T Nation

Pencil Neck Syndrome

I have a very small neck, its really sad. What are some exercises that I could do to build size around my neck? What rep scheme should I use? Thanks

Do a search through Poliquins old columns, he did a workout for skinny necked guys.

You should be working your traps.
Deadlift and use olympic lifts for power, and use shrugs for hypertrophy.

For the deadlifts I’d reccomend using Westside protocols, check out “periodization bible part II” and for olympic lifting, many low rep sets, i.e. 6x2.
For the shrugs I’d go 8-10 reps with a 1011 tempo (thanks poliquin).
That sort of lifting seemed to help my neck, hope it can help yours.

For direct neck work you can go to a cable tower and attach your head to the cable, and then extend your neck in different directions.
I’ve also heard of just putting one’s hand on one’s head and resisting themselves that way

Perhaps you could wear a football helmet around town for a little extra overload, or a weighted sombrero. The weighted sombrero would fire up your CNS like none other!
Adam Marshall

Here is a secert method of neck growth that has been lost in recent years, but if done faithfully can add an inch in less that a month. You are going to need a training partner, one who will stay alert. Too start you get on your hands and knees, with your partner standing to your right or left. Have your partner place his or her hands on the side of your head, then slowly in good form you bend your neck toward your training partner as he resists. Then have him push you head back to the starting position while you resist. Do twelve reps this way for each side. You also do the front and back of you neck by having your training partner standing in front of you. This exercise will draw looks and possible comments, just luck old fashion donkey calve raises, but it works wonders. Another, great exercise is to take an old football helmet and attach a pipe to the top center. By position yourself over a flat bench or across a flat bench you can work you neck in all four directions. As you improve you add weight to the pipe. Best of Luck.

Bodybuilders typically don’t train the neck muscles that would prvent the pencil neck syndrome, only the trapezius muscles, which aren’t enough. Top-class wrestlers do though. They need all those muscles for bridging. I think Health for Life sells the head strap deal with chain and weight attachment that allows you to do the different movements off of a high bench with resistance in different directions.