I wanted to do some neck strengthening exercises over the summer so I can take a punch better. What are some of the most effective ones in your opinion?
but what makes you think a bigger or stronger neck is gonna help you take a punch better?
i agree with all the above, and would also recomend "yes/no's"
i do these before BJJ, and will lay on my back, lift my head about an inch off the ground, and turn it slowly to the right and left ("No's"). after these, i'll get on all fours, and lift my head all the way back and back down to my chest ("Yes's"). then, neck circles, both directions...
also, learn head movement while fighting....that's more important than taking a hit.
I usually do yes/no's after my boxing workouts. They are great. Wrestlers bridge take some getting used to.
It is believed a thicker/stronger neck helps you absorbs punches better.
I agree, head movement is key.
Bridge,clinch & Egyptians.
Also head movement,bob & weave + footwork will help avoiding some shots.
My first thought on this was that you should learn to fight better so you are hitting more than being hit . .
one exercise I've seen that looks good (haven't tried yet) is hanging a plate of a strap slung over the back of your head and lifting it with your head while bent over with your hands on your knees and I've also seen a bloke using a machine at the gym for neck extensions.(the same as a back extension)
I totally agree with Grasshopper and Ramone above about head movement being a key to good fighting technique.