Guide The LooksMaxing Guide to Neck Training [MEGA-THREAD]

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Why Even Care About the Neck?

Super obvious point - Your neck holds up your head.
Super insightful point-Your neck muscles are the FIRST muscles in your body to ever begin to develop.

If you have children or have ever held a newborn baby, what can't they do?

Answer - Hold their heads up.

Your neck muscles and the ability of your cervical spine to turn your head to look side to side and up and down, this ability is almost entirely unique to humans. Other primates do not have the "head turning" capabilities that humans why. We have evolved to be hyper-aware of every aspect of our environment, and this takes advantage of our excellent vision (aside from birds of prey, humans have the best vision of any animal). Thus, your neck is pretty IMPORTANT. It is also an incredibly vulnerable "limb." Any injury to the neck is potentially life threatening. You've got veins and arteries running through your neck, as well as your trachea that gets oxygen into your lungs.

Said simple, the neck is worth training like any other part of the body

Neck Training & Aesthetics

At one time, direct neck training as practiced in bodybuilding, although it's fallen out of style in the past few decades. The Classic Age bodybuilders modelled their physiques on an "Apollonian" Ideal, which meant the whole body had to be in proportion.

Having a chicken neck on top of a big upper body looks very bizarre. Intuitively human beings recognise a skinny neck on men as denoting weakness, and women too with very thin neck are seen as frail.

If you dig into the weirder corners of the internet, you can find entire forums on reddit that continuously discuss neck training, and how much it affects a man’s physical appearance and attractiveness. Most people don’t realise how much neck affects physical appearance.



This is Jeremy Meeks, the former ex-con turned fashion model. On the right is the original mug shot photo, the left a modified version with a slimmed down neck.

Would he have still gone viral if he had a skinny neck? Maybe, maybe not, but it is interesting how much a difference it makes in his perceived physicality.

If you saw the photo on the left, and it was all you had to physically assess him with, you’d very likely assume he is a skinny individual and not very strong. In contrast, on the right he has a proportionate neck that implies fitness and makes him look more attractive.

Why Does the Neck Influence Perceived Attractiveness?

Two major reasons

1. Androgenic Development and 2. Maturation
Basically referring to the physical changes that men go through during puberty.

As testosterone production ramps up, muscle mass increases, and the shift from having a child's body to an adult male body is that the limbs all get thicker/denser.

Including the NECK.

Children have large heads and thin necks in comparison.

Adult men have larger necks, and more proportionate heads.

Men with skinny necks look less masculine because they physically had head neck dimensions that are similar to that of a child.

Proportion and Symmetry

The human body, like all living things, follows the Golden Ratio. Facial features, eye spacing, limb length, all these things follow the Golden ratio dimensions.

The neck is no different. Having a thin neck in comparison to the head disturbs this symmetry, and creates a dissonant effect that intuitively “does not look right”. We may not know the exact mathematical discrepancy, but the human eye is evolved to recognise distorted dimensions on the body.

Jaw Development

One of the characteristics of attractive men is having a muscular and defined Jaw line.

Why is this attractive? For the same reason muscular and proportionate bodies are attractive in men, A muscular jaw and a muscular neck go together. Thus having a sharp jawline and thick neck is an obvious sign of physical vitality and strength.

Men with skinny necks tend to have comparatively weak looking jawlines. There are exceptions perhaps, but overall it is a malnourished look, and even if a man’s jawline is defined, his face looks weak because of the lack of muscle.

The Neck can be trained like any other Part of the Body

In classical bodybuilding, the ideal dimensions were to have a neck that was the same circumference as the biceps and calves.



Steve Reeves was the last bodybuilder whose physique followed this ideal.

Steve Reeves today would be told he needs to be bigger, but his physique is the gold standard for perfect proportions. He does in fact have long neck, but it is not skinny at all, and every muscle on his body is in balance with all the others.

Steve Reeves in his prime was said to be jaw dropping to looking at. He was 6’1, around 210-215, and he had 18 inch biceps, calves, and neck. And he actively TRAINED his neck to match his arms and calves.

Bad Posture and Neck Training

A very common postural deformity you see in the modern world is Upper Crossed Syndrome.

This is commonly called “text neck”. It's the result of a lifestyle of sitting, staring down at the smartphone constantly, and have a physically weak body.

Training your neck will help to improve this condition, by strengthening the muscles that keep the head up and neck aligned.

Neck Strength and Combat Sports

In Martial Arts, practically all systematised forms across the world incorporate direct neck training. A strong neck allows you to go head to head in wrestling, resist chokes in BJJ and System. It gives make you resistant to punches and kicks to the head, and it helps you manipulate your opponent in the clinch and resist getting tied up.

Out of all combat sports, the athletes that have the thickest necks are always wrestlers.

Wrestlers don’t do much “direct neck training”, aside from wrestlers bridges, and using their head as a 5th limb to control their opponent.

They get their neck from the immense amount of isometric training their necks endure.

Having a weak neck puts any athlete at a disadvantage. You are easier to physically bully, less resistant to punches, and more susceptible to being stunned or knocked out in striking.

There has been A LOT of research the last 10 years on head injuries and concussions in the NFL, in youth football, in boxing and MMA.

Now, I don't have an answer for concussions. That's a multifaceted issue that does not have an easy solution.

I can tell you the BEST way to prevent concussions though; train your neck.

Do not think that neck training is only for "impact" athletes either. Your neck muscles play a role in strength throughout the whole body, in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Your neck muscles also hold your head up and help prevent you from developing forward head (text message neck) and thoracic kyphosis (slouching and hunchback posture).

The Strength of your neck HIGHLY influences your standing posture and overall body mechanics.



Basic Neck Training Anatomy



Now that we’ve talked about WHY you should train your neck, let us get into some practical anatomy and training.

To start with, the neck has over 25 different muscles that attach to it. That is A LOT of muscles. I am not going to name all of them, as it would detract from the point, but be advised that almost all of them are SMALL muscles, and they are not difficult to injure.

The neck has many muscles, but these are not muscles that you can sloppily train. I’ve seen many athletes overdo neck work and be left with strained muscles, a headache, and regret that they didn’t slow their roll and train smarter.

When you do any kind of neck training then, always start conservatively. As you’ll see in the exercise section, I do not advise weighted neck work until you’ve been training your neck regularly with bodyweight movements for at least 4-6 weeks.

That in mind, the easiest way to think about neck training is categorise it into functional directions.

Your neck has 4 basic functions/directions it can move in:

1. Flexion (looks down)-this is tucking your chin to your chest. Many boxers practice neck extension, but its training FLEXION that makes your neck stronger and more resistant to being snapped back by a punch

2. Extension (looks up)-Being able to extend your neck is hugely important in grappling and wrestling of any kind, as you use your neck to resist and move your opponent. The cervical extensor muscles and the trapezius contribute the most to this function

3. Lateral flexion (side to side head tilt)-the lateral flexor muscles on the sides of the neck are quite small, and they are some of the easiest to injure. Always be very conservative training lateral flexion

4. Rotation (turning your head)-Rotation can be trained with bodyweight initially, and there are some new neck training hardnesses on the market that allow for loading rotation in training. At the more advanced level of neck training it is usually done with wrestler’s bridge work. Training rotation is not always necessary, and many athletes find that simplifying do flexion and rotation is sufficient, but it is a movement capacity you can train regardless

For being a fairly short limb then, you realise that your neck has multiple ranges of motion. Any neck exercise you do is going to train one of the above functions.


