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Posted: 10/2/2007 10:59:44 AM EST
I have been doing this type of press as part of my workout.

My neighbor says I should not do it as I risk tearing a rotator cuff.

Using a reasonable amount of weight what is the harm?
Link Posted: 10/2/2007 11:03:17 AM EST
I think the consensus in the fitness community is that you get almost as much of the benefit from doing the press in front of your head, with much less risk to your rotator cuffs. If it's completely pain free for you and you aren't maxing out, it probably isn't a big deal.

Personally, I rarely work shoulders directly, since they get hit hard enough on other compound exercises that I do.
Link Posted: 10/2/2007 11:27:39 AM EST
I hear mixed reviews on that exercise, but I personally do it and have for years with no rotator cuff damage. I do have bone spurs in my left shoulder, but that could be from any number of things or just repetitive motion from lifting weights for the last 23 years. I've never hurt my neck, shoulder or back doing behind the neck presses or military presses, but I do NOT use heavy weights behind my neck...it's not worth the risk. But with light weights, I don't see any reason to not do it.
Link Posted: 10/2/2007 8:45:32 PM EST
I spent 2 years doing them behind the neck. I went from using 135 to 155. After switching to fronts, I was doing roughly twice that a year later.

Theoretically, they are not harmful, IF you have the flexibility to do them. At a certain level of size/muscularity, I think they become inherently dangerous.


The argument that you somehow recruit more chest muscles when you do them in front, may have some truth to it, but if you do, we're talking single digit percentages. I have never had a sore chest aggravated by doing shoulder press, nor have I ever had soreness in my upper pec region after doing shoulder presses.

You should probably skip lat pulldowns behind the neck as well. Upright rows should be avoided at all costs.


And only do dumbell presses if you want gorilla type shoulder development!
Link Posted: 10/2/2007 9:12:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2007 9:13:16 PM EST by txgp17]
Don't do anymore weight than you can handle 3 sets of 15 with. Concentrate on form, with no herky-jerky movements.

You should be fine.

I used to switch the workout up between front & back.
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 2:10:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By Alien:
What about extensions from behind the head? I'm not sure what else to call it, but you keep your upper arms in the same position and extend your both of your forearms with 1 dumbell or barbell up sort of above your head to work your triceps. My buddy and I have been doing a bit of these with a dumbell and barbell (not with anything super heavy). I'm kinda just following him. He comes up with the routines.


I personally don't like those as they put too much awkward pressure on my shoulder. I prefer skull-crushers, where you lay down and lower the curl bar to your forehead using your triceps and then push it back up.
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 2:32:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2007 2:54:59 PM EST by Alien]

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By Alien:
What about extensions from behind the head? I'm not sure what else to call it, but you keep your upper arms in the same position and extend your both of your forearms with 1 dumbell or barbell up sort of above your head to work your triceps. My buddy and I have been doing a bit of these with a dumbell and barbell (not with anything super heavy). I'm kinda just following him. He comes up with the routines.


I personally don't like those as they put too much awkward pressure on my shoulder. I prefer skull-crushers, where you lay down and lower the curl bar to your forehead using your triceps and then push it back up.


Yeah we mix it up and do those too sometimes. Good to know. Anybody can lift weights any which way they like, but of course it's important to do it properly and safely which is what I wanted to know. Thanks!
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 9:22:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Alien:
What about extensions from behind the head? I'm not sure what else to call it, but you keep your upper arms in the same position and extend your both of your forearms with 1 dumbell or barbell up sort of above your head to work your triceps. My buddy and I have been doing a bit of these with a dumbell and barbell (not with anything super heavy). I'm kinda just following him. He comes up with the routines.


Not a problem. The movement which causes impingement is where you get your elbows higher than your hands. Upright rows might as well have been designed by an orthopedist to generate business. Swimmers who specialize in the breaststroke (or maybe butterfly?) have the highest incidence of shoulder injury because of this movement.

Tricep exercises behind the head do not put your shoulders in this position. In fact, one of the very FEW secrets in bodybuilding, is that you have to stretch the tricep back to get the big head to grow. When you do this stuff, you want your elbows pinned back behind your ears, stretching the muscle before you contract it. There are dozens of ways to do this. A special rack was even made in the 80s to facilitate it.

Try:

Single bell behind the head (both hands)
Single bell behind the head to the crook of your neck (one hand)
Rope from the low pulley behind your head
Rope from the high pulley bent at the waist
EZ curl bar on a bench like a skull crusher, but extended off the end of the bench. Incline, too

Do this stuff with strict form, with your elbows tight to your head, and stretched back as far as you can get them. As you tire, CHEAT! Let your elbows spread, and move forward.

I've had a couple of major shoulder injuries, and a bunch of minor ones. My shoulders are pretty fragile. If these exercises were at all destructive, I'd be the 1st to know about it.
Link Posted: 10/5/2007 9:12:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By DontShootMyDog:

Originally Posted By Alien:
What about extensions from behind the head? I'm not sure what else to call it, but you keep your upper arms in the same position and extend your both of your forearms with 1 dumbell or barbell up sort of above your head to work your triceps. My buddy and I have been doing a bit of these with a dumbell and barbell (not with anything super heavy). I'm kinda just following him. He comes up with the routines.


Not a problem. The movement which causes impingement is where you get your elbows higher than your hands. Upright rows might as well have been designed by an orthopedist to generate business. Swimmers who specialize in the breaststroke (or maybe butterfly?) have the highest incidence of shoulder injury because of this movement.

Tricep exercises behind the head do not put your shoulders in this position. In fact, one of the very FEW secrets in bodybuilding, is that you have to stretch the tricep back to get the big head to grow. When you do this stuff, you want your elbows pinned back behind your ears, stretching the muscle before you contract it. There are dozens of ways to do this. A special rack was even made in the 80s to facilitate it.

Try:

Single bell behind the head (both hands)
Single bell behind the head to the crook of your neck (one hand)
Rope from the low pulley behind your head
Rope from the high pulley bent at the waist
EZ curl bar on a bench like a skull crusher, but extended off the end of the bench. Incline, too

Do this stuff with strict form, with your elbows tight to your head, and stretched back as far as you can get them. As you tire, CHEAT! Let your elbows spread, and move forward.

I've had a couple of major shoulder injuries, and a bunch of minor ones. My shoulders are pretty fragile. If these exercises were at all destructive, I'd be the 1st to know about it.


Thanks for the tips!
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 5:35:39 AM EST
I find a lot of good info on this site.exrx.net
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