Build Shoulder Strength: Behind The Neck Strict Shoulder Press

Having strong shoulders doesn’t just look good physically, it can help you with better posture, greater overhead strength, greater control and strength with certain Olympic lifts (barbell clean, snatch, etc) and increased strength in your upper back. One forgotten muscle building exercise for shoulders is the behind-the-neck shoulder press.  The most common shoulder press exercises are the military press and the dumbbell shoulder press.  Both excellent for building muscle and strength…along with your lateral and forward raise dumbbell exercises as well. But behind-the-neck press offers some additional benefits that make it worthwhile to incorporate into your workout routine.

Probably the biggest benefit from the behind-the-neck press is that it engages more of the shoulder muscles than the traditional military, and really hits the posterior delt well.  The barbell press from the front works more of the front deltoid.  If you’re bench pressing, you’re also getting front deltoid work- so why not switch things up every now and then and broaden your workout tool box?

Behind the neck is also great for strengthening the upper back.  If you also enjoy olympic lifts, this will help with your strength and stability on the snatch, push press and jerk.

NJ Personal Trainer Demonstrates Behind The Neck Shoulder Press

 

Is Behind The Neck Press Safe?

Generally, most of us can safely do a behind the neck press.  If you have rounded shoulders (kyphosis) you should not do the behind the neck press just yet.   The kyphosis generally means you have weakened and tight shoulder muscles as well as upper back muscles.  As a personal trainer in Monmouth County, if one of my clients has rounded shoulders, I work on developing the muscles in the back, shoulders and even chest to help strengthen the muscles and aid in posture correction.

If you have poor shoulder mobility- the behind the neck press will be difficult for you and could possibly injure you.  You should work on your mobility first and then attempt behind the neck presses with very light weight.  Again- if your shoulders are tight- don’t force the position. Work on mobility first.

In conclusion, for building strength in the shoulders and upper back, try incorporating the behind-the-neck shoulder press into your routine.  You should work with a personal trainer or have someone spot you to minimize risk of injury if this is your first time attempting the lift.  Always start with a lighter weight than you would use for a front of the neck press until you get comfortable.

About Eddie:

Eddie is a sought out personal trainer in Monmouth County, NJ. His body building back ground mixed with his present day CrossFit training is what helps him create workouts that can taylor to any fitness level, any age, and any results-oriendted individual.  Eddie owners Ultimate Fitness, a 24 hour gym in Monmouth County and Ultimate Fit Zone, a cross training and boot camp gym in Monmouth County as well. He is the director of training at both gyms.

 

Gluten Free Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Vegan Gluten Free Dessert RecipeWe all know that gluten free baking is easier than ever. But did you know how easy it is to bake vegan style?  One of my favorite products to use for vegan baking is Ener-G Egg Replacer.  This product contains NO egg or animal protein. It’s also gluten free and wheat free.  It’s perfect to replace eggs in muffins, cakes, quiches, cakes, pancakes and more.

So this morning I was in the mood to make something light and sweet- something to have after dinner with some tea or coffee.  So I decided blueberry muffins with some vegan mini chocolate chips would be the perfect treat!

Vegan Gluten Free Dessert RecipeThey are very easy to make and bake up in about 25 minutes.  Here is the recipe!

  • 1-2/3 cup Oat Flour (sifted)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1-1/4 cups Almond Milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine first 3 ingredients in one bowl.  In another bowl, mix the Ener-G Egg Replacer with 2 tablespoons of water then add the milk, olive oil and syrup.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients and combine until all blended together.  Lastly gently fold in blueberries and chocolate chips. Fill greased muffin pans about 2/3 of the way.   Bake for about 25 minutes.  Enjoy :-)

Best Shoulder Workouts – Push Press vs Strict Shoulder Press

The strict shoulder press is a great mass builder for the posterior or front deltoid. This movement also involves the tricep and upper pectoral. Starting position is in the rack position with your hand approximately a thumb’s distance outside your hips. Rack position is when the bar is resting on the front deltoid under your chin along your clavicle with elbows pointed out and away from you. Elbows should be as high as you can get them. Your shoulders and hips should be in perfect alignment. To start off the movement, first you drop your elbows down and pull your chin back simultaneously so you can drive the bar directly upward. Then return to the rack position to complete the movement.