Training the Neck 101 and 201

Training the follows a simple path of progression

1. At the beginner level, you start with unweighted bodyweight exercises, done for 2-3 sets twice a week

2. After 4-6 weeks, you can start adding weight to your bodyweight movements, and incorporate isometric movements

3. After another 4-6 weeks, or 2-3 months, you’ll have the strength and muscle to do more advanced bodyweight work like wrestlers bridges

Neck training SHOULD always be done for high reps and/or sustained time under tension. Being overly ambitious with your neck training could cause severe and even life-threatening injuries

And keep in mind there is no such thing as heavy neck training

If you have never trained your neck, I would suggest starting with BODYWEIGHT first. Do not attempt any kind of weighted exercises


The Neck and The Yoke




The "Yoke" in the lifting world refers to the neck, traps, and upper back. Even if someone is not that big in sheer size, if they have a thick neck, traps, and upper back, human beings intuitively know that person is physically strong.

This creates a "look of power" that is biologically undeniable.

The Trapezius muscles attach to the base of the skull, and during movements like shrugs, deadlifts, and barbell pulls, the neck has to stabilise isometrically.

Developing the trapezius muscles then can often increase the circumference and thickness of the neck without any direct training of the neck itself

Neck Training Routines

While I list out many different routines below, keep in mind that you can mix and match your neck exercises. There is no set routine you need to do, neck can be train 2-3 times weekly, and you can change the exercises each time

The one “Rule” to follow is to balance out of your neck training with both flexion and extension work. It does not need to be a 1:1 ratio, but you do want a blend of movements. Don’t overdo using a neck harness or doing head extensions and then be surprised when your neck hurts.

The following routines can be done 2-3 times weekly. They run from beginner routines, all the way to advanced routines with harder movements




Basic Neck Training 1: Go To Routine from Josh Bryant

Obviously I know this routine is 100% free on youtube, but I have to share it's an incredible routine. The one caveat to this routine is that the lateral flexion and rotation can actually be too much for people initially. If you’ve got a very stiff neck and tight upper traps, this routine may not be advisable. If you don't though, I’d suggest doing this 2-3 times weekly.


Basic Neck Training 2: Bodyweight Only, Flexion and Extension Only

If you want to train neck every workout, you could do the following.

It's easy to recover from, it's unlikely to lead to neck stiffness, and you’d notice results in a few weeks.

Bodyweight Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps


Bodyweight Head Extensions, 2 sets x 15-30



Basic Neck Training 3: Bodyweight Only Bodyweight

Neck extensions, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Bodyweight Head Extensions, 2 sets x 15-30

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 10-15 reps


Basic Neck Training 4

Swiss Ball Iso-hold Neck Bridge (also called a neck plank) 2-3 sets x 30-60 seconds


Front Bridge Iso-Hold on Bench 2-3 sets x 20-60 seconds

https://youtu.be/mXCbnh1_A-o

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Intermediate Neck Training 5

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Head Extension with plate on back of forehead 2 sets x 15- 25 reps

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Intermediate Neck Training 6

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Neck Harness 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Banded Lateral Neck Flexion 2-3 sets x 10-15 reps

DB Shrugs 2 sets x 25-30 reps

Weighted Neck Workout 7

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2-3 sets x 15-25 reps

Neck Harness Extension 2-3 sets x 15-25 reps

DB Shrugs 2-3 sets x 25-30 reps


Neck Training: Bridging

Some coaches will advise you to never do neck bridges, while others will swear by them. I would advise caution. If you can get your neck muscular doing the above routines and are satisfied with your results, then maintain doing what works.

Bridge Workout 8

Back Neck Bridge 2-3 sets x 60-120 seconds

Front Neck Bridge 2-3 sets x 60-120 seconds

Neck Training Routines on Youtube

Ross Enamait


Josh Bryant


Stephan Kesting


What Do I Think of Fancy Neck Training Attachments?

I have seen various neck training devices sold that can train the neck in all four directions, and while some of them certainly look promising and I have no doubt they work, the reality is this…

SAVE YOUR MONEY. AND BE PRACTICAL

If you want to carry a large device with you into the gym in your gym bag, all the power to you. I like to buy accessories for working out as well, and have spent a great deal of money over the years trying out different implements

That said, you want your training to be practical and as learned over the years, the more equipment you need to carry into the gym to get a training session in, the less consistent you are likely to be in training. Why not do it the old fashioned way? With a towel, some bands, and plates, you have everything you need to build your neck

The Top 8 Neck Exercises

I have listed this out from the most basic, to harder exercises that require more training, and movements that require some equipment. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is the most tried and proven exercises.

1. Head Nods/Chin tucks-Forward Flexion

This is a staple training technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judokas, and boxers. You can do this on a mat or, laying on your back with your head hanging off the end of a bench. Lift your head and bring your chin to your chest for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.


This movement can obviously be done weighted, typically by using a plate placed on the forehead (and padded with a towel). The weighted version follows the same set and reps as the unweighted version.

2. Head Extensions

This is the reverse of the head nod. These are best done with chest down on a bench, with your head hanging off the end off the end. You drop the head down towards the floor, and then extend the neck and look up. When doing these, it is important to not extend too far back and compress the cervical spine. These are done slow and control, and not with momentum. Like the front flexion, these are for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.

This movement can also be done weighted, typically by using a plate placed on the back of the head and held in place with the hands (and padded with a towel). The weighted version follows the same set and reps as the unweighted version.

3. Lateral Head Flexion

This is a popular movement, but in my experience it leads to a lot of cramped necks and spasms. You have to be very conservative the first time you do this exercise. If you are going to do these, do them with bodyweight only. They are best done for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.

4. Head Rotation

This is an overlooked exercise, but so simple and effective. You hang your head off the end of the bench, and fully rotate your neck to the right, and then to left, and then repeat that going back and forth. Basically you look right, look left, back and forth, back and forth. These are best done for high reps in the 20-40 range (per side). If you have a specialised neck harness, these can be done standing and with resistance, but there is no effective way to add resistance to the bodyweight version on the bench. Stick with the high rep work

5. A Neck Harness

Neck Harnesses are RARELY seen in modern gyms, but they WORK. I have one and I have used religiously in the past. DO NOT buy a cheap neck harness. I've had my Spud harness for 5 years now, it's built to last. A cheapy neck harness that snaps is an accident waiting to happen. With a neck harness, you will place it securely around the skull, and sit upright, your hands placed on your knees. String a weight plate through the neck harness chain, and extend the head up. Lower into slight flexion, then back up again. This movement should be performed with a controlled tempo and done for high reps. Add weight as appropriate. 2 sets of 20-30 reps twice a week is a good starting point

6. Walk Tall

Josh Bryant popularised this movement (Bryant is the great coach and writer of Jailhouse Strong)

In a Walk Tall, you use a head strap of some kind, I personally have used a hanging ab strap, and you attach it to an elastic band or cable stack. You then walk forward and walk backwards. This is done with tension/weight of course. This is an isometric contraction can also be done sideways and backwards as well. This allows you to strengthen the neck from all four directions. You would do for 30-60 seconds in each direction, 1-2 times.

