What’s surprising in the Strength and fitness world today is that, the exercises which once worked the wiring of training for the old school strongmen and athletes, are now found to be dangerous and injury prone. One exercise, which tops this list, is the good old, Overdue the Neck Press, and other exercises like overdue the neck lat pulldown, or overdue the neck pullups.

Behind the neck printing was a staple movement in the routine of yesteryear bodybuilders and strength athletes. Lately, this movement had been termed dangerous and is perfectly vetoed from various gyms and sports workouts.

Behind The Neck Press

What is the point of behind the head shoulder press?

The glenohumeral joint in our shoulder is very mobile but lacks bony congruency, rendering it vulnerable to excessive laxity (hyperlaxity) or instability. In simple terms, this joint has a relative lack of bony constraint, and it relies heavily on the surrounding soft tissue envelope for static and dynamic stability.

And this excessive laxity and instability can occur as a result of traumatic injury, or a gradual loosening of ligaments. Joint hyperlaxity involves excessive mobility without the presence of pain, whereas painful and uncontrollable excessive joint movement characterizes joint instability.

Repeated stretching of ligamentous-capsular restraints increases the likelihood of permanent elongation (acquired ligamentous laxity) and injury. If a ligament or sheathing is loosened significantly, surgery may be necessary to restore stability.

When the static glenohumeral ligaments are excessively lax or unstable, the rotator mitten muscles are thought to exert greater gravity to stabilize the humeral head. This dynamic bounty often results in fatigue followed by rotator mitten tendonitis and pain.

That’s why exercises that impart significant stresses to the glenohumeral ligaments should be avoided, particularly if pre-existing instability or hyperlaxity is present. Examples of worldwide exercises that put the glenohumeral joint in the “at-risk” position (external rotation combined with snatching and horizontal abduction) include the latissimus pull-down performed overdue the neck, the shoulder printing performed overdue the neck, the wide-grip seat press, and the pectoralis fly.

Exercises wontedly performed overdue the neck (e.g., shoulder printing and latissimus pull-down) should be performed with the elbows approximately 30deg proemial to the shoulder to subtract stress to the proemial glenohumeral joint.

Another exercise which the researchers in the study told to beware well-nigh is the barbell when squat. During the when squat the shoulder is maintained in an externally rotated, abducted, and horizontally abducted position. Clients with glenohumeral proemial hyperlaxity or instability should be instructed to either use a modified part-way of mass bar or perform a front squat instead.

The wide-grip unappetizing seat printing (barbells or dumbbells) or the seated machine chest printing should be modified to stave excessive horizontal abduction. Cases of bilateral proemial shoulder dislocation during seat pressing have been reported as a result of the horizontal snatching stress on the proemial glenohumeral ligaments combined with heavy resistance. Excessive horizontal snatching during the seat printing can be avoided by limiting hand spacing to 1.5 times the shoulder width, placing a cocoon or roll on the chest, or using a range of motion (ROM) limiting stop on a machine or self-spotting rack.

Like the seat press, hand spacing during push-ups should moreover be limited to reduce horizontal abduction. An volitional technique for performing a push-up using a standard weight bench.

Another worldwide strengthening exercise for the proemial shoulder and chest musculature is the pectoralis fly. Excessive horizontal snatching should be avoided when performing this exercise in order to minimize proemial capsular distention. This can be workaday by instructing clients to initiate the movement with their elbows slightly in front of their shoulders (scapular plane) and to maintain their elbows unelevated shoulder level throughout the movement. The elbows should be kept unelevated shoulder level to reduce shear wideness the subacromial space, which may irritate the rotator mitten tendons and bursa.

But this study, moreover covers a range of other exercises, which need to be modified or prevented totally.

A study, compared the two overhead pressing techniques i.e. front of the throne and overdue the neck press, in 33 subjects who performed the movements in a sitting position, without when support.

Though there was difference seen in male and sexuality spine movement during the testing, however, both front and overdue the neck presses were found to be unscratched and constructive exercises, when performed on subjects with normal trunk stability and ideal shoulder ROM. The trunk stability is required to stabilize the posture of the spine, expressly during seated overhead presses, without a when support.

We need to understand that it was never the movement which is the problem, it’s the joint. Because the study highlighted the issue of shoulder mobility or ROM, which can pose as a restriction for this movement.

A 2022 study, compared the muscles excitation during overhead printing performed with the barbell passing in front or overdue the throne or using a shoulder printing machine. Eight competitive bodybuilders performed in random order front (front-BMP) or when barbell military printing (back-BMP), and front (front-MSP) with neutral handgrip or when machine shoulder printing (back-MSP).

