Tip: A Better Way to Military Press

It's safer on the shoulders and it'll build bigger delts than traditional overhead pressing. Take a look.

The Scrape The Rack Shoulder Press

This is a safer alternative to the regular military press because it engages the serratus more easily, which helps stabilize the shoulder joint. It's also easier to keep the delts under constant tension during a scrape the rack set.


You'll notice a much better pump in the shoulders than you would with a regular military press. I've seen a lot of people with shoulder issues be able to do the scrape the rack shoulder press but they were incapable of doing a military press.

You can lean forward at the top of the movement. (Look at what Nick is doing when the bar is overhead.) This is a great way to work on shoulder mobility and constitutes a form of loaded stretching.

How To Do It

  1. Start the bar at about chin/neck level. For hypertrophy purposes there's not much point in going lower; it's more stressful to the shoulder and reduces the load you can use. You get a safer and more effective stimulus if you start at the upper part of your neck.
  2. Use 25% effort against the rack. But if you go too conservative with the weight you can always compensate by applying more force against the rack, which will intensify muscle contraction despite the lower load.
Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.