May 6, 2012

A Better Press

You can add the “behind the neck press” to the list of high-risk exercises.  A barbell (or dumbbells) is placed behind the neck on the upper back, and the arms are pressed straight overhead.  This causes you to jut your head forward and puts strain on the cervical spine.  It also places the shoulders in an unnatural position, causing stress on supporting muscles of the shoulder, especially the rotator cuff group.

You can make this safer by sticking with a press in front of the neck.  This can be done seated or standing.  If standing, make sure to keep your knees slightly bent. Keep the weight heavy enough to work your shoulders, but avoid lifting so heavy that you need to over arch your back.

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