RehabilitationTraining (Strength)Quick Tip: Prone Behind the Neck Press (Tomahawk)

Snapshot of Takeaway Points

  • Applying tension can be more important than moving weight
  • Train all shoulder stabilisers with one movement
  • This movement is great for postural improvement in all populations


Shoulder pain and rotator cuff injuries is something I come across often. To keep this problem at bay I have a selection of hundreds of movements to keep the shoulder stabilisers strong and healthy. Here’s one of my personal favourites.

This variation of a prone behind the neck press includes applying tension upwards against the rack straps. This will recruit external rotators of the humerus and improve thoracic extension. It is very unforgiving and much harder than it looks!

You don’t need to select a heavy weight as you can simply apply more upwards pressure to progress. I actually recommend a maximal effort for each repetition. So your focus should be on trying to press up through the straps/rack.

The weight isn’t so relevant to apply the principle of progressive overload focus instead on total time under tension of the repetition. Thus I would use it for 4-6 reps with one of the following tempos: 3030, 4040, 5050. The slow concentric is utilised otherwise you simply can’t focus on the upwards pressure enough.


Article written by: Tom Hibbert

Published on: 11/1/2019

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