready.

Tips for Progression and Variation

To continue building strength and challenging your muscles, consider incorporating these tips for progression and variation into your barbell close grip military press routine.

One effective progression technique is to gradually increase the weight you're lifting. Start with a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and control, and then gradually add weight as you become stronger. This will help stimulate muscle growth and improve your overall strength.

Another progression technique is to increase the number of sets and repetitions you perform. Start with a manageable number of sets and repetitions, and then gradually increase them over time. This will help increase the intensity of your workout and further challenge your muscles.

In addition to progression techniques, there are also various exercise variations you can incorporate into your routine. For example, you can try using dumbbells instead of a barbell, or you can perform the exercise seated instead of standing. These variations can help target different muscle groups and add variety to your workouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do for the Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press?

To determine the number of sets and reps for the barbell standing close grip military press, consider your fitness level and goals.

Generally, aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps to build muscle and strength.

However, you can adjust the sets and reps based on your preferences and variations of the military press exercises.

Remember to maintain proper form, engage your core, and gradually increase the weight as you progress.

Can I Use Dumbbells Instead of a Barbell for This Exercise?

Yes, you can definitely use dumbbells as an alternative to the barbell for the military press. Using dumbbells offers a few benefits for the close grip press.

It allows for a greater range of motion, engages more stabilizer muscles, and can help correct any muscle imbalances.

To perform the exercise with dumbbells, simply hold a dumbbell in each hand and press them overhead. Make sure to maintain proper form and control throughout the movement.

Is the Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press Suitable for Beginners?

If you're a beginner, the barbell standing close grip military press can be a great exercise to incorporate into your routine. It has numerous benefits, such as targeting your shoulders, triceps, and upper back muscles. Plus, it can improve your overall upper body strength.

Remember to start with a lighter weight and focus on proper form. As you progress, you can increase the weight and try different variations to challenge yourself.

What Muscles Does the Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press Primarily Target?

The barbell standing close grip military press primarily targets your deltoids, which are the muscles in your shoulders. This exercise also engages your triceps and upper chest muscles. It's a great way to build strength and size in your upper body.

The benefits of this exercise include improved shoulder stability, increased upper body strength, and enhanced overall muscular development. There are variations of the exercise that you can try to target different muscle groups and add variety to your workout routine.

Should I Incorporate This Exercise Into My Upper Body or Shoulder Workout Routine?

Incorporating the barbell standing close grip military press into your upper body or shoulder workout routine can provide numerous benefits.

This exercise primarily targets your shoulders, triceps, and upper back muscles, helping to increase strength and muscle definition.

To perform it correctly, make sure to maintain a tight core, keep your elbows close to your body, and press the barbell overhead in a controlled manner.

Remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you progress.


In conclusion, the barbell close grip military press is a highly effective exercise for building upper body strength and muscle. By using proper technique and form, you can target your shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.

Avoid common mistakes such as arching your back or using too much weight, and remember to progress and vary the exercise to continue challenging your muscles.

With consistency and dedication, you can see great results from incorporating this exercise into your workout routine.

workout guru author


Serg Bayracny

Years ago, the spark of my life’s passion ignited in my mind the moment I stepped into the local gym for the first time. The inaugural bead of perspiration, the initial endeavor, the very first surge of endorphins, and a sense of pride that washed over me post-workout marked the beginning of my deep-seated interest in strength sports, fitness, and sports nutrition. This very curiosity blossomed rapidly into a profound fascination, propelling me to earn a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, followed by a Sports Manager diploma from the Jagiellonian University. My journey of growth led me to gain more specialized qualifications, such as being a certified personal trainer with a focus on sports dietetics, a lifeguard, and an instructor for wellness and corrective gymnastics. Theoretical knowledge paired seamlessly with practical experience, reinforcing my belief that the transformation of individuals under my guidance was also a reflection of my personal growth. This belief holds true even today. Each day, I strive to push the boundaries and explore new realms. These realms gently elevate me to greater heights. The unique combination of passion for my field and the continuous quest for growth fuels my drive to break new ground.

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