Neck Training 101

So you’re finally realizing that it’s possible to train that thing that connects the head to the rest of the body. This is good because having a well-developed neck is essential for completing an overall physique. If you don’t want to end up looking like Mr. Basedow, you’ll start working on your neck today. This article will give you the basic knowledge you need to undertake a new neck workout regimen.

Before starting a neck workout is important to be properly stretched out. Stretching out properly will help to prevent injury and will also help to alleviate any discomfort. Make sure that you can rotate you neck through a full range of motion clockwise and counter-clockwise before starting the workout. Then hold your neck in the following positions for ten seconds each.

Hold For (seconds)
Chin to chest
Head completely back
Right ear to shoulder
Left ear to shoulder

It is important to realize that working into heavy fatigue and sacrificing form can be especially serious with neck exercises. Also, when using weights, it is important to start with a light weight and gradually work up to heavier ones. That said, once you’re stretched out it’s time to get to some basic exercises.

A series of basic neck exercises involves applying pressure with your arms (or a training partner’s) and holding your head in position. When you apply this technique with pressure coming from the front, back, and each side in subsequent ‘sets’ then you will fully work out the neck. A benefit of using isometric neck exercises is a lower risk for injury, but be careful of using poor form as your muscles begin to grow tired.

A weighted neck lift is the ‘neck flexion’. This lift involves lying on a flat bench with your neck hanging off the end and holding a weight on your forehead. Slowly bring your head up until it touches your chest and then bring it back down to a little past parallel with the ground. The same exercise can be done with the weight resting on the side of the head and moving your head side to side.

Shrugs will also help to develop the neck. To perform a shrug take either dumbbells or a barbell and hold it with your arms fully extended. Then let your shoulders go down as far as possible and then lift them upwards (keeping your arms straight the entire time).

To summarize the article:
• Neck training will help overall body appearance and help prevent injuries
• Train smart, make sure that each exercise is done with proper form
• Start with a light weight that will allow you to get used to the range of motion used during the exercise
• Stretch out, using a full range of motion is paramount to neck exercises
• If an exercise hurts, stop. There’s no point in getting yourself out of lifting because you didn’t know how to properly do an exercise
• To maximize results try to train the neck by itself (this will also make sure you give each exercise more concentration and therefore better form)

A beginner’s sample routine:
Sets (Reps)
Isometric (all four ways)
2 (held for 10-25 seconds)
Neck Flexion
Neck Flexion (on side)

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