Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelAdvanced
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Traps, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Behind The Neck Push Press Overview

The behind the neck push press is a push press variation that trains the vertical push movement pattern. One would perform the behind the neck push press to target the muscles of the shoulders.

The push press itself is a somewhat dynamic movement that generates power from the lower body to allow one to push heavier weight overhead. The behind the neck push press brings the weight to a posterior starting position, which many may struggle with.

You should only use the behind the neck push press if you are an advanced lifter and have mastered the other shoulder press variations.

Behind The Neck Push Press Instructions

  1. Adjust the barbell to just below shoulder height then load the desired weight onto the bar.
  2. Assume a shoulder width stance and place your hands outside of shoulder width with a pronated grip on the bar.
  3. Step underneath the bar and rack it on your traps.
  4. Take two steps back, inhale, brace, and tuck the chin to prepare to go overhead.
  5. Dip slightly at the knees and hips, then press the bar to lockout overhead by extending your legs and arms simultaneously.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Behind The Neck Push Press Tips

  1. This is one of the more advanced shoulder pressing progressions and many won’t have the requisite shoulder mobility or core stability to complete the movement.
    • If you experience pain during the movement, considering implementing one of the other shoulder pressing variations such as landmine or dumbbell version.
  2. Reach tall at the top and don’t worry about keeping the shoulders packed down and back.
  3. Fight to control the bar from rolling your wrists into extension and think about “rolling your knuckles toward the ceiling.”
  4. Keep momentum out of the movement and don’t add any additional leg drive by flexing and extending the knees.
  5. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs as you press. You shouldn’t be leaning back excessively as you press.
  6. Imagine you’re trying to look out a window at the top, your ears should be in line with your biceps.
  7. You can use a staggered stance to prevent the lower back from arching excessively but if you still can’t control the anterior core then consider using a half kneeling regression shown on the site.