T Nation

Barbell Shoulder Press

Does anyone alternate shoulder exercises with an overhead barbell shoulder press (NOT behind the neck but in front)? I mainly use dumbbells for shoulder press,front/lat raise/etc but thought about adding a barbell movement for more mass. I have a power rack so this should be pretty easy from a spotting stand point. Also, I plan to use my util bench at a 80-90 deg angle to keep form good.

Crazy J…my favorite shoulder press is standing military front press. Those bad boys just blow my delts up, baby! I prefer to do them standing, just be careful to stabilize in the trunk as you have a tendency to lean back. I like to go heavy with them and take the bar to chin or below chin level.

isn’t it better to do it behind the neck or front?? What are the advantages/disadvantages of doing it in front or back?

Right on Timbo,thats how I do em, old school standing up,jdrocks what I gather from reading,Chek disaproves of behind the neck pressing as it doesnt really have any benefit
over front pressing and puts stress on the joint capsule at the bottom of the movement,King is ok with them.

ulisses- in fact i had learned about the behind the neck shoulder press from ian kings bring the pain workout. I believe that they are the same. If I am wrong maybe one would think that behind the neck is harder and requires more work from the deltoids, hence better than front press. This has been puzzling me since I have always done them behind the neck. Please someone coment.

I like seated front barbell overhead presses. I use the regular flat bench, but I sit on the bench facing the bar, with my legs and feet on the head end of the bench, passing under the bar. My feet, spaced wide on the floor, and my butt on the bench, give me a three point, stabile position, but there is nothing supporting my upper back, so I still get training for natural stabilization. To pick up and set down the bar, I lean forward and hunch down just a bit. I’d like to try those standing presses, but my gym doesn’t have a suitable power rack. However, I guess I could stand facing the flat bench, as before, and clean the bar into position. BTW, that is how I do my good mornings. I clean and jerk the weight overhead, then set it back down on my shoulders and step back away from the bench uprights a bit. - Nylo

Front and behind the neck presses probably both have their critics and downfalls. You could always just alternate, as they surely hit different angles. Some peeps may be leery of behind the neck because of the simple fact that the bar may slam down on the ol’ vertebrae. Some peeps may have a beef with front presses because they stress the lower back a bit.

Done correctly though, I think they’re a heckuva delt builder. You could always try some Push Presses too.

If you have adequate shoulder flexibility, you should not have any problems with the back shoulder press. I recommend you scrap the back support and perform them as Nylo described: seated with feet planted in front for a “triangle” base and no back rest. The back rest will allow more weight, but the temptation for many is to end up doing what amounts to a half-assed incline bench press. Standing is also a good alternative.