T Nation

Do You Train Your Neck?

Weird question I know, but a lot of athletes in high-impact sports like football and wrestling do specific neck work to protect them from injury. Is specific neck training part of your plan to survive ugly encounters without getting seriously injured?

I do it just because I don’t see a reason to let a muscle be small and weak if I can make it big and strong instead.

I remember when in regular high school physical education class when we were doing wrestling units they had us bridging our torsos up with weight on the feet and crown of the head. We would use our neck muscles to role our heads around in a circle.

I have some vague memory from posting somewhere that that was frowned upon as a cervical injury risk.

Maybe someone can clarify.

I have started doing it, after years of recurring neck/trap tweaks that would cause pain for days afterwards, plus I’m doing more boxing now. Can’t see any downside. I do sets to failure with a 10lb plate held behind my head, with my chest on a 15 degree incline Bench and my head hanging over the edge, flexing and extension. I just make sure to only use my hand to hold the plate against my head, not to lift the plate (using no thumbs means I can just use my fingers to press the plate onto the back of my head, and there’s nothing I can do with my hands to assist the extension). Has ended up being around 100 reps or more, usually. Feels great, but will have to report back in a few months time, which will be when I can safely say that I have avoided a neck/trap tweak for longer than usual.