- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBarbell
- Force TypePush (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelAdvanced
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Traps, Triceps
Military Press Behind Neck Overview
The behind the neck military shoulder press is a variation of the overhead press and an exercise used to build shoulder strength and muscle.
Behind the neck press variations are often seen as a dated practice since they can put the shoulder in a compromised position, increasing the risk of injury.
If you do not have a fair amount of shoulder mobility, it is not recommended to perform this variation. And even if you do, depending on your reasoning behind the use of this exercise, there may be better variations available for you to use.
Military Press Behind Neck Instructions
- Adjust the barbell to just below shoulder height then load the desired weight onto the bar.
- Assume a shoulder width stance and place your hands outside of shoulder width with a pronated grip on the bar.
- Step underneath the bar and rack it on your traps.
- Take two steps back, inhale, brace, tuck the chin, and press the bar to lockout.
- Exhale once the bar gets to lockout and reverse the movement slowly while controlling the bar behind your neck.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Military Press Behind Neck Tips
This is one of the most 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.
- Reach tall at the top and don’t worry about keeping the shoulders packed down and back.
- Fight to control the bar from rolling your wrists into extension and think about “rolling your knuckles toward the ceiling.”
- Keep momentum out of the movement and don’t add any additional leg drive by flexing and extending the knees.
- Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs as you press. You shouldn’t be leaning back excessively as you press.
- Imagine you’re trying to look out a window at the top, your ears should be in line with your biceps.
- 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.