Exercise should be an essential part of your health and wellness routine - but do you really need to do exercises to strengthen neck muscles? The short answer is yes - you should be doing neck strengthening exercises, particularly if you are suffering from neck pain or have recently undergone surgery. This is also something you need to incorporate into your training if you're an athlete in contact sports - it will help injury-proof your neck. This doesn't just reduce the chance of injury to your neck - but also the risk of concussion.
In fact, many physical therapy programs for neck pain or issues with the muscles in the upper back or nearby areas require exercises that work your neck muscles. Exercise is important when treating the spine after surgery or any kind of injury. If you're an athlete - particularly a combat or contact sports athlete - you can't afford to omit these exercises from your training. They will not just enhance your performance, but protect you from injury.
To get the most out of your regimen, it's important that you understand which exercises you should be doing - as well as how to do them properly. That's why today, we'll unveil the best neck exercises for mass and injury prevention. These are simple movements that will transform the size, strength, and durability of your neck. Before we share these with you, let's start with the benefits of performing exercises to strengthen your neck.
What Are The Benefits Of Neck Strengthening Exercises?
There are countless benefits to doing neck strengthening exercises, particularly if you are suffering from neck pain or weakness. Most neck exercises aren't overly strenuous and don't take up that much time. While it's always important to get formal medical advice from your doctor or physical therapist before diving in, you should be able to seamlessly incorporate them into your daily routine.
Neck pain, as you likely know, can be majorly disruptive in your daily activities. It is annoying in and of itself but when it spreads to nearby areas, like the arms and shoulders, it can be downright debilitating.
Neck exercises can help relieve this pain and stiffness while also increasing your muscle flexibility & mobility. They can reduce neural tension, increase joint mobility (thereby improving your range of motion) and even increase your postural strength.
That means you may find yourself standing up a bit straighter once you get the hang of them! While some severe neck pain may require additional forms of treatment, you can often relieve neck pain by resting and trying these gentle neck exercises.
Is Learning How To Strengthen Neck Muscles Safe?
Before we teach you how to strengthen neck muscles with these exercises, you might be asking yourself: is neck training safe?
Neck strengthening exercises and stretches are safe, but it's important that you do them slowly and comfortably to avoid injury. As you work through the neck strengthening exercises that we will recommend below, be sure to breathe naturally and without holding your breath. Of course, if you are suffering from an injury or ailment, it's important to consult with your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program.
If you have any pain, either in your neck or some other area of your body, while doing these moves, be sure to stop and check-in with a physician or personal trainer before you continue. However, with the right technique and loading - these exercises are perfectly safe, and will only reap benefits.
What Are The Best Neck Exercises For Mass & Injury Prevention?
Now, let's not waste any more time. We're going to share the best neck exercises for mass and injury prevention. These movements are great if you want to combat neck pain and increase strength and mobility. They'll help you injury-proof your neck and improve athletic performance, too. Keep reading to learn how to perform these movements correctly, too.
This neck exercise is remarkably simple, but it's effective. That's why we're starting with it first. It helps to strengthen the muscles responsible for drawing the head into alignment over the shoulders, the upper thoracic extensors, while also stretching the suboccipital and scalene muscles.
To perform this exercise, you will want to start in a position that has your spine up against a door jamb. Keep your feet roughly three inches from the bottom of the door jam. With your spine pressed against the door jamb, draw back your head and upper back, moving backward until your head touches the door jamb. Keep your chin down so that your head is pulled straight back instead of looking up. Hold your head against the door jamb for five seconds, then repeat 10 times.
Doing a half-kneeling thoracic rotation is a great way to relieve your neck pain, particularly if you have access to a resistance band like those sold by Iron Neck. This kind of exercise improves your spine's ability to rotate and can help relieve pain in your neck along with your lower and upper back.
To do it, you'll start with your head facing straight ahead, with your resistance band and harness on securely. This emphasizes the body on head rotation, driving the rotation of the thoracic spine. Line up against the wall with your hip and lateral thigh of your front leg against the wall. Put your arms in front of you, palms together.
Then, reach your outside arm forward to start the rotation, rotating your inside arm up around the wall. Rotate your inside shoulder so your palm faces the wall then draw up into the "noon" position. Draw your scapula back on your ribcage for a full rotation.
LOCKED NECK BODY TURN
The locked neck body turn is another exercise that's made doubly effective by using a resistance band. Start by setting up your neck harness and band at the appropriate height. Sit into a sort of half squat, then turn your whole body, keeping the shoulders together and rotating through the hips. Do this in all directions, with the anchor point on your left as you turn your neck and body together. You'll feel a lot of activation in your hips but you can press your hands together to get your shoulder blades activated, too.
