T Nation

Neck strength

I did some neck isolation work on a 4-way neck machine for the first time today (hopefully I will get a neck harness pretty soon). I was wondering if anyone who has done isolation work for their neck could shed some light on what planes of movement (a direction of push, in the case of this machine) the neck should be strongest in. Does it simply vary between individuals, or should certain planes always be stronger than others (i.e. side to side should always be weaker than front to back)?

Your neck should be strongest pushing back, then moving forward and final side to side. Because of the construction of the neck and it’s muscles you move the head through quite a few paths. This is why when exercising the neck I prefer using an old football helmet with a piece of pipe attached to the top where I can secure weights. This sllows me to work the neck through all it’s plains of motion. Best of Luck.

You mentioned this numerous times in all the “how to get a big neck” posts, and it really intrests me. However, could you please give me some more information on it? How to make, etc.? Thanks

Older Lifter, thanks for the help. From that first session I was able to deduce that my neck strength fit in with what you described. I may give that football helmet deal a try if I get ambitious…

What Older Lifter said.

Okay. Get a hold of a football helmet, a 3/4" floor flange and a six inch 3/4 inch nipple (see the plumping section at Home Depot). Take the flange over to the hardware department and get 4 3/4 inch flat head screws, matching fender washers, lock washers and self locking nuts. Position the flange on the top center of the helmet and attach. Make sure that you don’t damage the padding inside the helmet. Screw in nipple. Now you can slide regular size weights (1" hole) do the pipe and secure in place with a collar. Best of Luck.

Genius, absolute genius!!!

Thanks, J. But I cannot take credit for the idea. I saw an article about one in the early seventies in Muscular Development Magazine and made my own. Having tried every form of neck exercise over the last forty years I can say that I would rate the Helmet the best. Followed by partner assisted iso-tonic movements, then the machines, body weight (wrestles bridging), then the straps and self iso-tonic movements.
A sad funny story. One to the early kings of Powerlifting is also a preacher in the Claskville, TN area. As part of his sermon, he would preform teeth lifts with volunteers. One day in 1988, he picked a three hundred pound man to lift. He complete this amazing lift!!!After three seconds, some of his teeth had had enough and left his mouth. So I don’t recommend heavy teeth lifts for anyone. Best of Luck.