Poll: How do you do your shoulder press?

Shoulder press......front or back?

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    Shoulder press......front or back?


    I have always done my shoulder press with the barbell in front of my face. Recently I have seen more and more people do it behind their head. It feels a bit more uncomfortable, and I can put up significantly less weight, but it feels to work them a bit more.

    Just wondering the general thoughts here?

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    When using a barbell I prefer a behind the neck press. I feel it better in my shoulders. I don't go all the way down on those though. I stop the at about the top of my ears or a little higher.
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    I love shoulder press and I used to go to the back of the top of the head. A buddy of mine who was an EMT said that any heavy resistance, including pull downs behind the head, should go to the front. Granted I never noticed any problems before I switched but since then I've gone forward instead of behind.
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    Well a lot of folk avoid the behind neck excercises as its an unatural move an can cause injury if done with improper form and too heavy a weight. personally i have had a carcrash whiplash injury thats agravated by any excercises behind the neck,ie,pull downs and presses,squats.I get around this when doing presses by using dumbells instead of a barbell and push them back as far as i can go so in effect it is a behind neck press,but without the stresses and strains a barbell brings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtp217 View Post
    When using a barbell I prefer a behind the neck press. I feel it better in my shoulders. I don't go all the way down on those though. I stop the at about the top of my ears or a little higher.
    thats really the critical part, the ones behind the head are ok, so long as you dont over-extend. doing them in the front you get better range of motion though, so I dont do the behind the head anymore
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    Alternate and do both. 1 week in front next week in back.
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    I prefer everything from the back (no homo), rear shoulder presses, behind the neck pull ups, pull downs and behind the neck shrugs.
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    hmm never tried behind the next shrugs, but i could see it being nice
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    hmm never tried behind the next shrugs, but i could see it being nice
    It is very nice. I like behind shrugs for back days, it stimulates the like-muscles that were hit on a back day and front shrugs with delts, same principle.
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    Both front & rear shrugs are basically scapular elevation, but the behind has a stronger affinity for scapular retraction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    thats really the critical part, the ones behind the head are ok, so long as you dont over-extend. doing them in the front you get better range of motion though, so I dont do the behind the head anymore
    True but then most of the load goes onto my triceps when I got to the front too.
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    yeah, thats when dbs are nice you can split the difference
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    yeah, thats when dbs are nice you can split the difference
    Exactly
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
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    I was under the impression BH the necks heighten the risk of shoulder/rotar cuff injury? so i stay well clear of behind the neck, I have a couple of mates who injured rotar cuffs, and they are NEVER the same again. Im not messing with em!
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    I do a set of 6 in front and 6 behind as a single set to hit it both ways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzY SluGGa View Post
    I was under the impression BH the necks heighten the risk of shoulder/rotar cuff injury? so i stay well clear of behind the neck, I have a couple of mates who injured rotar cuffs, and they are NEVER the same again. Im not messing with em!
    I've heard the same thing! Truely sucks but heavy weight is supposed to hurt you over time. I stick with the front but if I wanted to be 100% safe I'd switch back to dumbells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessep76 View Post
    I've heard the same thing! Truely sucks but heavy weight is supposed to hurt you over time. I stick with the front but if I wanted to be 100% safe I'd switch back to dumbells.
    yeah man, I stay with safe too. Once thm shoulders go your F**k'd! you use them for every upper body movement. couple of my mates cant even train cause of their shoulders. Screw that!
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    There always seems to be a lot of controversy as to whether behind the neck barbell presses/military presses are good or bad. The only piece of information that I ever found that actually researched this was written in a book called the 7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution by Jerry Robinson of Health for Life. He is the same guy that came out with "Legendary Abs" books one and two.

    He stated the most common problem that people have and why it may hurt to do behind the neck presses was due to shortened internal cuff rotators which limited the amount of external rotation that could be done also affecting one's posture position while doing the exercise.

    A great stretch that was in the book was to put your wrist on your hip(elbows obviously bent)-fingers pointing towards the back. Using your free hand placed on the elbow, pull straight forward. You will feel your rear delt stretch.

    I lost my copy after I let a trainer borrow it and may get another copy soon. Definitely worth the investment.
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    Damn thats good stuff! I'll be using this stretch from here on out in hopes of lessening my chances of problems in the future. Dumbells are not the worst thing to be doing for shoulders but damn it i love throwing up some heavy weight on behind the neck. I stopped for a while when I heard about rotator problems, but there's no faster way to make those shoulders round and tight.
    It also helps that I usually do more weight on there than the rest of the people at my gym. It's mostly the type of people that workout there though. 145 isn't entirely the bee's knees.
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    I do shoulder presses in front. I can't do them in back cause everytime I come down my shoulder clicks. I can't do behind the head lat pull downs either.
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    i do them infront used to do them behind but read up on this and theres risk of injury
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    Big risk. In fact it supposedly it just happens over time too from what I've heard. I read that you get a lot of tricep when you do front though.
    Dumbells are the safest way to go by far.
    But if you have to do it I'd try that stretch that CMC talked about. I do it now after the rare occasions of BTNeck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maurice02 View Post
    I have always done my shoulder press with the barbell in front of my face. Recently I have seen more and more people do it behind their head. It feels a bit more uncomfortable, and I can put up significantly less weight, but it feels to work them a bit more.

    Just wondering the general thoughts here?
    Both are safe as long as you can identify and stay within your unique shoulder's ROM.

    Each person is different, and so is their ROM. Heavy resistance on these pull/pushes behind the head can definitely lead to injury if you get overzealous, or don't know where to stop.

    Find a comfortable ROM, keep weights light...always have a spotter handy on a press behind the neck. If you bust, and can't get it up...good chance you're screwed...for a while.
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    I just started doing behind the neck presses again, granted i am training purely for strength. I found it interesting that my behind the neck press is somewhere around where it was when i was in HS. My best stanind strict overheads were 225x5 and i have pushed press 300 overhead very easily before without a belt or anything. When i started doind sated behind the neck presses i could not do 185x5. I assume i have some weakness due to this that i have to addesss so i am working behind the neck presses right now. I tried jerks behind the neck but doing reps is a little rough since i almost tore my shoulder off as it almost slipped off my back lowering it. I would think a good shoulder routine would consist of hitting behind the neck presses, standing strict presses and standing and seated dumbell presses along with a good amount of rear delt work. Throw some side delt raises in for the pretty guys, lol.
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    I prefer barbell presses behind the head, but I switch it up with in front maybe once a month.

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    Since I've stopped doing behind the neck shoulder press and lat pulldown, ALL my shoulder problems have gone away. Still do behind the back shrugs because they dominate...
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    If I'm going heavy and for strength (typically < 5 reps) I stay in front.. If I'm going moderate or light (6-12 reps) I stay behind the neck as I feel it works the target area more effectively (for me at least).

    As long as your shoulders feel comfortable doing the movement, I prefer behind over in front.
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