Strict Shoulder Press

strict-shoulder-press

 The Push Press is similar to the strict press. The hand spacing is the same and the starting rack position is identical. The only difference between the two is that the push press teaches you to use the energy from your hips to generate the beginning of the movement. This will benefit coordination and timing because you have to start the movement from the hip thrust (bend your knees slightly) to get the weight moving and then transfer the energy upward to the arms which finishes the movement to the lockout position.

Push Press

push-press

The Difference Between the Strict and Push Press

The strict press is more to build muscle and strength in the shoulders in a more controlled manner.

The Push Press has a combination of benefits. It helps raw strength along with timing and coordination because you’re able lift more weight and the sequence of hip to shoulder transfer of power have to be closely passed from the start of the movement to the finish.

About Eddie:

Eddie Albert is the owner of Ultimate Fitness in Ocean, NJ, a 24 hour gym where he is also the director of personal training. He is a former body builder and won the Mr New Jersey title in 1992. For more information, use the contact form below.

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Cable Crossovers

This is one of my favorite exercises for increasing chest development.  I like to perform the cable crossover at the end of a chest routine, really isolating the chest muscles for a great finish.  The cable crossover can work both the upper and lower chest muscles, and you can isolate them further depending on where you set the position for your grip.  Setting the pulleys in the highest position focuses on the lower pecs, while the lowest position will work your upper pecs. Placing the pulleys at shoulder height—with arms parallel to the floor—will target your middle pec fibers.

For this video, I have the grip hanging at about eye level, one of the higher positions.

Take a look at the video and then contact me with questions by emailing cmarzarella@fitnesstekpf.com

About Chris:

Chris is an NPC level body builder as well as a personal trainer at Ultimate Fitness in Ocean, NJ.  Chris offers preparation for body building and figure competitions as well as strength training for adults and teens.

Cable Crossover | Chest Exercise | NJ Personal Trainer

Lat Pull Down

The lat pull down helps develop your latissimus dorsi, rear delt and can take the place of the pull-up for those who can not yet perform pull-ups.  This is a great exercise for building width to your back and creating that hour glass shape.

In the video below, Chris Marzarella, a personal trainer at Ultimate Fitness in Ocean, NJ and NPC Body Builder, demonstrates how to do the lat pull down with the proper form.   Scroll down below this video to see the full movement in slow motion.

 

Watch this video to see the exercise in slow motion:

How To Do The Kipping Bar Muscle Up

Learn how to do the kipping bar muscle up with Eddie Albert, long time fitness expert, personal trainer and CrossFit athlete.

Before you can learn the muscle up, you first need to learn how to kip.  You can learn the kipping motion in this video below. If you already know how to kip, skip this video and scroll down to the bar muscle up video.

How to kip:

How to do a kipping bar muscle up:

Send your questions or comments to Eddie by using the form below:

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CrossFit Double Unders

If you want to take your cardio workout up another notch or want to turn up the heat on your jump rope workout, try incorporating CrossFit Double Unders into your cardio routine.  The Double Under is just what its name implies; a jump rope movement where you jump once and the rope passes twice under you before you land. Those who are really good at it can do these continuously.

Watch Nikki kill Double Unders during her workout.   This is one of the hardest movements to master. It takes time and a lot of PATIENCE.

 

Here are some tips on learning and mastering the Double Under:

  • Use a jump rope that comes up to your mid chest (or shoulders, for beginners)
  • keep your midline stabilized, engage your abs and always look forward with your head in the neutral position
  • keep your elbows close to your body
  • maintain a steady jump that’s 2-3 inches off the ground and stay with your rhythm
  •  It’s ALL in the speed of your wrists, not the height of your jump
  • if you’re having trouble with double unders, try this pattern: single under, single under, double under and repeat.
  • KEEP TRYING

 

 

 

NJ Personal Trainers Best Butt Exercise

Do you want a toned tush? Well NJ personal trainer, Chris Alesi, has put together some videos that demonstrate how to do the most effective exercises that truly target the tush!  Chris is a certified personal trainer at Ultimate Fitness in NJ and is ready to help you get the derriere of your dreams.  Just watch the short video below and if you have any questions, give Chris a call at 732-259-8291.

24 Hour Gym NJ | Ultimate Fitness | Personal Training