Neck Training – Building The Walls To Your Fortress
For many, neck training is not a part of the weekly workout routine. You may think that performing heavy compound movements is enough to build a strong neck.
But what can really set you apart from other lifters and athletes is to implement neck specific training. Consider putting neck training as a new, top priority in your workout week.
The Importance of Neck Training
When you train your full body throughout the week, but it does not encompass neck training, how is that truly complete?
More importantly, athletes that engage in contact sports need to stay protected from concussions. When high-impact hits happen, having a solid, versatile neck has you covered.
Cultivating a strong neck is not only important for sports, but for when life happens too. You do not want to wind up with a whiplash from a weak neck during a fender bender or roller coaster ride.
Just because most people are not training their necks does not mean it is not important. It may feel tedious, but it is crucial to protect your entire head – especially in a highly active lifestyle. Once you come across a head or brain injury, you can be out indefinitely.
Of course, a strong neck cannot always protect you from every head harm out there, but it certainly helps a great deal. It is safe to say that the most responsible action to take is to start neck training if you have not already. Even if it is not popular with others around you, neck workouts are just important as any other lifting day of the week.
Neck Training Benefits
There are many benefits to neck training, but here are the most important points to takeaway.
- Stronger Spine – Improving spine strength is key to standing up straight. Plus, it allows your spinal cord to work as efficiently as possible without being bogged down by slouching. And what does improved posture mean for athletes of all walks of life? More power and overall increased performance.
- Posture Improvement – Sitting at work or driving typically leads to poor posture. Hunching forward with most of the spine and neck can create neck pain and problems. But when you have a strong neck, it becomes easier to sit and stand up straight – along with well-supported spine. And of course, less muscle imbalances occur when your lifts are done with good posture as well.
- Concussion Insurance – Anything can happen anytime – especially in sports such as hockey, football, soccer, etc. Many people do not give neck training a second thought until they get a concussion. Do what you can to not let that happen to you. By preparing for anything with a strong neck, you can significantly reduce your chances of coming down with a concussion. You might even create your own luck to eliminate any and all concussions from your athletic career.
- Reduced Injuries – Concussions are the big one here, but other injuries such as whiplash, disk injury, vertebral fracture, and spinal cord damage all have their place too. Although every situation is unique, these injuries can be reduced with proper neck training. Strong neck muscles are a critical line of defense for serious damages to your spinal cord, brain, and vertebrae.
Neck Training Equipment
Neck specific equipment is optional, yet it can make it easy to stay on top of your neck training consistency and deliver fast gains.
A neck harness is a great first option to have for neck training. As we are dealing with a critical part of your body, do what you can to buy a quality neck harness. Spending the extra bucks for a well-made harness is going to pay off in the long-term.
Most are customizable to fit your unique head size, which make them quite comfortable. Plus, you can attach a neck harness to cables, loading pins, and bands.
As you become more advanced, a loading pin is a small, good investment to make for neck training. It allows you to add more weight than just one or two plates to the original neck harness chain.
Especially for starting out, bands are an inexpensive way to introduce yourself to neck training. Even in retail stores, exercise bands usually run under $10 each. Even if it is a very light resistance band, it may be exactly what you need when beginning your neck training journey.
Neck Training Exercises
Check out the following neck exercises to add to your workout plan. You never know – these might be your next favorite exercises to have in your back pocket.
Plate Neck Extensions
Start out by lying down on a bench but with your head hanging over the floor. Perform this face down and on your back to target both neck flexion and extension. It feels like a crunch but with only your neck. If you actually feel an ab crunch, then you need to drop some weight or check your form to better target your neck muscles.
Neck Harness Exercises
Sitting on a bench, attach your neck harness to your head and attach your weight. Bring your head up and down by extending and flexing your neck.
It can be much easier to perform weighted neck extensions with a neck harness rather than holding plates on your head with your hands. Moreover, you can add much more weight without worrying about holding multiple plates with your hands. Let the chain hold the weight plates for you.
Partner Assisted Extensions
If you have a workout partner, ask them to provide just enough resistance to your neck extensions. As an example, lie down on a bench just as you would do neck extensions with weight plates. Then instead of plates pushing down on you, have your friend push down on your head. Remember to communicate well so no one gets hurt accidentally.
Neck Training Workout
In comparison to the rest of our body, our neck muscles are frequently used and are on the smaller side. This is good news for being able to train your neck two to three times per week. Keep in mind that your neck training should start out with a focus on high reps – aim for 50-70 reps for an entire neck training session.
To break it down, use a neck harness with a weight (or no weight) that you can perform 20 reps with for 3 sets. And of course, warm up beforehand by flexing and extending your neck. Couple that with neck rotations to get the blood flowing and for a nice stretch.
Since neck training will not take up too much of your total workout time, you can easily pop it in at the end of another workout day for a good ten minutes.
You might surprise yourself and be hooked onto neck training once you start, so start as soon as possible.
Neck training should be the staple of any workout routine. Neck training has been proven by research to reduce the likelihood of concussions.
Not only that but it will also strengthen your back, give you a tough looking appearance and it will add weight to your lifts.
Plus, it keeps you safe and healthy for a lifetime.
With all of the information presented to you in this article, you should be more than ready to start adding slabs of muscle to your neck.