Behind-the-neck barbell overhead press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Lateral Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Triceps Brachii, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

N/A. The behind-the-neck barbell overhead press is not recommended. Please see Comments and tips.



Comments and tips

Instructions have not been provided for this exercise because it is not recommended. It’s not recommended because, as with all behind-the-neck exercises, the behind-the-neck barbell overhead press forces you to put your neck and shoulders into risky ranges of motion under heavy load. More specifically, as you lower the bar behind your neck, you are forced to tilt your neck out of alignment with your spine and externally rotate your shoulders into an extreme range of motion. Repeated unnecessary strain on both your neck and shoulders could lead to an injury.

Many people can get away with doing the behind-the-neck barbell overhead press. Whether or not the exercise can be risky for you depends on your technique and the way in which your body is built. However, why take the risk when there are perfectly safe alternatives, such as the standard barbell overhead press, the dumbbell one-arm overhead press, and the Arnold press?

Behind-the-neck barbell overhead press video



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