T Nation

Standing Behind Neck Presses

Saw this vid of Mariusz. I do the presses now but I never saw them done behind the neck. First thing that came to my mind was obviously, I wanna do these! Then, I remember all the things I hear about how behind the neck presses are hard on your shoulders ect… Plus, looks like one wrong move and some bad shit can go down.

What do you experienced guys think?
Try it, or get more experience then try it?

Those are behind the the neck push presses, which I have never done, I usually do it without the leg drive, push presses I’ve always done to the front.

I know they do have a bad rep, but I personally really feel them in the shoulder and it’s a favourite exercise of mine, have to use less weight then regular military presses though. IMO give them a try, if it feels like they are bothering your shoulder too much, don’t do them.

Why should you not try them at least once?
There is hardly one exercise that is so dangerous I would advise people against. I can’t think of one, to be honest.

Marius, obviously, wouldn’t do a lift if he’d put his career on the line.
So some people grow fine or get a lot of strength from “risky” exercises.

Aside from DL /back squat (for people with back issues), troublesome popular lifts from my point of view are dips, upright rows as well as behind the neck presses and pulls. Check them out but progress cautiously.

I prefer behind the neck presses to the “normal” variation, but I do both…
Personally I would try it sat down to start with just till you get the form down then you can do the standing stuff and maybe do the push presses part which I am assuming is the part where he uses his knees?

Just make sure to do them like he did, with your shoulder blades pulled back and pressing the weight straight overhead. Try it with a broomstick first to make sure your mobility is there.

I prefer to do my shoulder exercices with a slight leg drive and focus on slowing the negative. I gained strength faster on shoulder presses than bench presses this way.

If I could use leg drive on bench pressing movement, I’d certainly try it.

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
I prefer to do my shoulder exercices with a slight leg drive and focus on slowing the negative. I gained strength faster on shoulder presses than bench presses this way.

If I could use leg drive on bench pressing movement, I’d certainly try it.[/quote]

umm… yeah, you’re supposed to drive through the heels on a bench press.

  • Be sure you have good flexibility in your shoulder capsule, especially external rotators.
  • Start with light weight, high reps.
  • Use a wider-than-shoulder width grip.
  • Lower the bar only to about ear level.

If you’re careful it’s a great exercise that really hits the medial delts with heavy loads.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Why should you not try them at least once?
There is hardly one exercise that is so dangerous I would advise people against. I can’t think of one, to be honest.

[/quote]

I can. BTN presses taken all of the way to the shoulders or base of the neck have led to more shoulder injuries/surgeries than anything else. I have done them for years but I never went past ear level because of that. It is very difficult to find a very large bodybuilder who has done BTN presses for years who has had no shoulder problems because of that.

I would put upright rows next on the list but I will admit that some people may be put together in a way that won’t cause any problems at all with that movement.

Not everyone’s shoulder is designed the same way. So, some people could get by with doing them and not suffer.

That being said, unless you get an X-Ray it will be impossible to determine and even then that wouldn’t be conclusive IMO.

Why risk it? That position puts the shoulder in it’s weakest position and you’re externally loading the crap out of it.

You can do just as an effective movement with DBs in a neutral position or with a bar in front. The amount of muscle activation won’t be tween the 2 won’t be that discernible.

Just like BTN pulldowns… Why???

I personally think the growth from normal front presses in comparison to BTN is negigible. SO when you think about the potential of injury, why not just stick to normal presses.

I’ve been doing behind the neck shoulder presses for a month or so now, reps of 12, 3 sets, they’re great for shoulders, with military you can lean back a little and get more of your chest in the movement but with behind the neck it’s all shoulders with a little bit of tri’s. I try not to use the leg drive on the first couple of sets, then on the last few sets to finish the last couple of reps I’ll drive it up!

Also try seated behind the neck press, takes the legs completely out!

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Why should you not try them at least once?
There is hardly one exercise that is so dangerous I would advise people against. I can’t think of one, to be honest.

I can. BTN presses taken all of the way to the shoulders or base of the neck have led to more shoulder injuries/surgeries than anything else. I have done them for years but I never went past ear level because of that. It is very difficult to find a very large bodybuilder who has done BTN presses for years who has had no shoulder problems because of that.

I would put upright rows next on the list but I will admit that some people may be put together in a way that won’t cause any problems at all with that movement.[/quote]

What about upright rows done with dumbbells? I heard it was using straight bars with the upright rows that caused the injuries.

[quote]skohcl wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Why should you not try them at least once?
There is hardly one exercise that is so dangerous I would advise people against. I can’t think of one, to be honest.

I can. BTN presses taken all of the way to the shoulders or base of the neck have led to more shoulder injuries/surgeries than anything else. I have done them for years but I never went past ear level because of that. It is very difficult to find a very large bodybuilder who has done BTN presses for years who has had no shoulder problems because of that.

I would put upright rows next on the list but I will admit that some people may be put together in a way that won’t cause any problems at all with that movement.

What about upright rows done with dumbbells? I heard it was using straight bars with the upright rows that caused the injuries.[/quote]

I stay away from any type of upright rows. There are too many other alternatives for anyone to be worried about that one exercises. If you decide to do them, just be aware of the potential for injury. BTN presses, however, despite the risks, is still considered one of the best overall mass builders for shoulders. That is why I still did them but refrained from going all of the way down to the back of my neck with the bar.

Agreed with Upright rows.

Prof- do you feel that you couldn’t get just as good development from not doing BTN presses as with other overhead movements (in line with the ear or in front)?

  1. I think you can acheive the same stimulus by using DBs and squeezing your shoulderblades together-- it is essentially the same plane and hits the muscles well. I used to do them all the time but stopped before I had problems. I had read too much negative about them and that’s not the kind of thing you want to learn yourself (waiting to be injured). I agree 100% with the not going past your ears and doing a very controlled, slow negative.

  2. On upright rows-- I’ve never been able to do them and am jealous of those who can do it effectively because it is clearly an awesome exercise to get that “yoked” look.

I find that upright cable rows work very well and I never feel like I’m going to get injured. Experiment with the plane, your elbow position, etc. to find your sweet spot, but they are 1000x better than BB upright rows.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
Agreed with Upright rows.

Prof- do you feel that you couldn’t get just as good development from not doing BTN presses as with other overhead movements (in line with the ear or in front)?[/quote]

I don’t do BTN any longer. I stopped about two years ago. I use the cybex plate loaded machine and the HS machine now and my shoulders are the biggest they have ever been. I keep training them up to twice a week because I want to really see them sit out there if I can.

I haven’t seen a bodybuilder with shoulders that were too big yet.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I use the cybex plate loaded machine…[/quote]

x2 for the Cybex plate loaded machine. I’ve been searching for an alternative to BTN presses because they have always irritated my shoulders. I started using this machine and my shoulders have responded very well to it.

[quote]GuerillaZen wrote:
CPerfringens wrote:
I prefer to do my shoulder exercices with a slight leg drive and focus on slowing the negative. I gained strength faster on shoulder presses than bench presses this way.

If I could use leg drive on bench pressing movement, I’d certainly try it.

umm… yeah, you’re supposed to drive through the heels on a bench press.[/quote]

And wear work boots.

I find that BN press is great for opening up the shoulders and training the lower traps and scaps to stay nice and contracted on overhead press.

Just alternate from front and back presses. I have them in every program for almost all my clients. If you feel that the lower portion of the lift bothers your shoulders then I’d advise doing only push press and push jerk or split jerk for behind the neck. this way the lower portion is assisted primarily by the hip drive from the push or jerk. great lift to teach where to hold the bar overhead for O-lifts.

-chris