if it doesent feel natural or comfortable then dont do it.
I insisted on doing behind the neck presses and pulldowns earlier, and basically walked around with a fucked up shoulder for 6 months because of it. ill never do em again no matter what.
some people can do them without problems, others cant. judging from what ure saying id strongly advise against it.
a short term pump surely doesent make up for a long term injury.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Behind the neck pullups or pulldowns is inferior to in front of the face versions. I posted something on this in my training thread I believe.
Plus behind the neck places the shoulder in a poor position, not to mention the back rounding that you do as a result.
i also detect that my shoulders arent at the same height (not very noticeable), which may be the problem in the pulldowns behind neck, but i dont have mirrors to watch me during the exercice....
I try to keep my shoulders even in any other exercice where i can see me... should i keep trying to even my shoulders, or is it detrimental?
maybe im the odd one out. but i can do either one just fine. i find it is all in the position you place your body.
i used to have the same pains and uncomfortable feelings before but i corrected my form.
on the pulldown i actually face away from the stack and line my back up the bar so when i pull down i dont round my back or bend my neck, which is why i think most people have those pain issues. but the only negative is not being able to use much weight cause there is nothing to hold me down, but i still get a great stretch and squeeze. and on the press i basically do the same thing by keeping my back and neck up straight and more aligned with the bar so there is no bending, and only bringing the bar down till the arms are straight across(perpendicular). not down the neck.
thats my two cents, but not every excercise works for everyone.
I've never really done behind the neck pulldowns but I have spent a fair amount of my training years on behind the neck press. I think bnp is comfortable for me because I am flexible in the shoulder area and I am able to properly allign the bar.
I think for though you should just stick to the fron options because they are safer and also they aren't any more productive either so what's the point in the risk of injury.
Couple of points on behind the neck pressing.
A recent study (I may have posted it in my training thread, if not request it there) showed that the "high five position" (their term) which is essentially the bottom position of the behind the neck pullup/pulldown/press is the leading cause of compromising shoulder health.
Weightlifters use exercises like the behind the neck jerk with little issue because they have a different movement pattern (essentially they don't perform the negative portion of the press in the compromising position and they aren't pulling the shoulder into that position as you would with a pullup/pulldown).
I'm not a fan of behind the neck work but I do use behind the neck jerks safely when I can't handle any other behind the neck movement.