7. Stability Ball or Bench Neck Bridge (Neck Plank)

This exercise is a regressed version of the neck bridge. The stability ball offsets some of your bodyweight while also providing a more comfortable and accommodating surface to bridge from versus the floor or a bench. An advantage that this has the over the floor is that you can safely perform neck roll movements without fear of injury. Perform for 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds.

8. Wrestlers Bridge

Bridging is a controversial exercise. While its universally practiced by wrestlers, and wrestlers have the thickest necks of any athletes, it also tends to be very very aggravating orthopedically, and wrestlers also tend to have chronic neck problems as they age. If you want to incorporate into your training, you absolutely can, but if you don’t want to include it, that is fine too. Ultimately we all exercise at our own risk. At the level of doing bridges, 2-3 sets, working both the front and back of the neck, would be effective. If you want to do more advanced movements though, go for it.

9. A Neck Machine (IF you can find one)

They are the most all around effective piece of equipment you can use. The downside is that they are very very rare. Only the most old school and hardcore of gyms will ever have a 4-Way Neck machine. If you do come across one, they are definitely worth using though. 2-4 sets, 10-20 reps each direction, done twice weekly.

Final Thoughts

I'd recommend training neck twice a week to start with, at either the beginning or the end of a workout. For lower body days, you could start with neck work.

For upper body days, I'd do it at the end of training. Neck work shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. 4-6 working sets of high rep neck work done twice a week will promote adaptations, and within 4-6 weeks you should see visible changes in your neck muscularity.
 
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Deleted member 6908

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Yo @ Kingkellz Kingkellz some of the YouTube videos are not loading up bruh.
 
Hightwolf

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MakinItHappen said:
Yo @ Kingkellz Kingkellz some of the YouTube videos are not loading up bruh.
they work fine for me
 
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Hightwolf said:
they work fine for me

Nah. From Front Bridge Iso-Hold onwards they aren't loading. Just showing as URLs.

Yo Kingkellz @Kingkellz sort this out please bro
 
Deleted member 5634

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Nice thread, i like the addition of the shrugs, surely going to implement it, nice job OP
 
Deleted member 7785

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High effort but waste of time
Just train your neck bro
Find random yt video
Fuck this training plans and How many reps
Just train feel pain and your neck will grow
 
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Home workout neck planck:
I suggest doing this exercise if gyms are locked down in your country.
Just place a pillow on a table and bend down like this.
The more legs are distant from the table, the harder it gets
 
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MadVisionary said:
high effort, but nothing new.
The image of the exercise was missing.
View attachment 856067

Nothing new? Lol. Show me where anything has previously been spoken about on neck training on this forum? You're acting like these training exercises are mainstream and they are anything but and I know that for fact.

Which means you're being pretentious and I honestly couldn't understand why?

Typical zoomer with the constant complaining and know-it-all attitude, when really they know very little at all.
 
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MakinItHappen said:
Nothing new? Lol. Show me where anything has previously been spoken about on neck training on this forum? You're acting like these training exercises are mainstream and they are anything but and I know that for fact.

Which means you're being pretentious and I honestly couldn't understand why?
Just search for neck in searches, there's a tread about it.
There's this image that was made by a member here
 

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MadVisionary said:
Just search for neck in searches, there's a tread about it.
There's this image that was made by a member here

Not as good as mine. Sorry and that fucking image was not made by fucking him you donut. It's from Google.
 
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MakinItHappen said:
I expected the effeminate pussy anime-boys to look past it but the real bros to know when something is useful and appreciate. Thank you.
In fact, very useful, too bad I find a much better version on google
 
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OgreMaxxing said:
you could've just said "train your neck guys its really important "

Do you think that's a funny joke? Honestly. I'm honestly asking? Not meaning to bully.
 
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MakinItHappen said:
Bro, you're a fucking 17 year old introverted friendless zoomer. You don't read. You just play virtual reality games and watch anime porn.
Ad hominem, typical of those who don't know how to argue
 
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MadVisionary said:
Ad hominem, typical of those who don't know how to argue

Nope. There is always a why behind why someone says something. The why with you is obvious. You were crawling around on the floor 13 years ago with a smartphone in your hand and the only difference now is you're looking at a more upgraded version with nerd-neck.

I am not going to argue with a child who has never laid eyes on a barbell in real life.
 
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MakinItHappen said:
Do you think that's a funny joke? Honestly. I'm honestly asking? Not meaning to bully.
Nah that's a legit response you think people will read 3000 words to train their necks?
 
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MakinItHappen said:
Nope. There is always a why behind why someone says something. The why with you is obvious. You were crawling around on the floor 13 years ago with a smartphone in your hand and the only difference now is you're looking at a more upgraded version with nerd-neck.

I am not going to argue with a child who has never laid eyes on a barbell in real life.
So will you try to guess things in my life to lessen my argument?
 
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OgreMaxxing said:
Nah that's a legit response you think people will read 3000 words to train their necks?

Lol, 14 year old

Kingkellz @Kingkellz when are we gonna put an age restriction of 18 on this place? These larpers are killin' any self-improvement vibe there is around this place more and more with every week.
 
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MadVisionary said:
So will you try to guess things in my life to lessen my argument?

I don't guess. I know. A well-adjusted young man doesn't behave like this on a thread of quality unless they're a fucking pussy that was bullied for having a peanut skull while acting awkward during school lunch-time.

You didn't read a word. Go play anime games and imagine you're with a cute Jap. You utter virgin.
 
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MakinItHappen said:
Lol, 14 year old

Kingkellz @Kingkellz when are we gonna put an age restriction of 18 on this place? These larpers are killin' any self-improvement vibe there is more and more with every week.
Actually you're right , I didn't mean it in a bad way its just making a good thread short is very important
 
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youngjahu said:
High effort but waste of time
Just train your neck bro
Find random yt video
Fuck this training plans and How many reps
Just train feel pain and your neck will grow
 
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MakinItHappen said:
I don't guess. I know. A well-adjusted young man doesn't behave like this on a thread of quality unless they're a fucking pussy that was bullied for having a peanut skull while acting awkward during school lunch-time.
You are basically taking incel stereotypes and associating them with me.
Is it so hard to accept that your tread is not good?
Your tread is not bad, it has interesting things, but it has 0 news, maybe for someone who has never heard of neckpill is good
 
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Truth is you barely know jack about strength, fitness and conditioning. Probably just the bare bones at most I would say.

You read the early fundamentals about flexion, extension and rotation in the op, which are pivotal to cover in order to give a newbie a gradual easing into stuff so he isn't thrown in at the deep end. Read that and pretty-much from there and assumed it's just your usual bog-standard stuff. It's not lol.

But honestly this is your bog-standard zoomer-boy virgin stuff. They talk and talk about doing stuff, getting dopamine hits, acting like they know everything there is to know. Yet never do anything? And actually don't know anything, because they not only don't read/listen/understand, have no irl experience to go off.

EDIT: LOL
Honestly you are the exact type of zoomer Fitness Youtubers create fancy useless exercises for to train certain body parts.

They cater towards you lol. If it looks slick, it's impressive. "Even if I'll never do it" lol, "not that I'd be able to because I'm a pipsqueak that is intimidated of the free-weights section when I go the gym".
 
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Good thread. Just don't overtrain it. I learned from this mistake.
 
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This is too complex. In reality, neck training is extremely simple to do.

