Behind the neck press

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Behind the neck press

Behind the neck press
Behind the neck press

Similar to behind the neck lat pulldown we have the behind the neck press, is there any benefit to it and how do we do it safely if so? In regards to hypertrophy training for optimal gains I would say behind the neck press is not needed. The reason being the possible inherit dangers especially when training with heavy weight has a high risk for no reward. Reason being the way the shoulder joint is as explained in the behind the neck lat pulldown. Also during a seated press specifically it is hard to focus on stacking the lumbar spine while slightly extending the thoracic spine. As well as the fact that under high loads the scapulohumoral rhythm changes and can potentially lead to impingement. Next issue is the acromial morphology which dictates how much room there is for the humeral head to move under, since you can’t easily know if you’re at a higher risk of impingement.


However there is a variation of the behind the neck press that can be possibly beneficial to athletes if have the proper mobility and are cued properly by a coach. The sots press is a standing behind the neck press, heaving a snatch grip and often done in a squat position. This is a great exercise for Olympic weightlifters that require great shoulder stability in these positions.

  • The things that are required to perform the sots press are good thoracic mobility;
  • this allows the shoulder blades to posteriorly tilt creating more room for the humeral head to move under.
  • Stable shoulder blades, these movements required great stability to handle the large forces placed on them, this includes lower trap and serratus. Weakness in these muscles and over activity in the upper trap is a risk factor for impingement;
  • if you lack these it’s better to avoid the exercise until you improve your scapular stability.
  • Lastly good core strength specifically abdominal strength, flaring of the ribs indicates the thoracic spine isn’t supported well by the abdominals allowing the ribs to jut out reducing contact of the shoulder blades against the back of the ribcage.
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