T Nation

Neck Training

Poliquin’s article touched on neck training, and I thought I’d pass on a suggestion for this. I train at a gym with no 4-way neck machine, and the harness they had broke while I was using it (as have three weighted dip belts, haha). Thus, for the last three months I’ve put a full inch on my neck by using (forgive me, gods of iron) cables.

I use a high pulley, and attach one of the straps for use in hanging leg raises. I then put the strap around my head and begin exercising vigorously.

Day one-
Vertical motion (forward and backward)
As a superset, first place your forehead in the strap and push away from the stack, getting a full stretch at the top of the movement and full contraction at the bottom. Upon completion of the set (I stop just prior to failure), reverse the motion by putting the strap across the back of your head. Note- hold onto the strap lightly to ensure that it does not slip off your head. Wearing a hat will give you some friction that will help hold the strap in place as well.

Day two-
Lateral motion
Same deal, but you put the strap around the side of your head and lower your ear to your shoulder.

I do these workouts, alternated, 4-5 days a week, usually doing baseball curls in between sets of neck for my forearms, or ab rollouts. I change my set and rep scheme every workout to stave off overtraining.

Incidentally, if your gym lacks an ab roller, as does mine (and there appears to be a continent-wide dearth in sports stores as well), you can use a preloaded barbell, or a weightlifting aerobics class barbell with some large plates on it.

I’m in the same boat as you in regards to my gym’s lack of equipment for neck exercises. I’ll have to try your ideas out, as I need to increase my neck strength for MMA.

Just be careful and don’t hang yourself :slight_smile:

I have put on half-an-inch in the past two months by bridging. Here is an outstanding article on training the neck:


I’d do more bridging, but (this is amusing) I don’t want to rip out the hair on the crown of my head. Lol

[quote]shogunassassin wrote:
I’d do more bridging, but (this is amusing) I don’t want to rip out the hair on the crown of my head. Lol[/quote]

Put a beanie on & bridge on a small flat cushion or foam mat.

Aside from bridges, i have a rubber cable attached to a pole about 2-3 inches lower than my forehead. i loop around my forehead & walk away. You get some crazy sirations in your neck doing this. i superset to failure every morning as per below:

15 front bridges
15 back bridges
1min band walk

Good call. I’ll have to see if I can lay hands on some bands here, and I’ll give that a shot. Same with the beanie. That’ll give me a little more variety to my neck work, and maybe I’ll start dicking around with the neck bridge and press the old school guys used to do.


I am going to start using these, since I don’t have a harness.