You only need to do Neck Curls, and Neck Extensions. Do 3-4 sets of 25 for each, 3-5 times per week.

Start your bodyweight, then add 5 lbs. Keep adding weight and progressing until you reach 2 plates of 45 lbs on your head for the neck curl.
Then you will have a huge neck that is at least 18 inches in size, it may even be bigger than that.
 
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^ Don't you love how he talks like he is an expert on literally everything but has done ACTUALLY NOTHING, with no experience at all?

It's comical.

He tries to "appear" a certain way and it's so transparent even for someone who isn't good at spotting pseudo intellectuals.

Simple answers and methods are for people who don't mind going the wrong way. These are consumers. Ironically all the exercises shown are in-fact "simple"! Yet you're saying "in reality neck training is extremely simple" ? Explain this one pseudo expert?

You're too fake for words. When looking at a guide it is important that people UNDERSTAND WHY they are doing something. If people just want to do it and that's it, then they can skip to the videos. You're a moron who is clearly jealous of someone else making a guide.
 
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What do you think about this routine?
 
Deleted member 10551

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Buy these, put band on door using the door stop, connect band to harness, and watch your neck grow doing neck curls/extensions.
 

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StressShady

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MakinItHappen said:
Why Even Care About the Neck?

Super obvious point - Your neck holds up your head.
Super insightful point-Your neck muscles are the FIRST muscles in your body to ever begin to develop.

If you have children or have ever held a newborn baby, what can't they do?

Answer - Hold their heads up.

Your neck muscles and the ability of your cervical spine to turn your head to look side to side and up and down, this ability is almost entirely unique to humans. Other primates do not have the "head turning" capabilities that humans why. We have evolved to be hyper-aware of every aspect of our environment, and this takes advantage of our excellent vision (aside from birds of prey, humans have the best vision of any animal). Thus, your neck is pretty IMPORTANT. It is also an incredibly vulnerable "limb." Any injury to the neck is potentially life threatening. You've got veins and arteries running through your neck, as well as your trachea that gets oxygen into your lungs.

Said simple, the neck is worth training like any other part of the body

Neck Training & Aesthetics

At one time, direct neck training as practiced in bodybuilding, although it's fallen out of style in the past few decades. The Classic Age bodybuilders modelled their physiques on an "Apollonian" Ideal, which meant the whole body had to be in proportion.

Having a chicken neck on top of a big upper body looks very bizarre. Intuitively human beings recognise a skinny neck on men as denoting weakness, and women too with very thin neck are seen as frail.

If you dig into the weirder corners of the internet, you can find entire forums on reddit that continuously discuss neck training, and how much it affects a man’s physical appearance and attractiveness. Most people don’t realise how much neck affects physical appearance.

View attachment 855814

This is Jeremy Meeks, the former ex-con turned fashion model. On the right is the original mug shot photo, the left a modified version with a slimmed down neck.

Would he have still gone viral if he had a skinny neck? Maybe, maybe not, but it is interesting how much a difference it makes in his perceived physicality.

If you saw the photo on the left, and it was all you had to physically assess him with, you’d very likely assume he is a skinny individual and not very strong. In contrast, on the right he has a proportionate neck that implies fitness and makes him look more attractive.

Why Does the Neck Influence Perceived Attractiveness?

Two major reasons

1. Androgenic Development and 2. Maturation
Basically referring to the physical changes that men go through during puberty.

As testosterone production ramps up, muscle mass increases, and the shift from having a child's body to an adult male body is that the limbs all get thicker/denser.

Including the NECK.

Children have large heads and thin necks in comparison.

Adult men have larger necks, and more proportionate heads.

Men with skinny necks look less masculine because they physically had head neck dimensions that are similar to that of a child.

Proportion and Symmetry

The human body, like all living things, follows the Golden Ratio. Facial features, eye spacing, limb length, all these things follow the Golden ratio dimensions.

The neck is no different. Having a thin neck in comparison to the head disturbs this symmetry, and creates a dissonant effect that intuitively “does not look right”. We may not know the exact mathematical discrepancy, but the human eye is evolved to recognise distorted dimensions on the body.

Jaw Development

One of the characteristics of attractive men is having a muscular and defined Jaw line.

Why is this attractive? For the same reason muscular and proportionate bodies are attractive in men, A muscular jaw and a muscular neck go together. Thus having a sharp jawline and thick neck is an obvious sign of physical vitality and strength.

Men with skinny necks tend to have comparatively weak looking jawlines. There are exceptions perhaps, but overall it is a malnourished look, and even if a man’s jawline is defined, his face looks weak because of the lack of muscle.

The Neck can be trained like any other Part of the Body

In classical bodybuilding, the ideal dimensions were to have a neck that was the same circumference as the biceps and calves.

View attachment 855831

Steve Reeves was the last bodybuilder whose physique followed this ideal.

Steve Reeves today would be told he needs to be bigger, but his physique is the gold standard for perfect proportions. He does in fact have long neck, but it is not skinny at all, and every muscle on his body is in balance with all the others.

Steve Reeves in his prime was said to be jaw dropping to looking at. He was 6’1, around 210-215, and he had 18 inch biceps, calves, and neck. And he actively TRAINED his neck to match his arms and calves.

Bad Posture and Neck Training

A very common postural deformity you see in the modern world is Upper Crossed Syndrome.

This is commonly called “text neck”. It's the result of a lifestyle of sitting, staring down at the smartphone constantly, and have a physically weak body.

Training your neck will help to improve this condition, by strengthening the muscles that keep the head up and neck aligned.

Neck Strength and Combat Sports

In Martial Arts, practically all systematised forms across the world incorporate direct neck training. A strong neck allows you to go head to head in wrestling, resist chokes in BJJ and System. It gives make you resistant to punches and kicks to the head, and it helps you manipulate your opponent in the clinch and resist getting tied up.

Out of all combat sports, the athletes that have the thickest necks are always wrestlers.

Wrestlers don’t do much “direct neck training”, aside from wrestlers bridges, and using their head as a 5th limb to control their opponent.

They get their neck from the immense amount of isometric training their necks endure.

Having a weak neck puts any athlete at a disadvantage. You are easier to physically bully, less resistant to punches, and more susceptible to being stunned or knocked out in striking.

There has been A LOT of research the last 10 years on head injuries and concussions in the NFL, in youth football, in boxing and MMA.

Now, I don't have an answer for concussions. That's a multifaceted issue that does not have an easy solution.

I can tell you the BEST way to prevent concussions though; train your neck.

Do not think that neck training is only for "impact" athletes either. Your neck muscles play a role in strength throughout the whole body, in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Your neck muscles also hold your head up and help prevent you from developing forward head (text message neck) and thoracic kyphosis (slouching and hunchback posture).

The Strength of your neck HIGHLY influences your standing posture and overall body mechanics.



Basic Neck Training Anatomy

View attachment 855850


Now that we’ve talked about WHY you should train your neck, let us get into some practical anatomy and training.

To start with, the neck has over 25 different muscles that attach to it. That is A LOT of muscles. I am not going to name all of them, as it would detract from the point, but be advised that almost all of them are SMALL muscles, and they are not difficult to injure.

The neck has many muscles, but these are not muscles that you can sloppily train. I’ve seen many athletes overdo neck work and be left with strained muscles, a headache, and regret that they didn’t slow their roll and train smarter.

