The military press behind the neck are great exercise for developing the front and side head of the shoulders and the overall power of the upper body, especially a core and triceps muscles. As the other variations of the behind the neck presses the military press behind the neck could be potentially dangerous for the shoulder joint because of the unnatural external rotation of the shoulder which requires the exercise. So if you already have shoulder problems you must replace behind the neck presses with some more delicate for the shoulder exercises like dumbbell shoulder press and barbell shoulder press in front of your body.
Setup for the exercise by placing a barbell at power rack/squat rack at chest high. Grasp the bar with a slightly wider than a shoulder width pronated grip (palms facing forward). Stand right beneath the bar, bend your knees slightly and place the barbell on your collar bone. Un-rack the barbell and take a step back. Position your feet about shoulder width apart and keep knees slightly bend during the set. Once you are in the right position lift the bar up and hold it exactly above your head with your arms slightly flexed.
Inhale and start to lower the bar behind your head as you control the weight until the bar stand at one level with the middle portion this position carefully change the direction of the movement and press the barbell back up above your head as you exhale.
- Grip the bar with your thumbs around the front, to prevent it from slipping.
- Use a grip that creates a 90-degree angle between upper arm and forearm at the lower position. Any wider grip will put undue stress on your rotator cuff and a closer grip will put the emphasis on the triceps.
- Don’t lock your arms at the top of the movement, this would help you to keep the tension in the shoulder muscles and to minimize involvement of the triceps.
- Keep your back straight, knees slightly bended and your core tight.
- Perform the negative phase of the movement for twice longer time than the positive.