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Seated Barbell Press Behind Neck

Seated barbell press behind neck

A version of the basic exercise to increase shoulder size and strength and build muscle. Barbell press behind the neck mainly works the middle delts.


Sit on a bench with a barbell on the racks at shoulder level.

Take hold of the barbell with your hands shoulder width apart (palms facing forwards).

In the starting position the barbell should be on your shoulders behind your head.

As you exhale, push the barbell up without locking your elbows.

Pause for 1-2 seconds at the top and return to the starting position as you inhale.

Typical mistakes and tips

This is a high injury-risk exercise. Lower the grip at neck level as far as the flexibility level of your rotator cuff allows you.

Do not lean your torso back and do not arch your lower back.

To maintain balance, use a bench with back support.

Exercise type: weight
Muscle groups: shoulders, arms, back