One of the most commonly overlooked areas of the body trained today is the neck. Sure we train our traps and delts to make it LOOK like we have a big neck, but how much time do we actually spend on developing the neck itself?

As we begin to understand how to improve the human body’s physical performance with better training techniques/methodologies and as technology becomes more advanced, athletes have become, bigger, faster, and stronger today than they ever have been. This means that collisions between two athletes come with greater force and the impact significantly increases in magnitude, and as big and strong as we want our athletes to be, the human body can only take so much.

So how does the neck come into play? In recent years, concussions and other head trauma related injuries are becoming much more prevalent and concerning, even in “non-collision” sports and in younger populations. Training the neck may be a way to significantly reduce these occurrences, and dramatically decrease the severity of these impacts.

By getting the neck cylinder stronger and bigger, you essentially create a greater base of support for your head. Upon any collision or impact, this increased strength and greater support allows for greater tension in the muscles of the neck, which can help disperse the impact forces over a greater area, reducing the force directly applied to the brain. The better support actually minimizes the movement of the head and reduces the shifting of the brain inside the skull. All pretty good sounding things right? But now how do we get there?

A Few Neck Training Tips

•Train In Every Plane of Movement

  • Flexion/Extension
  • Lateral Flexion/Lateral Extension
  • Rotational Neck Exercises
  • Isometric Resistance

•Constant tension

  • Constant training during THE ENTIRE RANGE OF MOTION is essential. The neck has more muscles than bones, and constant tension assures the recruitment of some of our lesser active neck stabilizer muscles.

•High Reps

  • 3 sets of 12 is a good place to start when programming neck exercises. The high volume will promote hypertrophy (increased muscle cross sectional area)

•Neck Exercises can be used at the beginning of the program as a warm or as a good filler for a superset to almost any exercise.