The seated barbell shoulder press behind the neck are basic multi joint exercise for the shoulder muscles. As a compound movement which involves many muscle groups they aloud use of maximum amount of weight which makes them a great shoulder power and mass building exercise. All variations of the behind the neck presses 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 substitute 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.
Sit at a shoulder press rack/bench combo or put a bench inside of power rack with the bar behind your head and above you. Grasp the bar with a slightly wider than a shoulder width pronated (palms facing forward). Un-rack the bar and hold it exactly above your head with your arms slightly flexed. This is the starting position for the exercise.
Breathe in 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 of your head (slightly above the top of your years). Press the bar up without using the momentum and bring it back to the starting position 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.
- Use a spotter to helps you to un-rack and rack the bar.
- Perform the negative phase of the movement for twice longer time than the positive.