Neck Training: Front and Back Only?

Hello, can we work only the front and the back of the neck and don’t take any injury, or we need also to work the side of the neck

I don’t know for sure, but I believe when you get punched, it’s the super quick head spin to the side that will cause you to lose consciousness. Same with, say, a car crash. It’s your head being whipped around that can cause an injury. I read an article, I think on Jim Wendler’s website or EliteFTS saying that rotational work, or training the neck to be able to resist unwanted rotation is what can protect you best from injury.

That being said, any work is better than none. I really don’t think only training the front/back of your neck is gonna hurt. Go for it!

Depends on how and why you are training the neck perhaps. If you are directly training flexion and extension of the neck, then I would think you might need to train laterally as well as rotationally (or perhaps anti-rotationally), so that you don’t injure yourself with your own training, which would be a really stupid way to train, so let’s take a different approach.

The best way of training the neck is with compound exercises.

Zercher deadlifts will give you a thick, strong, stable neck.
Overhead shrugs done with a trap bar and really high volume followed up with something like push-ups, dips, & pull-ups will give you a thick, strong, stable neck.
Single arm pressing done 30-10-30 style will give you a thick, strong, stable neck.
Farmer carries, overhead carries, Zercher carries, double kettlebell cleans and hill sprints will all give you a thick, strong, stable neck.

These exercises done together will strengthen 360 degrees of the neck.

These exercises will also give you great hip, quad, shoulder, tricep and thoracic strength and mobility. What more even is there? Glute bridges and KB snatches I suppose, but you should be doing all of this anyways. No need to be hanging weight from your head or doing rep after monotonous rep of neck extensions or some other dangerous movement of the cervical spine.

Why the wrestler, boxer training their neck if u can just do this exerices?
When u do squat and so on why training abs or plank? If u think in this logic why we need to do that? If the squat and so on make the job?

I know that harness are bad but what about the extension neck in the back ground with some training before to choice this exerices? All of your exercices training more the traps than the neck no? I need to look how I can place them in a full body and that can to be difficult , for the farmer carries you place it in the last of a program?

@kolyma - I tried linking a couple articles on Jim Wendler’s website but they were removed. Just google “neck training + Jim Wendler.” You’ll find them.

I do agree that these will all help, but I would assume that these would hit the traps a lot more than any of the neck’s specific movements.

This is just my opinion but I disagree that these stengthen the neck at all.

Because they don’t. Squats, deadlifts, presses, carries, etc. are all fantastic movements that hit most of your body’s muscles. But there’s a reason why isolation work is a thing - because the big movements don’t always hit the little muscles that well, and weak points exist. Most people do curls, don’t they? Because rows and pullups aren’t always enough.

They’re not. If you’re new to it, just start very light and do very little volume. Over time you can do more reps and heavier weight, but you need to get used to it. And I’d never plan on using 300lbs or anything. I mean, you could, but at a certain point it does probably get dangerous.



Doing some neck flexion & extension is a lot different than carries. Simple neck work can be done daily. 50-100 reps. Kinda like band pull-aparts or something. They don’t take much out of you.

All in all, I don’t think neck work is 100% necessary for people, but if done safely and smart, it probably won’t hurt. But if you actyually want to work your neck then you need to do movements that work your neck, not your shoulders or traps.

You seem competent so I’ll assume you read the first three lines of that Wendler article.

I’m not sure if you’re referring to the bullet points or the start of the actual article. The part where he says to add neck training to a balanced program? I absolutely agree. The only thing I said to you was that I don’t think pushups and hill sprints build up the neck muscles…I really didn’t think that was arguable.

1 Like

You should try hill sprints and push-ups bro. You West River SD?

East River. And the flattest county at that. There’s one hill in town, a man made sledding hill, but it’s nothing special.

I’d love to live West River. Do you?

What are you training your neck for? Are you competing in a contact sport? What injury are you concerned about or do you just want a thick neck?

You can get away with the weight of your head and using a couch for neck training - do it when you’re at home and you have 10 minutes

You talking about like some type of bride or plank with your head on the couch? I forgot about those. Or just having your head hang off the edge and lifting it?

I guess you could get very creative but just laying on the couch with your head hanging off it - it’s not too hard to add resistance if you want to go that way.

1 Like

I just use gym for take some weight, I want to build a decent body before only for that, after I really want to learn jb, boxer I thing it is also really the best for a good condition and so on’ I will look everything that u send me, but what do u think to training the neck in the back grounds?

Because they don’t. Squats, deadlifts, presses, carries, etc. are all fantastic movements that hit most of your body’s muscles
I do a full body complet so don’t worry I will not just training my neck, even my trap are developed goof
What do u mean?

I mean that squats, deadlifts, presses, carries, etc. are all fantastic movements that work most of your body’s muscles but if you specifically want a stronger neck then you will need to do some work specifically for your neck.

It doesn’t need to be very much, it doesn’t need to take long, and it doesn’t need to be complicated, but doing those “big” movements alone will do very little in terms of getting your neck strong.

It’s the same as biceps or calves or abs. Bodybuilders squat and do chin-ups, but they still need to work their calves and biceps directly, right? A lot of powerlifters and strongmen do tons of heavy squats and deadlifts but they will still train their abs.

This discussion shouldn’t have gotten this long winded. If you want a bigger, stronger neck, then do 10 minutes of neck work a few days a week. If you just want bigger traps, some shrugs, deadlifts, and carries are all you need.

1 Like

I will post my program I just had some question, how I can place power clean he look really nice, I do that sometime when I need to do the first rep of military press

I know I will read and cb after

I’m not entirely sure what you mean. This program includes power cleans:

I guarantee if you were to follow that program, from the big movements to the little ones, your body AND neck would look bigger.

EDIT: If you’re asking when to do power cleans, the easiest way is probably the same day you deadlift. I like doing them after deadlifts. No need to warm up for them. But you can do them whenever you want.

I already do this program and he work good, so I was just thinking where I can add sometime power clean but maybe I will wait that the gym open, and add a good neck training in the day off
I choice to not do deadfift.

just can we work the side neck with harness ? i didn’t found video of the side with harness
i got it the idea of this program that neck need to be build with a good program already so iam in this case, just how i can place it in this progrm total body, for shoulder ? oh i find it

Lower Back/Hips: Traditional and/or sumo-style deadlifts or Good Mornings. Power cleans or snatches.

Lie on your side, holding a light weight on the side of your head, and then do lateral flexion

Thx I thought as much

When my nake will be more stronger I will try that