Back when i wrestled in high school i found out that every single day was a neck workout. The amount of times my teammates would pull and tug on my neck...lol...just to try to rip it off and pin me on the mat was insane. But it did the job and i along with the entire wrestling team found that every season our necks always grew and strengthened.
But not everybody has the privileged of having someone try to rip they head off! During the off season we employed a number of different excercises to strengthen and thicken our necks, i even found out a couple of progressions.
If you have a partner this is a good one,
- Sit down with your knees and hands on the floor, and look up, let your partner take his hands try to push your head down. Make sure to resist, and make sure he decreases the amount of pressure when you try to push back up to the starting position. That is one rep, Do about 10-20 reps
You can do this with a side ways version too, same principle only make sure your partner pushes his hands sideways over your upper part of your head near the ears.
This is in my opinion the best workout for the neck! Its really natural to all the movement that a person has to go through in combat sports if they are grappling!
Same thing can be done with a neck harness, or if you can make fix a rubber band type of instrument thing.
Now if you don't have a a neck harness or a partner, well your in luck! Since i have stopped training and am in the middle of getting back to conditioning for my MMA fighting this is what i did to strengthen and get my neck back to its normal muscular thick self!
1)Lying Face Down/Up Plate Neck Resistance...
Start this exercise by lying on a bench flat on your stomach, hang your head over the bench, as if your looking at the floor, place a 5-10 (start light) pound plate on the base of your head and neck, holding the plate with your finger tips, and then move your head up and down for 25-50 reps. Take your time with this particular maneuver, it's a tough one. Then after that switch it up and lay on your stomach and do the same thing.
Start light, with a little bit of high rep, just do what feels good, every week increase a little! You will find that the neck takes a short amount of time to become strong as fuck!
Once you are able to do this with 25lbs for 25 reps or more, then fuck that shit and start trying to do the wrestlers bridge!
2) Wrestlers Bridge
Most people are not strong enough for the wrestlers bridge, and the laying on the bench excercises helps build up and strengthen the neck to be able to do it.
Ross shows you how to do them! http://www.rossboxing.com/thegym/thegym15.htm
Again do this in a increasing weight fashion. Start with you body weight and get used to it for a week or two. Then slowly start adding weight, 5lbs the most to start...
Make sure your head is resting on something nice and soft, but lets you move comfortably. Reps of 10-25 are good, and if you get to the point of doing these with a 45lb plate on your chest, then start trying to do it with a eazy barbell with weight on each side!