People often avoid neck exercises due to concerns about whether neck training is considered safe or beneficial. We’re here to tell you that neck training is safe if performed with the guidance of a professional and when utilizing form-correct exercises.
There are many reasons why you should train your neck, including for injury prevention and increased performance in sports-related fields. This article will cover why these reasons are so important and why they should encourage you to start training your neck. And don’t worry, we’ll provide safe neck exercises and equipment that can be used to get started on your neck journey while you’re at it!
6 Reasons Why You Should Train Your Neck
Training the neck is often overlooked in the gym and the world. That’s why we’re here to provide the top six reasons why you should train your neck!
Injury Prevention For Both Athletes & Ordinary People
Training your neck is something to be considered by athletes and non-athletes. By improving the strength and mobility of your neck, you are promoting injury prevention.
The neck is a fragile part of the body that is often overlooked. Without a healthy neck, the risk for injury is increased. Aches and pains, tightness, or neck spasms, are common issues caused by a weak or imbalanced neck. Starting a routine by adding neck exercises and stretches with added resistance will be an efficient injury prevention tool to promote a strong, healthy neck.
Better Performance In Sports
Neck training doesn’t only prevent injuries. It also improves overall performance for athletes!
The neck is an essential tool that athletes often overlook. It obtains clear views of your opponent, teammates, and ball- everything you may need to perform your sport efficiently. The common term “keep your head on a swivel” is an important one that can help athletes encompass the true importance of a strong neck with a healthy range of motion. It allows athletes to scan the court or field for potential threats or opportunities.
For athletes to train at their absolute best, training the neck to improve strength, mobility, speed, and efficiency in tracking objects or opponents is necessary for better performance.
The Aesthetics Of A Thick Neck
Many train their necks specifically for the aesthetics of a thick neck, commonly seen in bodybuilders and F1 drivers.
A thick and muscular neck is a popular attribute among bodybuilders and many athletes, like cross-fitters. Strength and power are often associated with thick necks due to the connection between these powerful athletes and their thick-neck physiques. A strong, thick neck looks better, but it also provides physical benefits such as injury prevention and improved posture, which we will further discuss below.
Adding a routine of neck exercises in the gym can reduce nagging issues such as tension, stiffness, and tightness in the neck. In addition, the neck and surrounding areas, such as the trapezius muscles, are strengthened to improve mobility and strength of the neck and upper back muscles and can reduce overall pain that may afflict you.
As seen in two posts, “Stretches and Exercises for a Pinched Nerve” and “Neck Spasm Exercises and Treatment,” there are methods to avoiding or relieving painful issues like a pinched nerve or neck spasms using neck exercises and stretches.
Mobility is one of the best aspects to work on in terms of injury prevention. The same goes for working on mobility with the neck.
The neck performs a lot of diverse movements, from looking up, down, side to side, this way, that way…you get the drill! And if your neck is stiff from staring at your phone or computer too long, this can increase stiffness in the neck.
Side note---check out our post, “How to Get Rid of Tech Neck,” to learn more about what causes tech neck and how to get rid of it.
Back to topic! Mobility work through neck exercises can improve overall range of motion, accustoming and strengthening the neck to function in different positions without injury. In addition, it improves the neck’s ability to stabilize loads. With mobility work, you are essentially decreasing the risk of injury and improving strength while enhancing the overall health of your neck.
There are neck exercises that are designed to help you transform your poor posture, like forward head syndrome. Poor posture or muscle imbalances can lead to forward head syndrome, often referred to as “tech neck,” due to its relation between neck pain and poor posture when using devices such as a laptop or phone. Thankfully this poor posture issue can be fixed using neck strengthening and mobility exercises!
Follow along with this easy neck stretch that can help improve posture. The goal is to try stretching the neck out by looking left to right. First, push your shoulder blades back and together. Then, as you look from left to right, rotate the neck to obtain an equal range of motion on both sides. Finally, push into the uncomfortable---not painful----to get a decent stretch. This will help to strengthen your range of motion.
We encourage you to push to an “uncomfortable” position, not a “painful” one, to correctly and safely work on neck mobility to fix neck posture.
For athletes especially, concussions are a significant concern to be wary of when performing a sport. Concussions aren’t limited to sports, though they occur more often in sports than in a person’s daily life heading into the office.
Concussions aren’t always the result of head trauma. For example, if the head snaps back or there’s any violent head rotation, it can result in a concussion.
This is one of the biggest reasons most athletic trainers and coaches require neck training. They essentially demote the risk or likelihood of a concussion by strengthening the neck.
Is Neck Training Safe?
Yes, neck training is completely safe if done correctly!
Many have questioned whether neck training is safe for a good reason! Training the neck muscles involves coinciding risks, including impingement, strained muscles, nerve compression, and more. The unfortunate reality is that the small population of athletes that do incorporate neck training don’t always do it with proper form or under the guidance of a professional trainer.
When done correctly, using manageable loads and proper form - neck training is safe. We recommend following our guided videos on how to correctly perform these exercises to prevent injury and strengthen your neck.
How To Get Started Training Your Neck
Are you looking to get started with your neck training routine? We’ve got you covered---follow along with these essential four steps for the best way to get started with your neck training routine today!
Step 1) Read Our Guide to Neck Training
The first step to getting started training your neck has to be reading our guide, “Neck Training - The Complete Guide.” In this guide, we go over the importance of neck training, how it benefits athletes and non-athletes, and how to get started adding neck training into your training regimen. In addition, safety tips are provided to get started performing neck training without the risk of injury.
Step 2) Find Your Neck Exercises & Master Them
Not all neck exercises are suitable for your neck. In addition, some neck exercises can promote injury rather than prevent it.
We recommend following along with our post, “6 Best Exercises to Strengthen Neck Muscles”. In this post, we go over the six best neck exercises to strengthen neck muscles, safety tips, and instructions on how to perform each exercise. To get the most out of your exercise routine, you’ll need to include exercises that properly engage the neck to encourage it to improve strength and mobility. So give these exercises a try!
Step 3) Get Your Neck Training Gear
Investing in high-quality neck training gear can improve your performance. So get the Iron Neck - the #1 piece of neck workout equipment. Try our neck training harness and resistance training belts for the ultimate investment!
Step 4) Start Your Journey & Remain Consistent
And the last step…starting your journey!
On your neck strengthening journey, we can’t express enough how important remaining consistent is. By setting up a dedicated routine, you are planning for success.
Having discipline in attending your weekly or daily sessions is vital to achieving success in your neck strength training regimen. We recommend training your neck 3-4 times a week. Set up days and times to follow your training regimen to obtain consistency---then stick to them!
Final Thoughts On Why You Should Train Your Neck
There are plenty of good reasons why you should train your neck. From reducing the risk of injury and improving mobility to achieving a thick neck for aesthetic purposes, there are many great reasons why you should start adding neck training to your routine.
To get started today, invest in Iron Neck, the #1 piece of neck workout equipment! Iron Neck is specially customized to guide the neck to perform resistance-based exercises while boasting progressive results safely. So start your journey today to strengthen your neck for the ultimate neck transformation---inside and out!