T Nation

Behind the Back

alot of people on this site say most excersies done behind the head are bad for the shoulders, but what about behind back shrugs or pull-ups?

[quote]crod266 wrote:
alot of people on this site say most excersies done behind the head are bad for the shoulders, but what about benhind back shrugs or pull-ups?[/quote]

I have absolutely horrible shoulders and I can tell you that behind the neck shrugs should be fine, but behind the neck pull-ups are not a great idea.

I have good shoulders and i believe with good shoulders behind the back pulldowns, presses etc can be used moderately, and if the hands come no lower than ear level.

Behind the back shrugs are good and i believe they have given me the very visible traps when viewed from the rear.

Behind the neck pullups i dont do, i settle for standard (or wide) chins regularly and behind the back pulldowns every couple of workouts.

Joe

Behind the neck shrugs are fine

the problem isn’t so much behind the back/neck stuff.

it’s exercises that put your shoulder at its weakest position (abducted and externally rotated), then loading it with heavy weights.

while most guys in the gym won’t immediately hurt themselves with such exercises, over time it can cause problems.

Besides that, there’s no real reason to do such an old school exercise. And I don’t want to hear, but yeah big guys do it, so it must work.
It would be equally effective to do it in front, just because you put your hands behind your head/neck doesn’t involve the back muscle more

For me, i know i feel some strain when i try to behind the neck military presses; so i dont do them as the strain just feels wrong and the amount of wieght i use also places me at risk to get the bar over my head once its behind the neck should i have to correct or fail.

However, i can do behind the neck pullups or pulldowns all day and really dont think i could ever get injured doing it… knock on wood.

At any rate, you have to listen to your body; what might be ok for one person; might not be ok for you.