Barbell Bbehind Neck Press

There are many exercises in fitness classes that could be classified as “bad”. The behind neck press is one of them. It’s a workout that’s slowly gaining the reputation of being a sham. It’s an exercise, in the wrong way, can put you in a vulnerable position, and could cause damage to the shoulders and result in serious injury. But, if executed correctly, it could be an exercise that triggers many muscles fibers within your deltoid muscles.

The shoulder press done behind your neck allows the direct impact on your deltoids rather than some of the force being distributed throughout your chest when you do a standard shoulder press. There are several variants of behind neck press that provide various advantages. Learn to correctly apply the behind neck press in these various variations to strengthen your deltoids that are lagging, increase postural strength, and increase the flexibility of the shoulder socket.

What does the Research Say?

In a study from 2015 of the Journal of Sport and Health Science, Australian Researchers M. McKean & B. Burkett studied the two techniques of overhead pressing i.e. front of the head press and pressing behind neck on 33 subjects who completed the movements while sitting in a sitting position. There was some variation in female and male spinal movement during the tests however, both the forward and behind neck presses were found to be secure and efficient exercises in the case of subjects who have good trunk stability and shoulder ROM. The trunk stability is necessary to ensure the proper spine’s posture, particularly during overhead presses while seated without back support.

This exercise isn’t the problem It’s more likely that your posture is

It is important to realize that it was not the movement that was the cause of the issue. You are the problem. For e.g. If your usual “S”-shaped spine has transformed into a ‘C’-shaped back, i.e. that you’ve got a hunchback or shoulder that is rounded If this is the case, you must first get the posture right. If this is the scenario, any press on your shoulder could be a problem for you.

However it is a good idea to have shoulder mobility and don’t have shoulder injuries or any previous history of injury, then the behind neck press is perfectly suitable for you. The easiest way to do this is to try the move and observe if it is causing the shoulder joint any kind of discomfort. In reality, pressing your neck behind might be a more effective method to determine the root of any shoulder problem.

More Activation Of The Three Shoulder Heads

The author of the book Optimal Muscle Training, Ken Kinakin affirms, “Pressing the bar from behind the head places the greatest pressure on cervical disks and muscles and increases the chance for cervical disc herniation. It also puts stress on shoulders capsules. The advantage is that elbows are forced to stay in alignment with the shoulders, which puts maximum pressure on the shoulders. Flexibility in the shoulders is essential for the bar to be placed behind the neck.”

In the Back of The Neck Press

When performing the behind neck press from a sitting position allows you to concentrate on the barbell’s position and also protects your shoulders from rotating externally. As with all variations of the behind neck press, it must be done cautiously using a spotter and with a weight that is easy to regulate the movements of (do not try to over-load the muscle during the behind neck press because of the difficulty or the location of your weight). You could try using a smith machine in order to guarantee the same motion pattern, to reduce the chance of injuries.

  • Find a bench or squat press rack with the ability to adjust the support bars as well as the racks to hold the barbell. Also, ensure that there is enough space allow you to either an exercise bench (at the pin with the highest height) or a press chair from the military underneath it.
  • Set the rack pins into the position that allows you to easily remove the barbell from a place without fumbling.
  • Place an exercise bench (at the pin with the highest point) or an army press chair under the rack. If you’re using a free weight rack place it slightly in front of the barbell. If you’re using an smith machine, place it directly underneath, so you’re in the beginning position.
  • To take the barbell off the rack, let someone else assist you in lifting the barbell off of the rack into an area that your arms are elevated above your head only a few inches short of locking your elbows. When you’re working with a smith machine simply extend your arms upwards and then take the weight off the support hook or pin. This is your starting point.

Tip: Before starting this move, you should retract your scapula to provide your shoulders with support and a proper movement range.

  • With a controlled motion, reduce the barbell in a controlled manner behind your neck, stopping just in front of your traps.
  • The barbell should be elevated above your head and then lower it to the starting point just below your elbows, locking out.
  • Repeat until you have reached the desired number of repetitions.

Standing behind Neck Press

The standing variant of the neck press has the highest chance of injury since there isn’t any back support and your body stability is lower than it could be performed in a sitting position. The primary advantages of standing are abdominal muscle activation as well as the ability to lift the weight without using a spotter.

  • Begin by selecting a squat rack on which allows you to adjust the support bars, and racks for your barbell.
  • Place the rack pins at the chest level, so that you are able to take off the barbell.
  • To take the barbell off the rack, step up to the barbell, and place it in the clavicle area while keeping an incline in your knees. Then, extend your legs completely in order to raise the barbell off of the rack, and then slowly remove it of the rack.
  • Lift the barbell over your head, just short of locking the elbow joint. This is the starting point.

Tips: Before starting this move, you should retract your scapula to provide your shoulders with support and a proper flexibility.

  • In a controlled manner, move the barbell back behind your neck just close to the traps. If you are close to failing, try performing a push press using the legs to create a projectile in order to push yourself to complete the repetitions.
  • The barbell should be elevated above your head until it is in the starting position , just above your elbows and lock them out.
  • Repeat until you have reached the desired number of repetitions.

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