Barbell Behind The Neck Press

Training Details Barbell Behind The Neck Press

  • Primary Muscle
    Front Delt, Rear Delt, Middle Delt
  • Secondary Muscle
    Triceps, Inner Abs, Traps
  • Equipment
  • Level

Muscle groups and purpose of Barbell behind the Neck

Barbell presses behind the head mainly train the shoulders but also the upper back. You should perform the exercise with care and make sure that the technique is in place before you add on more weights. The exercise can be done sitting on a bench, but we recommend standing so that the core is activated. 


Lift the barbell with an overhand grip (your palms) from a stand (recommended) or directly from the floor. Use a grip slightly wider than shoulder width and place the bar behind your head. Make contact with the core  muscles so that the back does not sway more than necessary in the lift.

Push the barbell up slowly until the arms are outstretched and then slowly return to the starting position and repeat the exercise. Make sure you have contact with the muscles at all times and you do this at a slower pace.

Guide for Barbell Behind The Neck Press

  • The exercise can be performed in a Smith machine with a fixed barbell.
  • If you perform the exercise with a barbell and standing, you should think of a stable stance. To achieve this, you should slightly bend your knees and activate the torso.
  • If you choose to sit down, you can sit on a regular bench.
  • Do not let your shoulders move up towards your ears, keep them down.
  • Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down

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