Strength Training

Bodyweight Neck Exercises: Effective Movements, Tips, and Considerations

Bodyweight Neck Exercises: Effective Movements, Tips, and Considerations

We often focus on building arm strength to look great in short sleeves, and working on our core for those summer beach days, but many of us neglect our vital neck muscles. Not only does a strong neck make your whole profile look great, but it’s also essential for a healthy back and good posture. 

To help you start a neck training routine, we’ll guide you through some bodyweight neck exercises in this article. Whether you need some exercises for turkey neck, want to tone the muscles on side of neck, or you’re just wondering how to get a thicker neck, these will help.

However, if you want to make sure you’re spending your time on an at-home neck workout that really works, are neck bodyweight exercises going to cut it? Not always, which is why we’ll also introduce you to some training equipment that can completely revolutionize your neck workouts!

Benefits of Neck Exercises

Before we talk about bodyweight neck exercises, why is it so important to strengthen those weak neck muscles in the first place? Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of a strong neck

Neck Aesthetics

A well-defined neck contributes to a balanced physique and enhances your overall appearance and confidence. Neck exercises target the muscles of the neck, including the sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, and splenius, leading to better muscle tone and definition. 

Strengthening these muscles can provide a sculpted appearance, accentuating the contours of your jawline and neckline. Plus, improved muscle tone in your neck can help reduce the appearance of sagging skin and the effects of aging, keeping you looking younger and fitter.

Improved Posture and Reduced Injury Risk

Neck tightening exercises aren’t just about how you look! Your neck serves as a crucial link between your head and the rest of your body, supporting proper alignment and posture. Discovering how to build neck muscles at home can help combat neck pain and postural issues.

Weak neck muscles can lead to poor posture and issues such as forward head posture, rounded shoulders, and kyphosis. If you’re carrying stress in shoulders and neck, neck exercise can relieve tension and make your day-to-day life more comfortable. 

Learning how to improve neck posture with bodyweight neck exercises can strengthen the muscles that support the cervical spine, promoting alignment and better posture. A strong and stable neck can also help dissipate forces during physical activity, which helps prevent neck strain, whiplash, and other injuries.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

Athletes rely on neck strength and stability to excel in their sports. A strong neck is essential for maintaining proper form and technique during dynamic movements, such as sprinting, jumping, and tackling. 

By incorporating cervical mobility exercises and other bodyweight neck exercises into their training regimen, athletes can improve their ability to generate power, withstand external forces, and minimize the risk of injury. 

Plus, a robust neck enhances proprioception, allowing athletes to better perceive and respond to changes in body position and movement, which enhances agility and performance on the field or court. 

Whether you're a professional athlete or a recreational enthusiast, learning some bodyweight exercises for neck training can really give you a competitive edge, and keep your head and neck safe during contact sports. 

The Top Bodyweight Neck Exercises to Add to Your Routine

So, let’s take a look at some neck bodyweight exercises you can do to start building strength in those all-important neck muscles. 

Neck Bridge

The neck bridge exercise is a fundamental exercise for strengthening the muscles of the neck and upper back, and one of the most effective neck flexibility exercises. To perform the neck bridge, follow these steps: 

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground
  2. Place your hands by your sides for support
  3. Lift your hips off the ground, forming a bridge with your body
  4. Slowly tuck your chin towards your chest, engaging the muscles of the neck
  5. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your hips back to the ground
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps (we recommend starting with 5-8 reps per set)

If you’re wondering how to build neck strength and you’re not sure where to begin, neck bridges are a great place to start.

Lying Neck Rotation

The lying neck rotation targets the muscles responsible for rotational movements of the neck. 

It’s one of the best neck exercises for vertigo, as well as an effective neck arthritis exercise. Here's how to perform it:

  1. Lie on your back with your head resting comfortably on the ground
  2. Keeping your shoulders flat on the ground, slowly rotate your head to one side as far as comfortable
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds, feeling a gentle stretch in the neck muscles
  4. Return your head to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side
  5. Continue to slowly perform the motion for 60 seconds

If you’re dealing with a neck injury or you sometimes experience neck pain after workouts, start with 20-30 seconds and gradually work your way up to 60 seconds over a few weeks. 

Lying Neck Extension

The lying neck extension strengthens the muscles that support backward movements of the neck, and it’s also an effective tinnitus neck exercise. You’ll need a surface you can lay on that supports your back, but lets your neck and head extend further below your body. Follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your head totally relaxed behind you
  2. Using only your neck muscles, slowly lift your head up, bringing your chin toward your chest
  3. Hold this position for a second, tucking your chin in toward your chest
  4. Lower your head back behind you 
  5. Repeat for 10 reps

You’ll likely find that your neck muscles start to fatigue pretty quickly, so one or two sets of these are usually enough. 

Lying Neck Flexion

The lying neck flexion targets the muscles involved in forward movements of the neck. As far as bodyweight exercises for neck strengthening, it’s one of the most effective forward neck posture exercises. To perform this exercise:

  1. Lie on your back (on a bench or bed) with your head off the surface, relaxed behind you
  2. Use your neck muscles to pull your head up so that it’s equal with your body
  3. When your head is level, hold the position and rotate your neck slowly from side to side
  4. Pause each time for a split second 
  5. Lower your head back to the ground and repeat for the desired number of reps

To make this one more challenging, you can try resting a book on your forehead to add some additional weight. 

