Here are a few of the best neck exercises to build a thick, strong neck.
1. The Neck Bridge
The Neck Bridge is counted among the most effective of neck exercises. For doing this, you need to get started by positioning yourself on the floor. Here, your feet and hands should be planted firmly on a gym mat or the floor. Once, in this position you need to position your head on the floor and try to roll your head upwards and then backwards and then, a bit to the side, using your neck for propelling the motion. Ensure that you don’t force the movement when attempting this exercise for the first time as it might induce an unwanted injury. This exercise needs weeks of practice to get the movement right and to see the visible gains.
2. Manual Resistance Neck Exercises
Manual resistance exercises for the neck are regarded as the simplest of neck exercises that most people can attempt, i.e. whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned trainer. Ideally, this exercise should be done with a training partner. However, this is not a limitation. You can do this on your own by putting your hands on the head and pushing the head but while doing so, you use your hands for creating the resistance, i.e. trying to stop the movement of head in a minimal way. While doing so, you should be trying to use your neck muscles for keeping the head straight. The same needs to be done for doing resistance training from the side of the neck wherein your push creates the force that needs to be resisted thereby inducing contractions within the neck muscles. Initially, you might find it difficult to get the movement right since most starters in the gym don’t have strong neck muscles. However, over a period you will find it easier to do more reps and add more pressure on your head. This is the best and easiest form of resistance training that needs minimum support or guidance and can also be done after a strenuous workout session.
3. The Neck Harness
For executing neck harness exercises, you need a typical kind of training equipment that is not too expensive, i.e. a neck harness. Usually, gyms have it but if your gym doesn’t, this is something that you can invest in and use for years. When trying this for the first time, it is advisable to start with a much lower weight. The harness is attached to the upper part of your head. After doing this, you need to sit on a bench as you slowly lower your head, aiming to make your neck just about parallel to the shoulders. This is your stop position. From here, you need to raise your head upwards.
4. Barbell Shrugs for Your Neck
Yes, most people related the Shrug with shoulder exercises but the fact remains that shrugs are one of the best neck exercises too. The movement in a shrug hits your neck muscles almost in every possible way. When you move to shrugging some seriously heavy load, making some notable neck gains will not be a struggle. For doing the neck shrug, you need the usual 45-pound barbell that you should grab about at your shoulder’s width. You can try slightly farther spread grips also. Check your stance—it should be about shoulder-width apart at the time of un-racking the barbell. Now, raise the barbell slowly as if you are shrugging it.
5. Make Your Neck Thicker with Upright Rows
If you want to hit your traps right in the middle and make appreciable neck gains, then there is no escaping Upright Rows done with progressively heavier weights. Those who have moved on to heavier weights in doing rows too soon or done it with the wrong posture might complain of rows hurting their rotator cuffs and causing pain. However, this is still among the most recommended exercises for building-up the mass in and around the neck. You can use the 45 lb barbell when starting your shrugging regimen and gradually make the bar heavier. You need to grab the barbell at about your shoulder’s width. Your palms should be facing outwards. Now, you need to raise the bar upwards, i.e. towards your neck. While doing so, ensure your elbows are bent outwards. When you are a few inches away from the neck, slowly lower the bar towards its initial/ starting position.