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A lot of very beneficial information.....Different HIT exercises I haven't heard of before” -W. Pruitt

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" Five star all the way. Every HIT training method is covered in these books. Love them” -J. Berndt


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is The Press-Behind Neck Safe?

Image result for barbell press

Years ago I regularly used the press-behind neck as an effective exercise to train the delts and the entire shoulder girdle. I stopped after reading numerous articles stating the movement is not safe and can lead to injuries involving the impingement of the rotator cuff.



Even though I made significant progress with this exercise, I decided to avoid the possibility of severe injury and switched to conventional presses only.

During the behind the neck barbell press, the tendon of one of these muscles, the supraspinatus, can be rubbed and compressed between the head of the humerus and surrounding articular features. This leads to inflammation and pain, and if not treated, can lead to permanent damage to the tendon resulting in the inability to lift your arm overhead. 

If desiring to continue using the press-behind neck movement  use proper form. Press the bar up with a smooth continuous motion, lowering only as far as is comfortable. Be careful to avoid hitting your neck or otherwise straining it as that is a common injury. If this is done, the exercise can be done safely.


The following alternative exercises will prove valuable in your training. Barbell front presses work the shoulders in the same way the behind-neck variety does, and doesn't cause any of the negative effects. I prefer using dumbbells for these because of the greater range of motion and more natural movement they afford.


Isolation exercises such as dumbbell front, side and bent-over laterals are also excellent. 


The following HIT program is one I recommend:



  • Dumbbell front press(either seated or standing)-1x6-8+3 forced reps
  • no rest
  • Dumbbell front raise-1x6 negative-only
Here's another:
  • Bent-over cable laterals-1x12
  • no rest
  • Incline dumbbell press(not bench press)-1x6+4 negatives

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