When you do any kind of neck training then, always start conservatively. As you’ll see in the exercise section, I do not advise weighted neck work until you’ve been training your neck regularly with bodyweight movements for at least 4-6 weeks.

That in mind, the easiest way to think about neck training is categorise it into functional directions.

Your neck has 4 basic functions/directions it can move in:

1. Flexion (looks down)-this is tucking your chin to your chest. Many boxers practice neck extension, but its training FLEXION that makes your neck stronger and more resistant to being snapped back by a punch

2. Extension (looks up)-Being able to extend your neck is hugely important in grappling and wrestling of any kind, as you use your neck to resist and move your opponent. The cervical extensor muscles and the trapezius contribute the most to this function

3. Lateral flexion (side to side head tilt)-the lateral flexor muscles on the sides of the neck are quite small, and they are some of the easiest to injure. Always be very conservative training lateral flexion

4. Rotation (turning your head)-Rotation can be trained with bodyweight initially, and there are some new neck training hardnesses on the market that allow for loading rotation in training. At the more advanced level of neck training it is usually done with wrestler’s bridge work. Training rotation is not always necessary, and many athletes find that simplifying do flexion and rotation is sufficient, but it is a movement capacity you can train regardless

For being a fairly short limb then, you realise that your neck has multiple ranges of motion. Any neck exercise you do is going to train one of the above functions.


Training the Neck 101 and 201

Training the follows a simple path of progression

1. At the beginner level, you start with unweighted bodyweight exercises, done for 2-3 sets twice a week

2. After 4-6 weeks, you can start adding weight to your bodyweight movements, and incorporate isometric movements

3. After another 4-6 weeks, or 2-3 months, you’ll have the strength and muscle to do more advanced bodyweight work like wrestlers bridges

Neck training SHOULD always be done for high reps and/or sustained time under tension. Being overly ambitious with your neck training could cause severe and even life-threatening injuries

And keep in mind there is no such thing as heavy neck training

If you have never trained your neck, I would suggest starting with BODYWEIGHT first. Do not attempt any kind of weighted exercises


The Neck and The Yoke


View attachment 855870

The "Yoke" in the lifting world refers to the neck, traps, and upper back. Even if someone is not that big in sheer size, if they have a thick neck, traps, and upper back, human beings intuitively know that person is physically strong.

This creates a "look of power" that is biologically undeniable.

The Trapezius muscles attach to the base of the skull, and during movements like shrugs, deadlifts, and barbell pulls, the neck has to stabilise isometrically.

Developing the trapezius muscles then can often increase the circumference and thickness of the neck without any direct training of the neck itself

Neck Training Routines

While I list out many different routines below, keep in mind that you can mix and match your neck exercises. There is no set routine you need to do, neck can be train 2-3 times weekly, and you can change the exercises each time

The one “Rule” to follow is to balance out of your neck training with both flexion and extension work. It does not need to be a 1:1 ratio, but you do want a blend of movements. Don’t overdo using a neck harness or doing head extensions and then be surprised when your neck hurts.

The following routines can be done 2-3 times weekly. They run from beginner routines, all the way to advanced routines with harder movements

View attachment 855875


Basic Neck Training 1: Go To Routine from Josh Bryant

Obviously I know this routine is 100% free on youtube, but I have to share it's an incredible routine. The one caveat to this routine is that the lateral flexion and rotation can actually be too much for people initially. If you’ve got a very stiff neck and tight upper traps, this routine may not be advisable. If you don't though, I’d suggest doing this 2-3 times weekly.


Basic Neck Training 2: Bodyweight Only, Flexion and Extension Only

If you want to train neck every workout, you could do the following.

It's easy to recover from, it's unlikely to lead to neck stiffness, and you’d notice results in a few weeks.

Bodyweight Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps


Bodyweight Head Extensions, 2 sets x 15-30



Basic Neck Training 3: Bodyweight Only Bodyweight

Neck extensions, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Bodyweight Head Extensions, 2 sets x 15-30

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 10-15 reps


Basic Neck Training 4

Swiss Ball Iso-hold Neck Bridge (also called a neck plank) 2-3 sets x 30-60 seconds


Front Bridge Iso-Hold on Bench 2-3 sets x 20-60 seconds


Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Intermediate Neck Training 5

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Head Extension with plate on back of forehead 2 sets x 15- 25 reps

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Intermediate Neck Training 6

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Neck Harness 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Banded Lateral Neck Flexion 2-3 sets x 10-15 reps

DB Shrugs 2 sets x 25-30 reps

Weighted Neck Workout 7

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2-3 sets x 15-25 reps

Neck Harness Extension 2-3 sets x 15-25 reps

DB Shrugs 2-3 sets x 25-30 reps


Neck Training: Bridging

Some coaches will advise you to never do neck bridges, while others will swear by them. I would advise caution. If you can get your neck muscular doing the above routines and are satisfied with your results, then maintain doing what works.

Bridge Workout 8

Back Neck Bridge 2-3 sets x 60-120 seconds

Front Neck Bridge 2-3 sets x 60-120 seconds

Neck Training Routines on Youtube

Ross Enamait


Josh Bryant


Stephan Kesting


What Do I Think of Fancy Neck Training Attachments?

I have seen various neck training devices sold that can train the neck in all four directions, and while some of them certainly look promising and I have no doubt they work, the reality is this…

SAVE YOUR MONEY. AND BE PRACTICAL

If you want to carry a large device with you into the gym in your gym bag, all the power to you. I like to buy accessories for working out as well, and have spent a great deal of money over the years trying out different implements

That said, you want your training to be practical and as learned over the years, the more equipment you need to carry into the gym to get a training session in, the less consistent you are likely to be in training. Why not do it the old fashioned way? With a towel, some bands, and plates, you have everything you need to build your neck

The Top 8 Neck Exercises

I have listed this out from the most basic, to harder exercises that require more training, and movements that require some equipment. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is the most tried and proven exercises.

1. Head Nods/Chin tucks-Forward Flexion

This is a staple training technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judokas, and boxers. You can do this on a mat or, laying on your back with your head hanging off the end of a bench. Lift your head and bring your chin to your chest for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.


This movement can obviously be done weighted, typically by using a plate placed on the forehead (and padded with a towel). The weighted version follows the same set and reps as the unweighted version.

2. Head Extensions

This is the reverse of the head nod. These are best done with chest down on a bench, with your head hanging off the end off the end. You drop the head down towards the floor, and then extend the neck and look up. When doing these, it is important to not extend too far back and compress the cervical spine. These are done slow and control, and not with momentum. Like the front flexion, these are for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.

This movement can also be done weighted, typically by using a plate placed on the back of the head and held in place with the hands (and padded with a towel). The weighted version follows the same set and reps as the unweighted version.

3. Lateral Head Flexion

This is a popular movement, but in my experience it leads to a lot of cramped necks and spasms. You have to be very conservative the first time you do this exercise. If you are going to do these, do them with bodyweight only. They are best done for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.