Study found that, performing when overhead printing enhances the excitation of medial and posterior and partly proemial deltoid, while front overhead favours pectoralis major. Overhead printing performed using barbell excites muscles increasingly than using machine to stabilize the trajectory of the external load. Variegated variations of overhead printing towards to provide variegated stimuli to the shoulder muscles and may be used therefrom during the training routine.

Let’s see what the experts have said:

Acc. to Joseph Horrigan, qualified Chiropractor, “The bar travels a shorter loftiness than it does during military presses. The behind-the-neck printing requires increasingly shoulder range of motion, however. It requires external rotation of the shoulder—so you can get the bar overdue your head—and scapular retraction, which is pulling your shoulders back.

If your pecs are tight, your shoulders will be rounded forward to varying degrees. The tightness will limit your worthiness to externally rotate your shoulders and moreover limit your worthiness to retract your shoulder blades. Those limits can produce shoulder pain from an excessive strain on the rotator mitten tendons or bursitis under the roof of the shoulder.”

Strength coach, Christian Thibaudeau, gives an example of the world renown weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, who did all kinds of overdue the neck presses i.e. narrow grip, wide grip, strict grip, push presses. In fact, a wide grip overdue the neck printing is tabbed the Klokov press. On the other hand, Klokov has been doing increasingly of overdue the neck presses, without he had suffered a shoulder injury. And, mind you, Klokov lifts mind boggling weight in all his lifts.

A number of famous powerlifters, weightlifters and bodybuilders have extremely heavy overdue the neck presses, as the main movement during their workouts. Reg Park, Arnold, Franco Columbu, Serge Nubret, Sergio etc. all loved this age old sweetheart.

The first person to unravel the 700-pound seat printing windbreak was Ted Arcidi, who used 400 pounds on the behind-the-neck press. Ed Coan performed the same value at 217lbs. bodyweight. Former Olympic weightlifter-turned-professional wrestler Mark Henry moreover went over 400 pounds on the lift.

Behind the Neck Press: Is It Really That Dangerous?

So, what’s the final take?:

It’s the not the movement, it’s the individual.

The behind-the-neck printing requires increasingly shoulder range of motion. It requires external rotation of the shoulder—so you can get the bar overdue your head—and scapular retraction, which is pulling your shoulders back.

If your pecs are tight, your shoulders will be rounded forward to varying degrees. The tightness will limit your worthiness to externally rotate your shoulders and moreover limit your worthiness to retract your shoulder blades. Those limits can produce shoulder pain from an excessive strain on the rotator mitten tendons or bursitis under the roof of the shoulder.

A increasingly serious injury with this exercise increasingly than most other move is disk protrusion, or herniation, in the neck.

  • It’s a good lift, but it’s not for everyone. If you have any neck problems, either don’t use it or stop using it. If you have shoulder pain, it may help you or rationalization you increasingly pain, depending on which shoulder problem you have. Strengthening the rotator mitten may enable you to perform the lift.
  • If you possess healthy shoulders and a proper mobility, then you can start with light behind-the-neck presses and build up to heavier sets over time.

Here are the pursuit points to be kept in mind while you perform the movement:

  • Start practising for the movement with a light empty barbell or plane better, a hollow pipe.
  • Do not grip the bar with an extremely wide grip or too narrow grip. Keep the elbows at 90deg to the bar.
  • Your elbows should be directly under the bar, not flared in or out.
  • Do not requite a jerky movement and when you get the bar down, unelevated parallel, if your shoulder is not mobile enough, don’t gravity the bar down.
  • If you finger a pinch in the shoulder plane with an empty bar, then largest remain off this movement. So, it’s not that too much weight will be an issue in overdue the neck press. It’s unquestionably any weight which causes joint discomfort.
  • Don’t do the movement as the first movement in your workout schedule. Let the shoulders get warmed up properly, and line-up the exercise later in the workout.
  • Avoid getting the bar all the way lanugo to the neck. Preferably, stop the bar, when the elbows are in line with the shoulder.


What is the point of behind the head shoulder press?

10 Best Shoulder Barbell Exercises for a Killer Workout - Steel Supplements

Modified for Hypertrophy, the activity can be an amazing mass developer for your shoulders and, surprisingly, upper back. The Behind the Neck Press is a great method for building full above strength and strong shoulders. It will help numerous different activities like Jerks and Grabs too.

What is the difference between military press and behind the neck press?

The previous permits you to seclude more power into your shoulders, and the last option develops more complete body fortitude by requiring each muscle in your body — particularly your middle and shoulders joined — to settle that weighty bar.

What are the cons of behind the neck press?

A behind-the-neck press truly does without a doubt put a ton of weight on your rotator sleeve muscles, which balance out your shoulder joints. The position is additionally abnormal. In the event that you have unfortunate shoulder portability, or on the other hand assuming your weight is excessively weighty, you could tear a shoulder muscle. You can hurt your neck, as well.