There are classic exercises, known to all those who frequently visit a gym to train or have the equipment at home. Within this category, there is the famous military weight training. It’s a simple routine, but it requires some technique to be truly effective. In this article, we explain how to master military weight training.
These are exercises primarily intended to tone the shoulder muscles (deltoids) and upper back. They also act positively on the upper trapezius, triceps and pectorals. They can be performed standing, with a machine and with weights.
As in any sports training, the details of military training must be taken care of to the extreme. Otherwise, in addition to being useless and failing to develop and strengthen muscles, there is a risk of suffering a serious injury.
Due to these inherent risks in the activity and despite its apparent simplicity, military training is an exercise that, at least initially, must be done under the supervision of a specialist. Let’s see together how to master military weight training.
Military weight training step by step
First, you will need two weights that can be controlled without any difficulty. Although it is an exercise that can be done while standing, it is preferable to use a bench or a fitball to practice sitting.
The legs and knees are positioned at shoulder height, while the back remains completely straight. As a precaution to protect the spine and lower back, the muscles in the abdominal area will be strained as the routine develops.
Holding the weights firmly, the joints should be bent to the side of the torso, with the hands right next to the shoulders. The movement consists of stretching and simultaneous collection of the arms above the head.
We must try to achieve the maximum possible fluidity and prevent the rest of the body from moving or losing balance. Three to four sets of no more than 12 repetitions per side are recommended.
What is military weight training for?
As long as the exercise is performed correctly and with the necessary consistency and discipline, the results will be evident and you will notice them in a short time. The first noticeable thing will be the increase in shoulder muscle mass. This will be complemented by a complete definition of the tissues that occupy this area.
Also, because equal attention is paid to each arm, you avoid the risk of applying more force on one side at the expense of the other. This is one aspect that isn’t easy to track with the two different variations of this workout routine.
Additionally, even though the weight generated when doing military weight training is considerably less than when performed on the bar, the range of motion is much greater. When folding the arms, it is possible to bring the load lower. Meanwhile, the stabilized muscles are the protagonists, when the upper extremities rise vertically.
Mistakes to avoid when doing military training
Because it is a fairly simple routine, many may be tempted to use very heavy weights. The most likely result of this decision is to decrease the quality of movement and posture. All of this translates into greater chances of muscle accidents.
The importance of keeping your back completely straight at all times also includes avoiding leaning backwards or to the side when ascending. The same happens with the advancement of the trunk when the arms are brought back to the starting position.
The eyes should always remain pointed forward, without the gaze following the movement of the weights. This is important to ensure that the head and nape draw a straight line with the rest of the body.
On the other hand, many coaches insist on the importance of synchronizing breathing with movements. In other words, inhale when you go up and exhale when you go down. Above all, care must be taken not to keep the air inside the lungs beyond what is necessary.
Either way, it is essential to pay attention to the signals the body gives us when we do any exercise, be it military weight training or another.
An effective exercise
There are many who view military weight training with distrust. However, the success of this exercise is based on a proven principle: often quality is worth more than quantity.
Far from denying the benefits and complexity of the “traditional version” with a bar, this other option is just as good. Of course, military training must be included in a work program that pursues realistic goals. Also, never underestimate perseverance and discipline.