T Nation

Rear Shoulder Press?


I was working out at the gym today, doing shoulders. When I did the rear shoulder press, some guy came up to me, and recommended that I don't do that excersize. He told me that there's too much room for error, and that that particular excersize is very dangeroues, causing one to be very succeptable to back injuries. Was he right? Should I stop doing rear shoulder press, and just stick to front shoulder presses? What other excersizes should I do to work my shoulders? Thanks alot, -Ivan


why didn't you ask him? hahaha!

seriously though the answer to you question is a simple search away.


He was part right as a lot of people are. They have been known to cause problems with impingements. I'm not too sure about back injuries though. I've never heard of it.


There have been several posts on behind the neck (BTN) presses. In general, they can be bad for your shoulders. They also restrict your range of motion a bit.

That being said, going a BTN press with a snatch grip alleviates a lot of the stress on your joints, and seems to be an acceptable exercise (CT recommends it during his Shoulder Overhaul program).

Overall: can be dangerous, especially if you have bad shoulders/rotator cups. Useful exercise, but you need to keep very strict form.


I'm just curious what gyms a lot you people lift in where others are so quick to oofer "advice". I've been in several gyms in 4 different states and I can only remember twice someone approaching me and "correcting" me. And one of those times was a guy offering me a belt to use while I deadlift.

I just can't imagine a sort of place where people are so quick to analyze and criticize others. Don't they work out while they're there?

Yes, I lift in mostly commercial gyms,


I think it has something to do with whether you appear willing to accept "advice" Malone. Notice that you have 85 more pounds of mass than schwizzle. I throughly enjoy my lack of unqualified "assistance" at the gym now that I'm typically bigger than most people there. Big guys aren't offered assistance at the gym, they're just annoyed with dumb questions...

In regards to Schwizzle's inquiry, there are so many shoulder exercises out there, I don't and wouldn't bother using one that's both inferior and potentially dangerous. Keep on pumpin'...


I added Behind the Neck barbell presses to my routine about 3 months ago and have not looked back....

I was always afraid of them due to the same reasons everyone was telling you..

I do them standing and medium to widegrip.

if anything I think my rotator cuffs are now stronger than ever and so is my serratus.

I say if you can do them with out pain and you have the flexibility, give it a shot.

I also started doing close grip barbell upright rows....which I always heard was a no no for shoulder impingement.

but just like the BTN Press, this excerise is doing a lot of good.

good luck


I get this, but I don't really remember seeing this happen to even small people in the gym. And I was 160 once, too. Not that I spend my time watching others, but I am usually aware of waht is going on around me, to a point.

I feel fairly knowledgeable and have made decent strength gains, but even when I see someone doing something "I" think is ridiculous(or dangerous), I don't approach them. Maybe that's just my personality type, who knows.

I have been approached with questions before when I do something out of the norm -- people always ask me about board presses. And I always answer. I refuse to be an asshole just because someone's curious. In fact it usually ends up with them walking away, because I start to ramble on.


If you don't look clueless and aren't training wrong, no one will bother you. I am convinced that many of these guys claiming they get approached with advice this much are simply training with poor form thinking they are doing it right.