T Nation

Increasing Neck Size


I have a 14inch neck and want to increase it to somewere in the 16inch range. All i have at my gym is a four way machine for your neck. From what iv read on here, that machine is worth shit...iv also read that building op your traps and shoulder harness would help neck size.

Am i wrong about the machine, and is there any other excercises that i can do for it to get bigger. I want this mainly for intimidation purposes and think it would help ALOT in Rugby and Football...
thanks for the help!!


Deadlifts have worked for me. Also lean your forehead against your bed mattress and hold, do the same with the back of your head.
The four-way neck machine is evil. Pure evil.


I generally only do shrugs, however, if I were really interested in building up my sternoclediomastoids, and had access to a neck machine, I would use that as well. Your neck is only your traps and the "sternos"...that's it.


Of course I know nothing about your particular 4-way machine, but I don't think it would hurt to add it in. Also, make sure you are doing heavy shrugs.

Additionally, I am a big neck harness fan. If you don't have a harness, you can get a similar effect by using plates and hanging your head off the end of your bed, lying face up or face down.


New one I found last weekend.

Sled drag with the strap around your head. Now I wouldnt start to heavy hera but the resistance is AWESOME you really have to flex the hell out of your neck etc to pull the load. We were using 1 45lb plate dragging on grass to start.

Other than that all the above is great.


Use the 4-way neck machine, it's probably designed to increase neck size if used properly.

There are two other things that you should do as well if you are serious about neck size.

  1. Buy a neck harness. Iron Mind Enterprises has the best one on the market. Elite Fitness also sells one. You can work your neck from evey angle adding plates as you move along.

  2. I like the neck bridge. Being a former grappler I could see the benefit (in size and strength) of bridging. Do both forward (on your forehead) and then backward, on the back of your head. Do this on a mat, or a pillow if a mat is not available. Start out by bridging for only :15 seconds. Work up to 1:00 or so. As you get better at it you can move around while in the bridge, rolling in small subtle motions.

The neck is used to doing quite a lot of movement during the day. Therefore, I would train the neck with high reps three times per week. In a specialization program I would train it from each of the four directions three sets each for a total of 12 sets. That may seem like a lot, however you are not going to come even close to failure. Work in the 15 to 20 rep range. Change up between the machine the neck harness and bridging.

Again, that would be a specialization program only. Once I brought my neck up to the size I wanted it I reduced this program to include only three sets three times per week, and sometimes only twice per week.

I brought my neck up from 14" to it's current measurement of 17". Not huge, but for my body weight, fat percentage etc. it's not bad.

Good Luck,



just throwing this out there, but what do you people think of headstands for neck strength and size?


Eat and deadlift...


ever try lying high up on the bench while doing light warm-ups on presses, you don't want to do it while benching heavy.
over-head shrugs combined with wall leans hold each position(fore, both sides and back of head leaning against a wall) for 40 to 60 seconds should do the trick though.


it should work well,any vertical presses (military presses, upright rows, push presses with a hold in the semi-locked out postion) will work.


He didn't say "presses", he said "HEAD STAND". No, I don't think head stands will do much for your neck in terms of size. None of those breakdancers from the 80's seemed to have very big necks.


Come on! By the time Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo came out, Ozone had a huge neck. Plus he could defy gravity by dancing on the walls and ceilings.


wrestling helped my neck size... having someone else beat on your head (no homo) and try to push you around by twisting and jerking ur neck (no homo) really builds up strength in the "stenos" and traps as well.

I also do really heavy snatch shrugs, warm up with a set of 20 do 5x5 (build up) then 10, 15, 20 with what you you did your first set of 5 with.




Neck Squats!


I always recommend the "Judo Press"

Imagine doing a VERY light DB bench press. Now, take all of your body except your head off of the bench except your head, so that the back of your head is supporting all of your bodyweight.

Start out light. Very cool exercise, especially for grapplers.


Farmers walks and power snatches might help you build a nice yoke.


Hey, I thought we had TWO 45s on there...Whatever, but this was a great exercise.


I've been using a neck harness and heavy shrugs twice a week for the past 8 weeks and have noticed significant improvements.

But how do you use the neck harness for the front of your neck?

I did a search on here and found an old Thib article, where the guy was leaning back against a bar in the power rack, and working the front of his neck by leaning back, and curling his head forward - but any great amount of movement and the harness just falls off backwards. Any way around this problem - short of making a chin strap for the harness?


Just hold the harness in place using your hands, being sure not to help in the movement.