4. Head Rotation

This is an overlooked exercise, but so simple and effective. You hang your head off the end of the bench, and fully rotate your neck to the right, and then to left, and then repeat that going back and forth. Basically you look right, look left, back and forth, back and forth. These are best done for high reps in the 20-40 range (per side). If you have a specialised neck harness, these can be done standing and with resistance, but there is no effective way to add resistance to the bodyweight version on the bench. Stick with the high rep work

5. A Neck Harness

Neck Harnesses are RARELY seen in modern gyms, but they WORK. I have one and I have used religiously in the past. DO NOT buy a cheap neck harness. I've had my Spud harness for 5 years now, it's built to last. A cheapy neck harness that snaps is an accident waiting to happen. With a neck harness, you will place it securely around the skull, and sit upright, your hands placed on your knees. String a weight plate through the neck harness chain, and extend the head up. Lower into slight flexion, then back up again. This movement should be performed with a controlled tempo and done for high reps. Add weight as appropriate. 2 sets of 20-30 reps twice a week is a good starting point

6. Walk Tall

Josh Bryant popularised this movement (Bryant is the great coach and writer of Jailhouse Strong)

In a Walk Tall, you use a head strap of some kind, I personally have used a hanging ab strap, and you attach it to an elastic band or cable stack. You then walk forward and walk backwards. This is done with tension/weight of course. This is an isometric contraction can also be done sideways and backwards as well. This allows you to strengthen the neck from all four directions. You would do for 30-60 seconds in each direction, 1-2 times.

7. Stability Ball or Bench Neck Bridge (Neck Plank)

This exercise is a regressed version of the neck bridge. The stability ball offsets some of your bodyweight while also providing a more comfortable and accommodating surface to bridge from versus the floor or a bench. An advantage that this has the over the floor is that you can safely perform neck roll movements without fear of injury. Perform for 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds.

8. Wrestlers Bridge

Bridging is a controversial exercise. While its universally practiced by wrestlers, and wrestlers have the thickest necks of any athletes, it also tends to be very very aggravating orthopedically, and wrestlers also tend to have chronic neck problems as they age. If you want to incorporate into your training, you absolutely can, but if you don’t want to include it, that is fine too. Ultimately we all exercise at our own risk. At the level of doing bridges, 2-3 sets, working both the front and back of the neck, would be effective. If you want to do more advanced movements though, go for it.

9. A Neck Machine (IF you can find one)

They are the most all around effective piece of equipment you can use. The downside is that they are very very rare. Only the most old school and hardcore of gyms will ever have a 4-Way Neck machine. If you do come across one, they are definitely worth using though. 2-4 sets, 10-20 reps each direction, done twice weekly.

Final Thoughts

I'd recommend training neck twice a week to start with, at either the beginning or the end of a workout. For lower body days, you could start with neck work.

For upper body days, I'd do it at the end of training. Neck work shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. 4-6 working sets of high rep neck work done twice a week will promote adaptations, and within 4-6 weeks you should see visible changes in your neck muscularity.
Thank you Bhai
 
Soalian

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Is that shit good for neck:

 
fonzee98

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Soalian said:
Is that shit good for neck:

View attachment 949350
yeah but you better do the neck curls with no weight in the beginning(few weeks, you will still get benefits) while laying with your head hanging from a bench or your bed if you are at home
 
Wallenberg

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Very good guide. Thank you Deleted member 6908 @MakinItHappen
 
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MakinItHappen said:
^ Don't you love how he talks like he is an expert on literally everything but has done ACTUALLY NOTHING, with no experience at all?

It's comical.

He tries to "appear" a certain way and it's so transparent even for someone who isn't good at spotting pseudo intellectuals.

Simple answers and methods are for people who don't mind going the wrong way. These are consumers. Ironically all the exercises shown are in-fact "simple"! Yet you're saying "in reality neck training is extremely simple" ? Explain this one pseudo expert?

You're too fake for words. When looking at a guide it is important that people UNDERSTAND WHY they are doing something. If people just want to do it and that's it, then they can skip to the videos. You're a moron who is clearly jealous of someone else making a guide.
 
50konsurgeryat35

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Started training neck 2 weeks ago, I've grown a half an inch from 16 to 16.5 inches. But I have a melon head or at the very least an oversized brow so I think I will need 19 inches to look good.
 
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Deleted member 12669

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50konsurgeryat35 said:
Started training neck 2 weeks ago, I've grown a half an inch from 16 to 16.5 inches. But I have a melon head or at the very least an oversized brow so I think I will need 19 inches to look good.
what routine?
 
copingvolcel

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N1666 said:
what routine?
Growing the neck is simple.

You could do it with only one exercise.
And if you're wondering why I know this, it's because I watched a lot of videos by AlphaDestiny and Mike The Machine Bruce

If you do neck curls for 4 sets of 25 reps for 3 to 5 times per week, and you add 2.5 lbs every time you can perform 25 reps for 4 sets, you will gain 4 inches on your neck in only 1 year, according to AlphaDestiny.

If you want the most optimal results, you should also do neck extensions and neck side raises, but for size alone, neck curls are the best.
Neck side raises will give you a neck wider than your jaw, and neck extensions will grow the back of your neck. Neck curls grow the front.

Watch this:



Also, I started training in my home gym regularly recently and it finally has become a new habit of mine so I will finally be able to see great results. I realized that the reason why I didn't start earlier is because I was trying to do everything perfectly at once when I should have just started slowly instead, especially since it takes around 1 week for muscles to get used to training.
 
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copingvolcel said:

Neck training really does make a difference. It will look even better than the morph when I will be neckmaxxed in a few months.
please post updates brother
 
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Danish_Retard said:
please post updates brother
I'll do that in 1 year. I haven't started neck training yet but I have been consistent for around 1 week with my training, diet and sleep, and now I just need to maintain that momentum for 2-3 years to get great results. But in just 1 year from now, there will be a big difference.
 
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I did some neck workouts in a lazy way for months and did not really notice a huge change...
Until I met my bro after a year and he said :" WTF happened to your neck ??? You now have a bull's neck !"
 
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Deleted member 6908 said:
Why Even Care About the Neck?

Super obvious point - Your neck holds up your head.
Super insightful point-Your neck muscles are the FIRST muscles in your body to ever begin to develop.

If you have children or have ever held a newborn baby, what can't they do?

Answer - Hold their heads up.

Your neck muscles and the ability of your cervical spine to turn your head to look side to side and up and down, this ability is almost entirely unique to humans. Other primates do not have the "head turning" capabilities that humans why. We have evolved to be hyper-aware of every aspect of our environment, and this takes advantage of our excellent vision (aside from birds of prey, humans have the best vision of any animal). Thus, your neck is pretty IMPORTANT. It is also an incredibly vulnerable "limb." Any injury to the neck is potentially life threatening. You've got veins and arteries running through your neck, as well as your trachea that gets oxygen into your lungs.

Said simple, the neck is worth training like any other part of the body

Neck Training & Aesthetics

At one time, direct neck training as practiced in bodybuilding, although it's fallen out of style in the past few decades. The Classic Age bodybuilders modelled their physiques on an "Apollonian" Ideal, which meant the whole body had to be in proportion.

Having a chicken neck on top of a big upper body looks very bizarre. Intuitively human beings recognise a skinny neck on men as denoting weakness, and women too with very thin neck are seen as frail.

If you dig into the weirder corners of the internet, you can find entire forums on reddit that continuously discuss neck training, and how much it affects a man’s physical appearance and attractiveness. Most people don’t realise how much neck affects physical appearance.

View attachment 855814

This is Jeremy Meeks, the former ex-con turned fashion model. On the right is the original mug shot photo, the left a modified version with a slimmed down neck.

