Another variation of the overhead press is the behind-the-neck press. The name of this exercise already betrays it; In this exercise you do not perform the press from your chest, but from your neck. This exercise is a bit more difficult than the normal overhead press and the risk of injury is therefore slightly higher. Therefore, good technique and execution is essential in this exercise.
This exercise mainly focuses on the middle and back of your shoulders. Your triceps and trapezius are also activated with the behind-the-neck press.
Like all shoulder exercises, you can perform this exercise standing or sitting. To begin with, it is best to perform this exercise while sitting. If you sit on a bench with a straight back, you give your back some extra support, which reduces the risk of injury. Position the bench and barbell so that the barbell is at the height of your trapezius when you sit on the bench. Sit and grasp the barbell about 10 to 15 centimeters outside your shoulders, with your palms turned toward you. Now push the barbell out until your arms are almost straight. Now lower the barbell slowly and concentrated behind your head, until it is again at the height of your trapezius. You’ve done one rep now, on to the next!
This exercise was invented by the ‘Austrian Oak’ himself : Arnold Schwarzenegger. He became Mr. no less than seven times (!) Olympia, so this exercise must be good!
Where with the dumbbell press the emphasis is mainly on the front and the middle of your shoulders, the Arnold press adds an extra factor by also addressing the side of your shoulders. Your triceps and trapezius are also addressed with this exercise.
In general, the Arnold press is usually performed sitting. You perform the Arnold press with dumbbells. You sit on a bench, preferably with a straight back, and hold the dumbbells in front of your chest. Your palms are facing you and you keep the dumbbells about 10 centimeters apart. Your elbows point down. Now you are going to press the dumbbells up until your arms are stretched above your head. As you press, rotate your arms so that you end up with your palms turned away from you. Then slowly lower the dumbbells back toward your chest, twisting your arms back in. Ready to train for shoulders like Schwarzenegger’s?!
With the upright row you train all three sides of your shoulders. In addition, with this exercise you also train your trapezius, and to a lesser extent you also activate your back and biceps.
You perform this exercise standing. You can perform the upright row with a barbell, with dumbbells or in a cable station. The most common variant is with a barbell. We therefore explain the exercise on the basis of this variant.
Grab a barbell and hold it overhand (with your palms turned toward you). Stand up straight and put your feet shoulder-width apart. You hold the barbell against your body and your hands are shoulder width or slightly narrower; you can do what you like with this. You are now going to pull the barbell up to your chest. Your elbows point outwards. The pull up is an explosive movement. Once at the top, hold this position for a while and then bring the barbell back down in a controlled movement. Make sure you move the barbell as close to your body as possible when performing this exercise.
With the face pull you mainly train the back of your shoulders and your trapezius. But the face pull has another advantage. You also train the rotator cuff with it. These are four small muscles that together provide the stability of your shoulder.
You perform the face pull in a cable station. You can perform the face pull standing or sitting; you kneel on one leg. You use the rope for the face pull. You attach this to the pulley and make sure that the pulley hangs approximately at the height of your shoulders. Grab the ends of the rope with an overhand grip; your elbows point out and your palms down. Now take some distance from the pulley, so that there is tension on the cable. Keeping your upper arms parallel to the floor, pull the ends of the rope toward your face. Pull the ends apart, so that they pass your face (each on one side) and try to move your hands as far back as possible. This is an explosive move. Then slowly return to the starting position.