Behind The Neck Shoulder Press

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Shoulders
Secondary Muscle(s) TricepsTraps
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push

Behind The Neck Shoulder Press Instructions

  • Set a 90-degree bench in the squat rack. 
  • Position the bar slightly above your head within the rack.
  • Assume a strong, seated posture:
    • Core tight with a neutral spine
    • Shoulders down-and-back,
    • Chest up
    • Eyes looking straight ahead
  • Grip the barbell wider than you would for a standard overhead press.
  • Keep your shoulders pulled back, forearms vertical and trunk braced throughout the movement.
  • In a slow, controlled movement, unrack the bar and lower it behind your neck. 
  • When your tricep reaches at/above parallel to the floor, press the weight overhead.
  • At the top, the bar is directly above your head with your elbows locked out.
    • Neck is in a neutral position with your eyes fixated straight ahead.
    • Imagine bringing your armpits forward to stabilize the weight overhead.
  • Lower the bar on the same path in a controlled manner.


  • DO NOT LOWER bringing the bar lower than the top of your head to avoid excess shoulder stress.
  • Use lighter weight! Focus on the range-of-motion and proper muscle activation of the delts, traps, and triceps.
  • Refrain from arching your back excessively when lowering or pressing the weight.
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