Why You Should be Avoiding the Behind the Neck Press

by Gary Matthews

This exercise trains the neck (traps) and shoulder (deltoid) muscles and is performed by placing a loaded barbell onto your upper back just above the trap muscle.

This exercise is done by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Placing your hands on the bar about three inches wider than the width of your shoulders.

Pushing the bar overhead to arm's length, holding and then slowly lowering back down to your shoulders. This exercise can also be done seated. Try performing it in a smith machine or power rack for added safety.

This is an exercise that places the shoulder joint into the dislocation position and the range of motion puts unnecessary stress on the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulders.

Many trainees may experience injuries from this behind-the-neck movement. As with before stick with dips and bench presses for your shoulder work.

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Fitness Extra

If you are new to exercise, consider getting a medical assessment before doing too much. Fill out a PARQ to see if you are ready. The best thing you could do is perform a warm-up before each fitness session, which should include some stretching. When training, following correct exercise technique can help reduce injuries and maximise fitness gains.

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