Would he have still gone viral if he had a skinny neck? Maybe, maybe not, but it is interesting how much a difference it makes in his perceived physicality.

If you saw the photo on the left, and it was all you had to physically assess him with, you’d very likely assume he is a skinny individual and not very strong. In contrast, on the right he has a proportionate neck that implies fitness and makes him look more attractive.

Why Does the Neck Influence Perceived Attractiveness?

Two major reasons

1. Androgenic Development and 2. Maturation
Basically referring to the physical changes that men go through during puberty.

As testosterone production ramps up, muscle mass increases, and the shift from having a child's body to an adult male body is that the limbs all get thicker/denser.

Including the NECK.

Children have large heads and thin necks in comparison.

Adult men have larger necks, and more proportionate heads.

Men with skinny necks look less masculine because they physically had head neck dimensions that are similar to that of a child.

Proportion and Symmetry

The human body, like all living things, follows the Golden Ratio. Facial features, eye spacing, limb length, all these things follow the Golden ratio dimensions.

The neck is no different. Having a thin neck in comparison to the head disturbs this symmetry, and creates a dissonant effect that intuitively “does not look right”. We may not know the exact mathematical discrepancy, but the human eye is evolved to recognise distorted dimensions on the body.

Jaw Development

One of the characteristics of attractive men is having a muscular and defined Jaw line.

Why is this attractive? For the same reason muscular and proportionate bodies are attractive in men, A muscular jaw and a muscular neck go together. Thus having a sharp jawline and thick neck is an obvious sign of physical vitality and strength.

Men with skinny necks tend to have comparatively weak looking jawlines. There are exceptions perhaps, but overall it is a malnourished look, and even if a man’s jawline is defined, his face looks weak because of the lack of muscle.

The Neck can be trained like any other Part of the Body

In classical bodybuilding, the ideal dimensions were to have a neck that was the same circumference as the biceps and calves.

View attachment 855831

Steve Reeves was the last bodybuilder whose physique followed this ideal.

Steve Reeves today would be told he needs to be bigger, but his physique is the gold standard for perfect proportions. He does in fact have long neck, but it is not skinny at all, and every muscle on his body is in balance with all the others.

Steve Reeves in his prime was said to be jaw dropping to looking at. He was 6’1, around 210-215, and he had 18 inch biceps, calves, and neck. And he actively TRAINED his neck to match his arms and calves.

Bad Posture and Neck Training

A very common postural deformity you see in the modern world is Upper Crossed Syndrome.

This is commonly called “text neck”. It's the result of a lifestyle of sitting, staring down at the smartphone constantly, and have a physically weak body.

Training your neck will help to improve this condition, by strengthening the muscles that keep the head up and neck aligned.

Neck Strength and Combat Sports

In Martial Arts, practically all systematised forms across the world incorporate direct neck training. A strong neck allows you to go head to head in wrestling, resist chokes in BJJ and System. It gives make you resistant to punches and kicks to the head, and it helps you manipulate your opponent in the clinch and resist getting tied up.

Out of all combat sports, the athletes that have the thickest necks are always wrestlers.

Wrestlers don’t do much “direct neck training”, aside from wrestlers bridges, and using their head as a 5th limb to control their opponent.

They get their neck from the immense amount of isometric training their necks endure.

Having a weak neck puts any athlete at a disadvantage. You are easier to physically bully, less resistant to punches, and more susceptible to being stunned or knocked out in striking.

There has been A LOT of research the last 10 years on head injuries and concussions in the NFL, in youth football, in boxing and MMA.

Now, I don't have an answer for concussions. That's a multifaceted issue that does not have an easy solution.

I can tell you the BEST way to prevent concussions though; train your neck.

Do not think that neck training is only for "impact" athletes either. Your neck muscles play a role in strength throughout the whole body, in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Your neck muscles also hold your head up and help prevent you from developing forward head (text message neck) and thoracic kyphosis (slouching and hunchback posture).

The Strength of your neck HIGHLY influences your standing posture and overall body mechanics.



Basic Neck Training Anatomy

View attachment 855850


Now that we’ve talked about WHY you should train your neck, let us get into some practical anatomy and training.

To start with, the neck has over 25 different muscles that attach to it. That is A LOT of muscles. I am not going to name all of them, as it would detract from the point, but be advised that almost all of them are SMALL muscles, and they are not difficult to injure.

The neck has many muscles, but these are not muscles that you can sloppily train. I’ve seen many athletes overdo neck work and be left with strained muscles, a headache, and regret that they didn’t slow their roll and train smarter.

When you do any kind of neck training then, always start conservatively. As you’ll see in the exercise section, I do not advise weighted neck work until you’ve been training your neck regularly with bodyweight movements for at least 4-6 weeks.

That in mind, the easiest way to think about neck training is categorise it into functional directions.

Your neck has 4 basic functions/directions it can move in:

1. Flexion (looks down)-this is tucking your chin to your chest. Many boxers practice neck extension, but its training FLEXION that makes your neck stronger and more resistant to being snapped back by a punch

2. Extension (looks up)-Being able to extend your neck is hugely important in grappling and wrestling of any kind, as you use your neck to resist and move your opponent. The cervical extensor muscles and the trapezius contribute the most to this function

3. Lateral flexion (side to side head tilt)-the lateral flexor muscles on the sides of the neck are quite small, and they are some of the easiest to injure. Always be very conservative training lateral flexion

4. Rotation (turning your head)-Rotation can be trained with bodyweight initially, and there are some new neck training hardnesses on the market that allow for loading rotation in training. At the more advanced level of neck training it is usually done with wrestler’s bridge work. Training rotation is not always necessary, and many athletes find that simplifying do flexion and rotation is sufficient, but it is a movement capacity you can train regardless

For being a fairly short limb then, you realise that your neck has multiple ranges of motion. Any neck exercise you do is going to train one of the above functions.


Training the Neck 101 and 201

Training the follows a simple path of progression

1. At the beginner level, you start with unweighted bodyweight exercises, done for 2-3 sets twice a week

2. After 4-6 weeks, you can start adding weight to your bodyweight movements, and incorporate isometric movements

3. After another 4-6 weeks, or 2-3 months, you’ll have the strength and muscle to do more advanced bodyweight work like wrestlers bridges

Neck training SHOULD always be done for high reps and/or sustained time under tension. Being overly ambitious with your neck training could cause severe and even life-threatening injuries

And keep in mind there is no such thing as heavy neck training

If you have never trained your neck, I would suggest starting with BODYWEIGHT first. Do not attempt any kind of weighted exercises


The Neck and The Yoke


View attachment 855870

The "Yoke" in the lifting world refers to the neck, traps, and upper back. Even if someone is not that big in sheer size, if they have a thick neck, traps, and upper back, human beings intuitively know that person is physically strong.

This creates a "look of power" that is biologically undeniable.

The Trapezius muscles attach to the base of the skull, and during movements like shrugs, deadlifts, and barbell pulls, the neck has to stabilise isometrically.

Developing the trapezius muscles then can often increase the circumference and thickness of the neck without any direct training of the neck itself

Neck Training Routines

While I list out many different routines below, keep in mind that you can mix and match your neck exercises. There is no set routine you need to do, neck can be train 2-3 times weekly, and you can change the exercises each time

The one “Rule” to follow is to balance out of your neck training with both flexion and extension work. It does not need to be a 1:1 ratio, but you do want a blend of movements. Don’t overdo using a neck harness or doing head extensions and then be surprised when your neck hurts.

