The Vince Gironda Neck Press
When it comes to muscle development and lagging body parts the most common muscle group that I’ve encountered guys struggling with is their chest.
Shoulders, arms, legs… with average genetics, provided you’re performing the main exercises with decent form consistently you’ll see a consistent stream of steady gains, unfortunately the same cannot be said when it comes to chest.
Many guys continue to follow the international chest day routine of flat barbell bench press, incline dumbbell press, incline dumbbell flies and cable crossovers despite not seeing any progress.
That’s quite literally the definition of insanity.
If you aren’t getting results with the regime you’re following something has to change if you do indeed want to see some gains.
That’s where the Vince Gironda Neck Press comes into the equation.
Also often referred to as the ‘Guillotine Press’ this barbell bench press variation was made popular by the great Vince Gironda.
If you’ve hit a plateau, have a stubborn chest that just won’t grow or perhaps want to mix up your tired old chest regime a bit this exercise is a godsend.
Unfortunately this exercise is one of those ‘forgotten exercises’ that guys performed religiously a few decades ago and for some odd reason it just disappeared, certainly not due to it being ineffective.
The dumbbell pullover and donkey calf raise are in the same category.
How To Perform The Vince Gironda Neck Press
Before we delve into the specifics of the Vice Gironda neck press form there’s a few things that need to be made clear…
- Do not perform the Vince Gironda neck press if you have rotator cuff/shoulder issues.
- I highly recommend only performing this exercise in the smith machine for safety reasons.
- This is one of those exercises where form is crucial, weight doesn’t matter – you won’t be performing the neck press overly heavy.
Now here’s how to do them…
Place a flat bench in the middle of your smith machine as if you were going to perform a regular chest press.
Grasp the barbell in your smith machine as wide as you can with a suicide grip (thumbless).
Raise your feet up and off the bench to ensure your chest is 100% isolated for the duration of your set.
Instead of lowering the bar down to your chest level opt to lower it down to your neck as if it were a guillotine.
Press the barbell back up to the top and contract your chest before lowering it down to your neck again for the desired number of repetitions.
Will The Gironda Neck Press Wreck Your Shoulders?
As I mentioned earlier if you’ve had any shoulder issues previously I’d recommend steering clear of the Vince Gironda neck press just to be safe.
If you’ve got healthy shoulders I personally don’t see an issue at all with this exercise provided you’re lifting light with strict form.
The catch-22 is the more you flare your shoulders the more emphasis will be placed on the chest, resulting in growth… flared shoulders are typically associated with bad form and shoulder injury.
Lift light, place emphasis on form and without a doubt stop performing the Vince Gironda neck press if you encounter any shoulder pain whatsoever.