Smith Machine Behind Neck Press
The Smith machine behind the neck press is a variation of the shoulder press exercise that involves using a Smith machine instead of free weights. It specifically targets the shoulders, deltoids, and triceps.
How to do:
- Adjust the Smith machine bar to a height that allows you to sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Ensure that the bar is aligned with your shoulders when you’re seated.
- Sit on the bench or seat provided with the Smith machine, facing the bar. Your back should be supported, and your feet should be positioned shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the bar with a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width, palms facing forward. Make sure your wrists are aligned with your shoulders.
- Lift the bar off the rack by extending your arms, and position it just above and behind your shoulders. This is your starting position.
- Begin the movement by lowering the bar behind your head in a controlled manner, ensuring that your elbows are pointing out to the sides. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor or slightly lower.
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, feeling the stretch in your shoulders.
- Push the bar upward, using your shoulder and tricep muscles to press it back to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
It’s important to note that the Smith machine behind the neck press may not be suitable for everyone. The behind-the-neck position can place additional stress on the shoulders and may increase the risk of injury, particularly if you have existing shoulder issues or limited shoulder mobility. It’s recommended to consult with a fitness professional or trainer to determine if this exercise is appropriate for you and to ensure proper form and safety precautions.
Smith Machine Behind Neck Press – Benefits
The primary target of the behind the neck press is the shoulders, specifically the deltoid muscles. This exercise helps to strengthen and develop the anterior (front), medial (side), and posterior (rear) deltoids, resulting in improved shoulder size, shape, and definition.
Convenience and safety: The Smith machine provides a guided barbell movement, which can be beneficial for individuals who are new to weightlifting or those who may have difficulty with free weights. The machine’s safety features, such as the fixed bar path and safety stops, can provide added security during the exercise.
Variation and muscle balance: The behind the neck press targets the shoulders from a different angle compared to the traditional shoulder press. Incorporating this exercise into your routine can help provide variation and ensure balanced development of the shoulder muscles.
This exercise, performed with the aid of a Smith machine, is an effective exercise for developing shoulder muscles and increasing shoulder stability and range of motion, but it puts pressure on your rotator cuff and neck muscles that stabilize your shoulder joints. That’s why getting the movement right is more important than lifting too much weight.