Behind the Neck Press Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Behind the Neck Press

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Step 1. Take the bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width and remove it from the rack. (Using a spotter is recommended for this exercise)

Step 2. Hold the weight steady and do not let the weight fall backward.

Step 3. Lower the weight behind your head until your elbows are perpendicular. Any further in the movement and the risk of injury to the shoulder increases greatly.

Step 4. Press the weight back up exhaling as you go. When finished with your repetitions re-rack the weight.


The behind the neck press is a size and strength building deltoid exercise. By performing the behind the neck shoulder press, the deltoid is more isolated than if the press was performed in front of the neck. The disadvantage to performing the press behind the neck is that you can not achieve the same deep stretch as if the exercise was performed in front of the neck. The behind the neck press can be a tough exercise to feel comfortable with. First, it is tough to get the weight off the rack and therefore a spotter should be used to help you get the bar in the proper place. Second, it is important to not lower the weight too far behind you. Given the isolation, it can be easy to lower the weight too far and put too much pressure on the shoulder joints. Again, using a spotter can help to alleviate this problem.

Seated Behind the Neck Press 4
Seated Behind the Neck Press 3

Updated: March 30th, 2015