T Nation

Favorite Neck Exercises


#1

I ski and mountain bike at fairly high levels. With that comes falling and tumbling at high-speeds. I’ve built my body to not only perform well but generally also be pretty injury-proof… With the exception of my neck.

I never train my neck and it’s very obvious that it is much weaker than when I used to play football- fairly mellow crashes where I roll up on it leave me sore for a week+. Basically, I need to get it stronger.

What are some of your favorite neck movements that can be performed solo?


#2

Neck harness work. Spud makes a good one.


#3

Neck flexion and extensions with a plate are my favourites. Refer to Jim wendlers article on building a bigger yoke for programming options


#4

Just put a plate on your head and nod a lot at the end of a bench. Or go buy an ankle strap, attach to a medium height cable, and stick your head in it and nod. Pretty simple shit really. Or wrestle bridges. Just work it from all angles and make sure you stretch your neck a lot. Also, start light as shit. No need in trying to be the worlds heaviest neck curler.


#5

Neck DOMS have got to be uncomfortable!


#6

Driving is the worse. You have to move your entire upper torso like a tank, since you can’t turn your neck.


#7

I do neck curls with a plate and extensions and side work with a band as plate loading feels awkward. I like the snatch grip shrug as well(Not really a neck specific exercise but traps make up part of your neck anyway).

Neck DOMS are particularly notable for me when on a pillow and whilst driving as pwn mentioned. Start light.


#8

Would most direct upper trap work not do the job?


#9

Different muscles. You want to work the traps AND the neck.


#10

@T3hPwnisher fair enough. My neck and traps seem to come up just from overhead pressing, rows and rack pulls so I’ve never done any direct work targeted there. Plus I have a long neck and quite wide clavicle and feel like I’d take away from that look if I worked hard on that area…always curious on trying new things in the gym though :-/


#11

I’m just gonna drop this here, quietly…: https://www.t-nation.com/training/these-3-exercises-are-a-waste-of-time

I agree with you and use the neck harness myself. Liked the shoulder part of the article though, 1 out of 3 ain’t bad?


#12

Rusin is such a meme


#13

Do you guys actually notice a benefit to neck training? I just don’t see the point at all if you’re not participating in some kind of contact sport.


#14

Haha yeah, that article was actually the impetus for me to post the question. Getting knocked to lala land, and neck injuries are very likely in my chosen recreational activities. A strong neck as prehab for collision sports ain’t too bad of an idea IMO :slight_smile:


#15

A bigger neck and less tension headaches, but mostly a bigger neck. No one fucks with anyone with a big neck


#16

did people used to fuck with you, but now you’ve got a bigger neck they’re like “woah, bro! I don’t want no trouble with no thick neck dude”?


#17

When you fall asleep in a car, and you’re drooling, and your head is flopping all over the place, you don’t wake up with a neck ache?

Oh, and if you’re just not made for this game and don’t like the full-house look, a (relatively) big neck means that even when you’re wearing clothes, “people” still know you lift? And ain’t that the most important thing???


#18

Used to get beat up every day till I did my first set of neck curls bro.


#19

No, but the few fights I have been in when I’ve gotten my ass handed to me was by a dude with a big ass neck, yoke, and forearms. I’ve been knocked out three times in my life. Two from boxing, once when I was talking out of my ass. They all had big ass necks, traps, and forearms. My dad had a huge neck, traps and forearms. Every strong ass dude I’ve seen had a big neck, traps, and forearms. So I want a big ass neck, traps, and forearms goddamnit.


#20

Yeah; that was a very silly article.