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.

 

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