Don’t forget your Neck

Much of my recent career has been spent working with combat athletes like boxers, wrestlers, MMA fighters etc. I also include sports such as hockey, football and rugby in the realm of combat athletics. Along with the many other factors that make up a complete training program for these types of athletes, is having an effective plan to strengthen the neck muscles. Having a strong neck is key both to allow for maximum performance and even more importantly to help protect from possible injury.

In my personal opinion most regular folks can and will benefit from adding a brief, intense, and effective neck strengthening routine to their current strength training program. Training the neck is not difficult to do and because most folks necks have rarely experienced any exposure to strength training, these muscles tend to respond rather quickly to a training stimulus. An effective neck training program will only add about 5 minutes to your program and their are a variety of tools and methods that are readily available to you to accomplish this goal. Below are links that will lead you to examples of several of the methods and or tools available for neck strengthening.

There many ways to train the neck:

1. Manual Resistance
2. Neck Harness
3. Dedicated machine
4. Resistance Bands
5. Exercise Ball

My neck routine looks like this:

Neck & Trap Exercise Sequence

1. Neck Flexion – 12 reps (60 seconds TUT)

2. Neck Extension – 12 reps (60 seconds TUT)

3. Lateral Flexion Right – 12 reps (60 seconds TUT)

4. Lateral Flexion Left – 12 reps (60 seconds TUT)

5. Shrugs – 12 reps (60 seconds TUT) Seated or Standing (can be performed with dumbbells, barbell, cables or Smith Machine etc.)

If you are lucky enough to have access to a dedicated neck training machine, I recommend that you give it a try. If your facility does not have such a device, take the time to learn and apply one or more of the other methods described above. Regular neck training may help improve posture, lesson headaches and also help protect you in the case of an unexpected slip, fall or other collision.

You’ve got five minutes, so get to it!



P.S. I wrote an article on neck training back in April 10, 2008. I decided to add another because I feel it is a very important an often over-looked area. Rather than just point people to the archives I figured let’s just do a new one.


2 Responses

  1. I agree with this. There’s actually a post on my site too about something similar to this.

    Good post.

    • Hey Ninja,

      Thanks for checking out my blog and for taking the time to drop a quick comment on several of the entries. Keep visiting.


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