Do you spend a lot of time seated at a desk dealing with neck pain? Cervical retraction might be the right exercise for you! The benefit of this exercise is that it can be performed in a neutral position while sitting at your desk at work! You don't need to spend a lot of time doing this exercise and it's easy to get into the proper position. When you're first learning how to do this exercise, it may help to get into the starting position on your bed, while lying down, instead. It may be easier for you to learn and commit to muscle memory that way.
This simple exercise is incredibly effective at stretching your neck and upper back muscles simultaneously. Because you have to keep your shoulder blades together while performing this movement, it will help you improve posture.
To do it, you'll get into a standing or sitting position with your back against the wall. Squeeze your shoulder blades together with your arms on the sides of your body. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times for one or two sets. Don't let your shoulder blades dip or shrug if you want to maintain the ideal position.
ISOMETRIC CERVICAL SIDE BENDING
This final exercise is a great one for stretching your neck muscles as well as those in your shoulders and back. Sit or stand in an upright position, keeping your head in a neutral position with your feet flat on the floor.
Put your hand on the side of your head with your eyes fixed on something directly in front of you. Very gently, push into the side of your head, resisting motion with your neck muscles. Keep your head steady the entire time and without leaning forward, hold the position.
Tips For Performing The Best Neck Strengthening Exercises
These are the six best exercises to strengthen neck muscles - no doubt about it. But, there are a few tips we want to add before you get started. First, make sure you have the mobility to safely perform these movements. Our article on the top neck mobility exercises is a great resource for getting started.
The best neck strengthening exercises are only "the best" when performed correctly. If you don't have the movement patterns down, you won't see the results you want from these neck strengthening exercises. In fact, you could end up doing more harm than good. That's why we encourage you to take the time to master the movements before attempting to load them. We have video resources that are worth watching, as it's easier to understand how to strengthen neck muscles with these exercises visually.
For a full database of our Iron Neck exercises, click the link. You'll find in-depth video resources on foundational movements, rehab exercises, and training regimens that incorporate these neck strengthening exercises we've listed above.
How To Strengthen Neck Muscles With The Iron Neck
Now that we've shared the best neck exercises for mass and injury prevention with you, you're ready to hit the ground running and take your training to the next level. But if you really want to take your training seriously and get fast results from neck training, you need the Iron Neck. This is the best neck exercises equipment out there - allowing you to train your neck functionally from the comfort of your own home!
What Makes The Iron Neck The #1 Choice To Strengthen Neck Muscles
Many exercises for your neck, upper and lower back, chest, and the rest of your body can be performed without any sort of equipment. However, if you really want to get the best relief (and get more out of your workout), you may want to consider investing in head harnesses and resistance bands. These types of equipment will allow you to progressively increase resistance, making your neck muscles stronger over time. A good neck harness will provide you with more stability in your workout and will make doing these exercises much more comfortable. Using a neck harness can help improve your range of motion and increase strength not only to your neck but also to surrounding muscle groups, like your traps.
Resistance bands, on the other hand, are equally effective, allowing you to build strength and mobility simultaneously without having to invest in a ton of extraneous gear. They help to improve both mobility and your overall control while you are performing various movements. Of course, the Iron Neck is perhaps the best equipment you can use as a form of physical therapy, to strength train, and to reduce the risk of injury. Using Iron Neck will help improve your posture and relieve many forms of neck pain, making it easier for you to go about your day-to-day activities while also accelerating strength gains.
There are several styles and types you can choose from, but all offer a custom fit and interchangeable front pads to suit heads of all shapes and sizes! No more forcing yourself through an uncomfortable workout with ill-fitting gear. So what are you waiting for? Get more out of your workout (and the neck exercises reviewed above) by investing in workout gear like the Iron Neck.
Final Thoughts On The Best Neck Exercises For Mass
Well, there you have it - we've covered the best neck exercises for mass and injury prevention or pain relief. Whether you're an athlete looking to stay healthy this season and improve performance, or you're simply looking to eliminate neck pain and stiffness - you are now equipped with the necessary information to start training your neck. Now that you know how to strengthen neck muscles, there is just one thing left to do: head over to our site and get your Iron Neck ordered today!
There is no better way to strengthen neck muscles than with this revolutionary device. It unlocks a level of training that would otherwise not be possible. There is a reason the leading strength coaches and physical therapists around the globe incorporate it into their practices: it works. See the difference for yourself - you won't regret it.
Want to learn more about strengthening your neck muscles? Our article on how often to neck training is a great way to learn how to incorporate these neck exercises into your existing regimen. We also recommend you read up on how much weight to start neck training with before you load up on the resistance bands or plates. Explore our blog to become an expert on all things neck strengthening!