Seated Side Flexion

The seated side flexion exercise targets the muscles responsible for lateral movements of the neck. Here's how to perform it:

  1. Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight
  2. Place one hand on the side of your head, gently pressing down to stabilize your neck
  3. Slowly tilt your head to the side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds, feeling a stretch along the opposite side of your neck
  5. Return your head to the upright position and repeat on the opposite side
  6. Perform the desired number of reps, alternating sides

Incorporate these bodyweight neck exercises into your routine to promote strength, mobility, and resilience in this often-neglected area. But are bodyweight neck exercises the most effective way to strengthen your neck muscles? Let’s discuss that next. 

Are Bodyweight Neck Exercises Right For Your Training Goals?

Bodyweight neck exercises are convenient because you don’t need any equipment, but can you really undergo a neck transformation if you’re only using your body weight? Let’s take a look at some of the limitations of neck bodyweight exercises, and why equipment is often a better choice.

The Appeal of Neck Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises can be performed just about anywhere, and you don’t need any specialized equipment. As well as their convenience, they can also be effective if you’re looking for thyroid neck exercises or neck spasm stretches

Limitations to Consider: Lack of Progressive Overload, Safety Concerns, and More

Sure, bodyweight neck exercises are convenient, but there’s no denying that you need more than your body weight to perform the best neck exercises for neck fat. One of the biggest limitations of bodyweight exercises for neck strengthening is that you can’t do progressive overload.

Think about it - to build strength in any muscle, you have to increase the amount of work you’re doing. To build bicep strength, you need to lift weights with heavier dumbbells, or perform more sets and reps at the same weight. Your neck is no different! 

With bodyweight exercises, you can’t increase the load or resistance on your neck. So, inevitably, you’re going to get to a point where your training plateaus - you just can’t improve the strength of your neck muscles any further, and you’re not using your time to full effect.

With neck training equipment, you can crank up the resistance, which not only helps you feel progress, but also leads to real results. It’s easy to see why the best neck exercises for mass all require equipment, because you just can’t get those kinds of results using body weight. 

There’s also a safety risk when you’re not using proper equipment. Without the right form and technique, there's a risk of strain or injury to your neck muscles and cervical spine. Plus, those with existing neck issues may find certain bodyweight exercises exacerbate their condition.

Why It's Worth Investing in Neck Training Equipment

If you’re looking to overcome the limitations of neck bodyweight exercises, neck training equipment can be a total game changer. With the right equipment, you can use neck cable exercises to completely transform your neck muscles and see visible improvements in tone and strength.

It may require an initial investment, but when you think about how important your neck muscles are, and the impact they can have on your posture and back health, it’s worth spending a few dollars. Neck training equipment doesn’t just strengthen your neck, it also prevents injuries and keeps you pain-free. 

Introducing Iron Neck: An Intuitive Neck Strengthener for More Effective Training

It’s also important to understand that not all neck training equipment is built to get the job done. A standard harness that doesn’t provide progressive overload might not be worth the investment, which is why the Iron Neck is the perfect neck harness alternative

Why Iron Neck?

The Iron Neck is the ultimate neck strengthener. With a unique, innovative design, it’s the most modern iteration of a neck harness currently available. The Iron Neck is the only neck training system that delivers 4-in-1 benefits for recovery, prevention, posture, and mobility. 

It’s specifically designed to improve your range of motion and neck strength, and delivers more effective results than any other device. With a dynamic tension brake system to promote progressive overload, you’ll finally start to see real results once you switch to the Iron Neck.

Sneak Peak at Some of the Exercises You’ll Unlock…

Say goodbye to basic chin tucks, the Iron Neck will open your eyes to a whole new world of neck isometrics. You’ll be able to perform much more advanced neck exercises, which lead to better flexibility, posture, and neck tone. Your neck will look and feel better than ever!

With the Iron Neck, you can tackle everything from basic to advanced neck movements and exercises, including: 

  • 360 spin
  • Look left and look right
  • Protraction and retraction
  • Locked neck body turns
  • Diagonals
  • Figure 8s
  • And more! 

There’s just no substitute for quality, and there’s no alternative to the Iron Neck - it’s completely changing neck training as we know it. 

Parting Thoughts on Bodyweight Exercises for Neck

Neck bodyweight exercises can bring some benefits, and they’re a great way to get started with a neck training routine, but they just can’t do what the Iron Neck can do. With a specific device that’s designed for neck health, you can train your neck faster, safer, and more effectively than ever.

The Iron Neck’s progressive overload system makes it easy to track your progress, and it’s only a matter of time before you look in the mirror and start seeing real results. You’ll probably wonder why you waited so long, but you’ll be glad you finally made the switch from basic bodyweight exercises!

Dealing with neck or back pain? Suffering from poor posture? Hate how your neck looks in photos? Join the thousands of people who have transformed their neck health - get your Iron Neck today!