September 16, 2022

How To Do Military Press – Barbell Behind The Neck.

Military Press Behind Neck

The overhead presse behind-the-neck military shoulder press is an extension of the overhead pressing . It’s used to strengthen shoulder muscles and strength.

The neck press variations behind the neck are considered a outdated practice because they can place the shoulder in an awkward position, increasing the chance of injury.

This variation is not recommended if you don’t have enough shoulder mobility. Even if you have a fair amount of shoulder mobility, you may find better options depending on the reason for your use.

For neck instructions, military press behind

  1. Set the barbell at just below the shoulder height and then add the weight you desire to the bar.
  2. Take a stance that is shoulder-width wide and hold the bar with your pronated grip.
  3. Get under the bar to rack it on your traps.
  4. Two steps back, inhale and brace your chest. Tuck your chin and press the lock button to lockout.
  5. Once the bar is locked out, exhale and slowly reverse the movement while keeping your neck in line with the bar.
  6. Continue repeating until you reach the desired number.

Military Press behind Neck Tips

  1. This is a very advanced shoulder pressing movement. Many people won’t be able to do it properly due to their lack of core stability or shoulder mobility. You can try one of the other variations, such as the dumbbell or landmine version, if you feel pain while performing the shoulder pressing.
  2. At the top, reach high and don’t be afraid to keep your shoulders and back down.
  3. You can control the bar by rolling your wrists in extension. Instead, think about “rolling you knuckles towards the ceiling”.
  4. You should keep the momentum going and not add leg drive by flexing or extending your knees.
  5. Press your glutes together and brace your abs. Pressing shouldn’t cause you to lean back too much.
  6. Imagine that you are trying to see out the top of a window. Your ears should align with your biceps.
  7. To prevent your lower back from arching too much, you can try a staggered stance. If that fails to work, then you can use the half-kneeling regression as shown on the site.

The best delts exercises are military presses. They focus on the target muscle. Behind-the neck presses focus some of the stress on your lats. Your back takes some stress off your shoulder girdle and/or deltoids.

This is why behind-the neck presses are more powerful than militaries. All of your back muscles are stacked on top and pushing upwards together, creating enormous leverage through a stabilized power plane. This is great for your upper back but takes away from your shoulders. You can see the proof in the fact that your front delts will get a nice burn from the behind-the-neck presses. However, your posterior and lateral delt heads will remain relatively fatigue-free.

Behind-the-neck press twists your rotator wrists to an unnatural position, where they are subject to adverse torque stress. Their function is to rotate muscles into positions that allow them proper flexibility. This could explain why many bodybuilders who use behind-the-neck presses to gain as much weight as possible have rotator-cuff issues.

Behind-the-neck press aren’t a shoulder-widening exercise. They are also not an effective movement to build front-to-back thickness. The bar is placed behind your neck. Your deltoid head should be pulled inwards, rather than being spread across your shoulder girdle.

Only Military PRESSES Provide the necessary compound distribution of stresses for shoulder width and thickness.


The military press is the best and most basic shoulder exercise. While there are more specific movements (e.g., various raises) that can be used to develop individual deltoid heads and dumbbell presses for increasing the size of the complex, only military presses offer the proper distribution of stresses required for shoulder thickness and width. Pressing behind your neck will bring your deltoids inward. However, a press with a bar in the front will keep your shoulders open and require the muscles of your upper back, traps, and upper pecs to contract in a complex manner.

Behind-the-neck presses require that the bar be supported by your shoulders and back. Your shoulder girdle is the only thing that stabilizes military presses. This causes a greater contraction of your posterior and lateral deltoid heads. The result is that no shoulder girdle muscle can withstand stress and development from a military press.

In alternate workouts, I recommend that you do military presses while seated, with your back braced. The former will allow you to concentrate more power in your shoulders and the latter will build more total-body strength because it requires every muscle in your body, especially your shoulders and torso, to support that heavy bar. You’ll feel proud that you survived a tough battle.

Here’s my last praise for any exercise that brings out your best effort: It makes me want to eat like an horse. This is a positive sign. More work. More food. More muscle.


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