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Shoulder Press, neck strain?

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default Shoulder Press, neck strain?

I find that when I am using the shoulder press machine, near the end in my reps, when I am pushing myself, I tend to but pressure on my neck as well. Are there any tips that I can use to prevent myself from straining my neck muscles. I put more pressure on the left side of my neck.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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I find tucking my chin and keeping my head pressed against the seat back (when using a machine) as well as relaxing my jaw and going slowly, with breath, to help.

If I find I am not doing it correctly, I stop and start over again, to "entrain" myself correctly.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:17 AM   #3
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Maybe it's the machine itself that isn't right for your body, machines are not made for every "body"... Try doing the shoulder press with light dumbells to see if it makes a difference, increase the weight as you get stronger...
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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I'm with Ilene. For me, the machines cause me a lot of discomfort but I love shoulder presses the old fashioned way, with a couple of free weights.

Give it a try and see if that helps.

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Old 02-13-2008, 03:30 PM   #5
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I have the same thing when I do shoulder presses with free weights. The neck just wants to jump in and help out! It feels very weird. I just try to focus on my form and concentrate on using the right muscles for the exercise. This was a problem for me when I first started doing them though. I haven't noticed that feeling in a long time.

But definitely try them with free weights. It's much better.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:37 PM   #6
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I second and third the recommendation to use dumbbells instead of a machine. However, if you want to continue with the machine press, it's important to maintain a neutral spine in order to avoid neck strain. You want to keep you spine aligned and not jut your head forward or throw it back. My little reminder is to keep my ears lined up with my shoulders.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:35 PM   #7
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I second, third and fourth the suggestion to try free weights. Try doing them standing so that you force your core muscles to support you, rather than sitting on a straight bench and pressing your back against the bench for support.

Have you ever had a neck injury? A long a go car accident? If so and you have any pain doing overhead presses, you might want to talk to a doctor (orthopedist or physical therapist) about doing overheads in general. If you are experiencing strain in your neck, you can aggravate old injuries.

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Old 02-13-2008, 10:47 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your replies. The neck straining is improving as I get used to the amount of weight and my muscle get stronger. I think a lot of it had to do with me not being experienced with going till fail in weight training.
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