Tip: Master the Behind-the-Neck Push Press

This safer way of pressing behind the neck is also a powerful shoulder builder. Check it out in action here.

An underused tool for hitting the rear delts is behind the neck pressing. Using a wide snatch grip and a push start is invaluable.

I don't recommend any conventional behind the neck press variation, as many lifters don't have the requisite mobility to make this movement's benefits outweigh its disadvantages. However, widening out to a snatch grip and eliminating the need to press only through the arms during the first one-third of the lift can improve the situation.

This movement restricts the amount of weight you can use and makes the scapular muscles, mid traps, and rear delts work much harder. As this movement isn't for newbies, it's imperative that you have good shoulder health.

How to Do It

  • Start with a high bar position, not low bar. Let the bar rest near the top of the traps.
  • As you push up with assisted leg drive, actively press outwards.
  • Lower the weight slowly and under control.
  • Continue to press outward on the way down while raising the ribcage as high as you can. This will help keep the mid back engaged to avoid a crash landing.
  • Using good timing, "cushion" the landing by absorbing as much impact as you can on the negative rep. The bar should never land on your shoulders while you have straight knees.
  • Treat each rep like its own set. This shouldn't be done for high reps, nor speed.
  • Take your time between reps to gather yourself.