Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck

The standing behind-the-head press is a classic shoulder exercise that was used widely during bodybuilding's professed Golden Era. In addition to the deltoids, it also works the trapezius and triceps muscles. It may not be a good choice for some people's shoulders, depending on their injury history. It can be trained in strength-focused rep ranges, but is more commonly trained in moderate to high reps, such as 8-15 reps per set.


  1. Builds shoulder size and strength
  2. Avoids overloading the front deltoids from doing only pressing in front
  3. The standing position also challenges the core and legs

Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck Images


Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck Instructions

Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck muscle diagram
  1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for easier pick up of the bar. To begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  2. Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Your back should be kept straight while performing this exercise. This will be your starting position.
  4. Elevate the barbell overhead by fully extending your arms while breathing out.
  5. Hold the contraction for a second and lower the barbell back down to the starting position by inhaling.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Performing this exercise can cause serious injury if not performed properly. Make sure to keep your back straight when lowering and lifting the barbell.