The following routines can be done 2-3 times weekly. They run from beginner routines, all the way to advanced routines with harder movements

View attachment 855875


Basic Neck Training 1: Go To Routine from Josh Bryant

Obviously I know this routine is 100% free on youtube, but I have to share it's an incredible routine. The one caveat to this routine is that the lateral flexion and rotation can actually be too much for people initially. If you’ve got a very stiff neck and tight upper traps, this routine may not be advisable. If you don't though, I’d suggest doing this 2-3 times weekly.


Basic Neck Training 2: Bodyweight Only, Flexion and Extension Only

If you want to train neck every workout, you could do the following.

It's easy to recover from, it's unlikely to lead to neck stiffness, and you’d notice results in a few weeks.

Bodyweight Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps


Bodyweight Head Extensions, 2 sets x 15-30



Basic Neck Training 3: Bodyweight Only Bodyweight

Neck extensions, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Bodyweight Head Extensions, 2 sets x 15-30

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 10-15 reps


Basic Neck Training 4

Swiss Ball Iso-hold Neck Bridge (also called a neck plank) 2-3 sets x 30-60 seconds


Front Bridge Iso-Hold on Bench 2-3 sets x 20-60 seconds


Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Intermediate Neck Training 5

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Head Extension with plate on back of forehead 2 sets x 15- 25 reps

Lateral Neck Flexion, 2 sets x 15-30 reps

Intermediate Neck Training 6

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Neck Harness 2 sets x 15-25 reps

Banded Lateral Neck Flexion 2-3 sets x 10-15 reps

DB Shrugs 2 sets x 25-30 reps

Weighted Neck Workout 7

Front Neck Flexion with plate on Forehead 2-3 sets x 15-25 reps

Neck Harness Extension 2-3 sets x 15-25 reps

DB Shrugs 2-3 sets x 25-30 reps


Neck Training: Bridging

Some coaches will advise you to never do neck bridges, while others will swear by them. I would advise caution. If you can get your neck muscular doing the above routines and are satisfied with your results, then maintain doing what works.

Bridge Workout 8

Back Neck Bridge 2-3 sets x 60-120 seconds

Front Neck Bridge 2-3 sets x 60-120 seconds

Neck Training Routines on Youtube

Ross Enamait


Josh Bryant


Stephan Kesting


What Do I Think of Fancy Neck Training Attachments?

I have seen various neck training devices sold that can train the neck in all four directions, and while some of them certainly look promising and I have no doubt they work, the reality is this…

SAVE YOUR MONEY. AND BE PRACTICAL

If you want to carry a large device with you into the gym in your gym bag, all the power to you. I like to buy accessories for working out as well, and have spent a great deal of money over the years trying out different implements

That said, you want your training to be practical and as learned over the years, the more equipment you need to carry into the gym to get a training session in, the less consistent you are likely to be in training. Why not do it the old fashioned way? With a towel, some bands, and plates, you have everything you need to build your neck

The Top 8 Neck Exercises

I have listed this out from the most basic, to harder exercises that require more training, and movements that require some equipment. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is the most tried and proven exercises.

1. Head Nods/Chin tucks-Forward Flexion

This is a staple training technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judokas, and boxers. You can do this on a mat or, laying on your back with your head hanging off the end of a bench. Lift your head and bring your chin to your chest for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.


This movement can obviously be done weighted, typically by using a plate placed on the forehead (and padded with a towel). The weighted version follows the same set and reps as the unweighted version.

2. Head Extensions

This is the reverse of the head nod. These are best done with chest down on a bench, with your head hanging off the end off the end. You drop the head down towards the floor, and then extend the neck and look up. When doing these, it is important to not extend too far back and compress the cervical spine. These are done slow and control, and not with momentum. Like the front flexion, these are for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.

This movement can also be done weighted, typically by using a plate placed on the back of the head and held in place with the hands (and padded with a towel). The weighted version follows the same set and reps as the unweighted version.

3. Lateral Head Flexion

This is a popular movement, but in my experience it leads to a lot of cramped necks and spasms. You have to be very conservative the first time you do this exercise. If you are going to do these, do them with bodyweight only. They are best done for a set of 15-25 reps. 2-3 sets is the best recommendation.

4. Head Rotation

This is an overlooked exercise, but so simple and effective. You hang your head off the end of the bench, and fully rotate your neck to the right, and then to left, and then repeat that going back and forth. Basically you look right, look left, back and forth, back and forth. These are best done for high reps in the 20-40 range (per side). If you have a specialised neck harness, these can be done standing and with resistance, but there is no effective way to add resistance to the bodyweight version on the bench. Stick with the high rep work

5. A Neck Harness

Neck Harnesses are RARELY seen in modern gyms, but they WORK. I have one and I have used religiously in the past. DO NOT buy a cheap neck harness. I've had my Spud harness for 5 years now, it's built to last. A cheapy neck harness that snaps is an accident waiting to happen. With a neck harness, you will place it securely around the skull, and sit upright, your hands placed on your knees. String a weight plate through the neck harness chain, and extend the head up. Lower into slight flexion, then back up again. This movement should be performed with a controlled tempo and done for high reps. Add weight as appropriate. 2 sets of 20-30 reps twice a week is a good starting point

6. Walk Tall

Josh Bryant popularised this movement (Bryant is the great coach and writer of Jailhouse Strong)

In a Walk Tall, you use a head strap of some kind, I personally have used a hanging ab strap, and you attach it to an elastic band or cable stack. You then walk forward and walk backwards. This is done with tension/weight of course. This is an isometric contraction can also be done sideways and backwards as well. This allows you to strengthen the neck from all four directions. You would do for 30-60 seconds in each direction, 1-2 times.

7. Stability Ball or Bench Neck Bridge (Neck Plank)

This exercise is a regressed version of the neck bridge. The stability ball offsets some of your bodyweight while also providing a more comfortable and accommodating surface to bridge from versus the floor or a bench. An advantage that this has the over the floor is that you can safely perform neck roll movements without fear of injury. Perform for 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds.

8. Wrestlers Bridge

Bridging is a controversial exercise. While its universally practiced by wrestlers, and wrestlers have the thickest necks of any athletes, it also tends to be very very aggravating orthopedically, and wrestlers also tend to have chronic neck problems as they age. If you want to incorporate into your training, you absolutely can, but if you don’t want to include it, that is fine too. Ultimately we all exercise at our own risk. At the level of doing bridges, 2-3 sets, working both the front and back of the neck, would be effective. If you want to do more advanced movements though, go for it.

9. A Neck Machine (IF you can find one)

They are the most all around effective piece of equipment you can use. The downside is that they are very very rare. Only the most old school and hardcore of gyms will ever have a 4-Way Neck machine. If you do come across one, they are definitely worth using though. 2-4 sets, 10-20 reps each direction, done twice weekly.

Final Thoughts

I'd recommend training neck twice a week to start with, at either the beginning or the end of a workout. For lower body days, you could start with neck work.

For upper body days, I'd do it at the end of training. Neck work shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. 4-6 working sets of high rep neck work done twice a week will promote adaptations, and within 4-6 weeks you should see visible changes in your neck muscularity.
has anybody seen any progress with this never seen anyone post their progress...
 

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