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Old 01-29-2012, 08:04 AM   #1
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Default military press vs behind the neck press

I am currently performing the btnp 3 times per week and I have been told by a few guys at my gym to just switch to the military press because the same muscles are worked with the military press with less chance of injuiry

My understanding was that the military press puts more empthasis on the front delts which get hit hard with benching moves while the btnp puts much more focus on the medial delts

how much do these moves differ in terms of how hard the 3 deltoid heads are worked ?

is the btnp a risky exercise ?

will one move do more to help build a broad set of shoulders than the other ?

thanks for any feedback
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Take one arm or the other and hold it across your body so that you're able to feel the upper pec front delt tie in area.

With the free arm tense and move your arm through the range of motion that a front press would involve. Now Take your free arm and hold in the behind the neck move and move through that range. If you are moving through both movements properly you should feel less frontal delt involvement with the behind the neck move.

Both moves are good movements, but, IMO, they hit the shoulder differently.

One of the issues taht I see with people performing front presses is that they perform the movement much like most people perform a bench. They have their arms at too wide of an angle and are trying to isolate the delt. The press is not an isolation move.

Done properly a standing press is not that far removed from the bench, or from the close grip bench.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:13 AM   #3
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I agree with glwanabe, the front press and bench are very similar movements. That's why they have such good carry-over to eachother.

As far as behind the neck press goes, if you are able to do the lift without pain or injury then there is no reason to give it up. I think it's true that some people can't handle it but that's true of almost every lift.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:29 AM   #4
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If your shoulder flexibility allows it, BTN's are fine. Alot of people who have only been benching and not pulling or squatting for most years of their training use to have forward rotation in their shoulders and on those, btn's can strain like hell and cause injury.

I think that a press is a press and its not an isolation exercise for one head of the delt or another, its a compound movement.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
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The dangers of the behind the neck press are overblown. Not saying that there are not things to be considered, but the fear mongering of the move needs to discussed in the context of reality.

I can't get into this right now, but will return. Currently I have a 14yr old requiring some Dad time. Priorities.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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People fear anything that targets the shoulders primarily because so many people bench wrong and mess up their shoulders. Now, with that said, some comments.

BTNs - I used them for 20+ years. What I learned was...wrists over elbows to determine hand spacing, and don't take the lift past the point where the arms are parallel to the ground.

The rule of thumb is: the deeper the elbows have to go in a pressing movement, the harder it is on the shoulders. This is a generalization, but I think a reasonable one.

Some people are more flexible/young/less bulkier and can take the bar to their traps. If you choose to do this know the risks.

Just my 2 cents.
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