The military press targets the anterior deltoid muscles, which are located at the front of the shoulders, according to Healthy Living Index. Several upper-body muscles that assist in the movement also benefit from the military press. These include the upper pectoral muscles, the lateral deltoid muscles, the middle and lower trapezius muscles of the back, the triceps and the serratus anterior muscles on both sides of the torso.
The military press is performed from a standing or sitting position, explains Healthy Living Index. The standing position uses more of the supportive muscles, especially in the upper torso, and provides a more comprehensive overall workout. Proper form is critical to getting the most beneficial workout and avoiding injury. The standing position is performed with the legs spread shoulder-width apart. The bar should be held in front of the chest, with palms facing away from the body and elbows pointing down. The weightlifter should exhale as he presses the barbell over his head and lift until his elbows are nearly locked.
Healthy Living Index indicates that 12 repetitions of the military press is considered a standard workout. The weight should be heavy enough to make the final few repetitions challenging but should not overtax the muscles. A 10-minute, light-intensity cardiovascular warm-up is recommended before the exercise.