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Alternating Barbell Shoulder Press with Press Behind the Neck

This has long been one of my favourite exercises for shoulders: Alternating Barbell Shoulder Press with Press Behind the Neck. Many perform one exercise or the other, but I've seldom seen it performed alternating between the two exercises, which is great for improving strength and control of the whole shoulder complex, deltoids and rotator cuff muscles, provided there's no contraindications.

The premise is simple, starting in an orthodox position for Barbell Shoulder Press (preferably standing, rather than seated), with the barbell at shoulder height, press the bar overhead, as usual, moving your head/ torso backward slightly, out of the bar's path. Then, lower the bar behind your head, slightly moving your head/ torso forward, out of the bar's path. Press the bar overhead. Bring it back down in front to assume the start-position. Repeat. The extra requirement of the shoulders rotator cuff muscles to control the stability of the joint through the transition of the lift is fairly substantial, compared to an orthodox shoulder press. For this reason, I recommend lifting only half to 2/3 of a usual shoulder pressing weight and performing a minimum of 8-10 FULL-repetitions, which, from experience, you may find easier counting to 16-20...counting each overhead press as 1-repetition.

I like to perform this exercise with a barbell or using a Smith Machine, both variations are worth trying. The Alternating Barbell Shoulder Press with Press Behind the Neck has many merits and should be considered above many ego lifts and fashionable lifts. 

Posting up this article, I can almost pre-guess the two opposing schools of thought regarding Press Behind the Neck. With this in mind, I recorded this quick video in the gym today and include a quick exercise demonstration: 

I hope you have found this article and video helpful. If so, please share it using the socialise buttons.

You'll note our Globe Gripz and Deadlift Deadener products in the video, which we use all of the time and highly recommend. These inventions help to support our free resource, so please check them out and consider getting some for your training :) 

Thanks and best regards,

Matt 

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