Press Behind the Neck

press behind the neck
Exercise Profile

Primary Muscle Group(s): Shoulders (Front and Side)

Secondary Muscle Group(s): Triceps and Trapezius

Exercise Instructions

1. Sitting down on a bench with back support and special supports. Press your back firmly against the padding for support.

2. Grasp a barbell with your hands spaced a little wider than shoulder width. Keep your back and head straight with your feet firmly planted on the floor.

3. Take the weight off the rack and press the bar directly over your head in a vertical line.

4. Slowly lower the bar behind your head to just below the ears.

5. Push the bar back up without bounding the weight. Remember to keep the back straight and flat (no arching) Repeat the movement.


This exercise is a mass builder for the shoulders. Considered a compound movement, this exercise directly targets the front and side deltoids (shoulders). The triceps also get hit pretty hard with this exercise and is considered a secondary muscle group as well as the trapezius muscle.

This type of pressing movement can either be done to the back or to the front. If done to the front, remember to use a flat back bench with no incline. The back seat rest should be strictly vertical.

When doing this exercise, remember to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground and your back flat on the back rest. Don't arch your back to get the weight up .

Press play to view an instructional video on how to properly perform the press behind the neck.

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