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Best Exercises for Neck?


What's the best exercise to make bigger the lateral and front part of the neck ? what about sumo deadlifts? shrughs?
I don't want to do isolation exercises..


I've seen people who do nothing more than shrugs and uprights develop decent necks, and I've seen people that need direct work . There are a few MMA guys and wrestlers in my gym who make use of harnesses for added weight, as well as towels to support a plate on their forehead as they hand their head off of a bench.

Hoping a few more athletic folks chime in here.



My neck has always been a bit slender regardless of how much weight I put on, I started using high pulls, shrugs, and seemed to work pretty well, Dead lifts work the neck a little but if you really want added emphasis or development you may want to add a couple things.


I like head raises, but I notice better results when I do a moderately wieghted static shrug while doing head raises.

Also put a medicine ball under your forehead in pushup position and do "a head push" or forward bridgeing with your head off the medicine ball (Im not sure what people would call it)...Anyway bridging or forward push off the ball is Good for really putting a SAFE heavy load into the forward movement of your head and kneck as you can brace yourself with your hands in push up position and even add more tension by putting feet up or working from knees down.

Also you might notice a static balance off your head helps the fwd lateral areas of your kneck.

I personally don't think it's wise to roll the kneck to muchyou don't wanna mess your kneck up

Also I have some seat belt straps I've modified to connect to my cables so when hooked up to the high cables they make a perfect loop at the bottom
i can lay into it face down on a bench for forward kneck movement.


I dunno about shrugs working the neck brother...sure they work your traps but your neck per se i doubt it...


I do upper/lower body split, 4 times a week
I think there is no place for shrugs in my upper routine..Doing shrugh in lower day is a good idea?or just heavy dumbbell lunges work the same?


There was a Max Shank article about direct neck training recently, right here on T Nation. Couldn't have been 6 weeks ago and had great, safe ideas.

edit - boom.


As was said, you can find a few good neck routines in the Archives. But if neck size is something you're after, some combo of shrugs, bridges, and neck harness work (in addition to basics like deadlifts, rows, and overhead pressing) should get you there.

Can we get back to this for a second? There are a few different paths to each goal, sure, but why do you want to avoid isolation exercises?

Based on your recent routine, you're already including a bunch of isolation exercises for certain bodyparts, so it's kinda nutty that you'd want to avoid directly training your neck directly.


I don't want to do weird isolation exercises for the neck.. :smiley:


If that's all it is, the compound exercise I think would be really effective would be safety squat bar box squats with bands and chains while wearing a neck harness, as I demonstrate here


As said here any kind of shrug, deadlift, rows type movement will grow your neck. My neck is pretty thick (21.5 inches) and that is all I have ever done. Well that and I played football for years. Wearing that helmet really thickens the neck up as well.


Your traps make up most of the muscle of your neck. The rest is your sternoclediomastoids which are the muscles at the front of the neck.

Knowing basic anatomy will help you all the way around.


Don't need anything 'weird' just use bands either side for 2 sets of 30-50 reps, for most people the neck responds super fast to direct work and you will probably just need a few workouts to put on an inch.


What in the fuck is that? I am not sure if you are trolling, or if you are serious.


I think I agree. Also a thick neck doesn't look good imo. Big traps are cool though.



It's not as funny when I have to explain the joke, but I was using the video as an example that wanting to do compound neck movements because you feel isolation exercises are "weird" is silly.


All together it's funny,
even better if you can get the OP and his friends to do it.


I am wondering just how buff people are getting in general with this idea that isolation = bad.


God bless the 4 way neck machine.


Ahhhh! My old gym in Rego Park, Queens used to have that! It was right next to the arm wrestling table, near the Nautilus pullover machine. Not the fanciest gym by any means, but it had some gems hidden in there amongst the rust, bent bars, and neanderthal looking folks who couldn't speak a word of English. Damn I miss that place :slightly_smiling: