Smith Behind Neck Press

Smith Behind Neck Press

The Smith Behind Neck Press is a compound exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper back muscles. It is a variation of the traditional shoulder press, but performed using a Smith machine. This equipment provides stability and controlled movement, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced lifters. During the Smith Behind Neck Press, the barbell rests on your shoulders behind your head. This position allows for a greater range of motion and emphasizes the deltoid muscles, specifically the posterior deltoids. The triceps and upper back muscles act as synergists in this movement, helping to stabilize and support the shoulders and arms. The Smith Behind Neck Press can help improve shoulder strength, stability, and muscular development. However, it is crucial to ensure proper form and technique to avoid any potential strain or injury. It's essential to maintain a neutral spine and engage the core muscles for stability. Start with light weights and gradually increase the load as you become more comfortable and confident with the exercise. Remember to warm up adequately before performing this exercise to increase blood flow to the working muscles and prevent injuries. And as always, it's important to listen to your body and consult with a fitness professional if you have any concerns or specific limitations. Incorporate the Smith Behind Neck Press in your workout routine to build strong and sculpted shoulders and upper body strength.


  • Start by setting up the Smith machine with an appropriate weight for your fitness level.
  • Stand facing away from the bar, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Reach up and grip the bar with an overhand grip, wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Position yourself under the bar, so that it rests on the back of your shoulders just below your neck.
  • Keep your back straight, core engaged, and feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Press the bar up by extending your arms until they are fully extended.
  • Lower the bar back down behind your neck, being mindful of keeping your elbows slightly in front of your body.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Remember to exhale as you push the bar up and inhale as you lower it down.

Tips & Tricks

  • Ensure that you have proper shoulder mobility and flexibility before attempting the Smith behind neck press.
  • Start with a lighter weight to warm up your shoulder muscles and avoid strain or injury.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and engage your core throughout the exercise.
  • Focus on pressing the weight directly overhead without leaning forward or backward.
  • Avoid locking out your elbows at the top of the movement to prevent excess stress on the joints.
  • Exhale as you press the weight up and inhale as you lower it down.
  • Control the descent of the weight to maximize muscle activation and prevent bouncing.
  • Avoid using excessive weight that compromises your form or leads to jerky movements.
  • Listen to your body and stop the exercise if you experience any pain or discomfort.
  • Consider working with a qualified fitness professional to ensure proper technique and form.


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