CrossFit Accessory Exercise: Chain Military Press

Chain Military PressLast week I discussed the Face Pull Y-Press and why I believe it’s one of the better accessory exercises for CrossFitters looking to prevent upper extremity injuries and improve their performance during overhead exercises such as snatches, jerks, and overhead squats. As promised, I want to share another accessory exercise that you can add to your arsenal of tools to improve your CrossFit performance.

The Chain Military Press is a simply explained exercise.  It’s just a standard military press performed with the weights hanging from chains rather than on the bar (alternative: have the weights hang from bands).  This exercise quickly increases the stability demands of both the core musculature and the scapulothoracic/glenohumeral joints.  Performing this exercise is great for improving the efficiency of the co-contraction needed to stabilize weight overhead.

Some important points for performance of the Chain Military Press:

  1. Go light.  Depending on your overhead press strength you may need to start with a 15lb. bar and 5lb weights hanging from the chain.  For example, someone who can perform a strict press of 150lbs. should start with 5 or 10 pound plates hanging from the chains for 10+ reps and won’t work up to much greater than 25’s for a triple.
  2. After stepping out of the rack on your first rep allow the weight to settle before beginning your press.
  3. While you should always keep a tight core during overhead pressing, this is even more true with the Chain Military Press.
  4. If you have problems with a history of shoulder instability this can be a great exercise but only after a good rehab program and return of proper shoulder mechanics.

  One thought on “CrossFit Accessory Exercise: Chain Military Press

  1. August 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I have been meaning on going to the hardware store to get chains. What size and length chains are you using ? They must be adding about 20lbs .?

    • August 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      No idea. I just pick it up and put it down.

      • August 22, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        Ha! Ok.

  2. August 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Chains are a good addition to a home gym. Besides what you see here you can use them for squats, bench press, dips and push ups. The bigger the chains the heavier.

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