Is Direct Neck Work Needed?

I saw this question posed awhile ago, and I tried to search for it, but I couldn’t find it and it seems like the Beginner forum is the best place to ask.

I do mainly compound lifts, squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, et cetera but I am wondering if direct neck exercises are needed? Does the neck receive the hypertrophy cumulative benefits of all the other compound lifts. Or is direct work needed?

The neck will get somewhat thicker from heavy power squats and deadlifts. But it never hurts to work it directly a little. Well - it will at the beginning…

Direct neck work will stabilize the cervical spine and make it less stressful to hold the bar on the shoulders or do those shrugs and deads.

I don’t think once have a I ever done a direct neck exercise, not to say it’s not needed though. I’ve never had neck problems I feel that my heavy deadlifts are all I need for it.

For the most part deadlifts shrugs upright rows should take care of your neck thickness. If you train for a sport like wrestling or football or just want a thick ass neck some direct work could help.

I own the neck harness made by EliteFTS, pretty strong and made me outgrow all my dress shirts.

Heavy deads and shrugs are probably going to do the trick for you.

I’ve never done direct neck work either. That’s the cool thing about compound lifts - whatever needs to get strong, will.

It depends on what you’re going for also. If total weight in your main lifts is your concern, don’t worry about it. If you just want to have a thick ass neck, then by all means strap on that weight harness.

Unless you’re into MMA, football or any other heavy collision sport, direct neck work isn’t that necessary.

T-Nation author Bill Hartman had a blog entry about this subject:

The gist of it is everyone should do at least a little direct neck work.