T Nation

Behind the Neck Push Press Cues


Hey CT, I've been doing more behind the neck push press and really like the movement. My specific issue is figuring out how to safely get the bar back to my upper back after a rep when the weight starts getting heavy. I have kept it light/moderately heavy where I can lower it slowly, or I will lower it in front of my shoulders, rerack, get back under it and start over. But based on all the videos I've seen, people just drop the sucker back to their traps.

I tried a couple times and can't seem to find the sweet spot. One time it landed on my neck, another time it landed too low and wrenched my shoulders. Do you have any coaching tips for this? I feel I could go much heavier but I'm held back by the safety issue.

Also, I train in my garage with no bumper plates and no platform, so I absolutely can't dump the bar to the floor. I train inside a power rack with the pins set just below the shoulders in hopes of catching the bar should I need to dump.


i guess, if you just squat a little bit on the way down, you will be able to use the pins…


I am by no means an expert on this, but I have experienced the same issue. After reading many articles I could not find an answer, so I chose to just rely on YouTube and pour through videos to see how pros do it. It looks to me that many oly lifters doing behind the neck jerks and presses will literally pull the bar down to their traps and into that sweet spot you mention.

They also will absorb the weight with their legs as the bar lands on their traps. I have found that this takes a while to master, but it very useful and is a lot less taxing on your shoulders than slowly lowering the weight to the traps and fatiguing the muscle.