Seated Behind the Neck Shoulder Press Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Intermediate
  • Traps, Triceps
Shoulders Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Seated Behind the Neck Shoulder Press Overview

The seated behind the neck barbell shoulder press is a variation of the overhead press and an exercise used to build shoulder strength and muscle.

Vertical press variations are crucial movement patterns to train and should be incorporated into your workout routines. So, experiment with the variations until you find one that feels comfortable for you to perform and continue to work on it.

That said, 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.

Seated Behind the Neck Shoulder Press Instructions

  1. Adjust the barbell to just below shoulder height while standing then load the desired weight onto the bar.
  2. Place an adjustable bench beneath the bar in an upright position.
  3. Sit down on the bench and unrack the bar using a pronated grip.
  4. Inhale, brace, tuck the chin, then lower the bar to the back of your neck.
  5. Exhale and press the bar back to lockout.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Seated Behind the Neck Shoulder Press Tips

  1. Reach tall at the top and don’t worry about keeping the shoulders packed down and back.
  2. Allow the elbows to rotate and point outward at the top of the movement but tuck them tight to the ribcage at the bottom.
  3. Fight to control the bar from rolling your wrists into extension and think about “rolling your knuckles toward the ceiling.”
  4. Brace your abs as you press, you shouldn’t be leaning back excessively.
  5. Imagine you’re trying to look out a window at the top, your ears should be in line with your biceps.
  6. If your shoulders are bothering you during the movement, consider experimenting with a wider grip or utilizing some of the vertical pressing progressions listed on the site.