Strength and stability in the neck are often overlooked in favor of working on larger muscle groups like the chest or legs. However, those in the know understand the profound benefits of a strong neck - from improved posture to enhanced athletic performance.
To attain these benefits, you’ll need to use a neck harness - a tried and true method for building neck strength. Athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts alike have turned to them for years to enhance their neck muscles.
However, as with any piece of equipment, knowing how to use a neck harness properly is crucial to achieving results and avoiding injury. And as you’ll discover at the end of this article, even when used properly, these devices have their shortcomings.
In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps of safely and effectively using a neck harness in your training regimen. We'll highlight the benefits that come with strengthening your neck and the potential pitfalls of using a neck harness. And for those looking for the next big thing in neck training, we have a surprise for you.
Despite our love for neck harnesses (we even have our own neck harness for sale!), there's a revolutionary device that may change the way you approach neck training forever. More on that later. Before we teach you how to use a neck harness, let’s provide a brief overview of what neck harnesses are all about.
What Exactly is a Neck Harness?
A neck harness is a piece of strength training equipment specifically designed to target the muscles around the neck. It consists of a padded strap that fits around your head, often with a chain or strap attached at the bottom. This chain or strap allows you to connect weights, usually in the form of plates or dumbbells, to the harness.
Once the weights are attached, you can perform various neck exercises for mass by moving your head in different directions against the resistance. These exercises primarily involve neck flexion and extension, as well as lateral flexion.
The added weight creates resistance, which forces your neck muscles to work harder, leading to increased strength and muscle size over time.
However, they're also used by everyday fitness enthusiasts who understand the importance of a strong, stable neck for overall health and well-being. It can help with neck pain or for using neck exercises for posture improvements. You can even use it to perform exercises for a saggy neck, making it easier than ever to get rid of turkey neck.
That being said, you need to know how to use it right to stay safe and actually attain these benefits. here is how to use a neck harness safely and effectively as part of your neck training regimen.
How to Use a Neck Harness Safely and Effectively
As you may already know, using a neck harness can be an excellent way to strengthen your neck muscles and improve your overall physical fitness.
However, it's crucial to use it correctly to avoid injury and get the best results. Here are some key steps to follow to ensure safe and effective neck harness training.
Initial Considerations Before Using a Neck Harness
Before you start using a neck harness, consult with a healthcare professional or certified fitness trainer to ensure it's appropriate for you.
They can assess your current fitness level, neck strength, and any existing health conditions to determine if neck harness training is suitable for you. For more information on this, read our guide on whether or not neck training is safe.
Proper Placement of the Neck Harness on Your Head
Now, let’s talk about fitting your new accessory. Start by adjusting the strap so it fits snugly but comfortably around your head. It should rest right on your forehead with the chain or strap hanging down in front of you. Make sure it's secure, but not so tight that it’s cutting off your circulation.
Selecting the Appropriate Weight
If you’re new to neck harness training, it's okay to start small. How much weight to start neck training with is something you’ll need to consider based on your own strength and goals.
Our advice, though, is to begin with a light weight that allows you to complete 8-12 reps with good form. Once you’re breezing through more than 12 reps, it’s time to up the ante and increase the weight.
Choose the Right Exercises
One of the most important aspects of using a neck harness effectively is choosing the right exercises. To avoid injuries and maximize gains, you need to pick exercises that are safe, effective, and match your fitness level.
There are so many ways you can take this, but it really depends on your goals. You can do neck fat exercises, exercises for a pinched nerve in the neck, cervical vertigo exercises, neck spasm exercises, exercises for neck arthritis, neck mobility exercises, and a whole lot more.
We have a ton of resources to help you choose the right movements in our blog. But, for beginners, the following three exercises are a good starting point:
- Neck Flexion: Secure the harness on your head, attach the weight, and sit on a bench with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly move your head down towards your chest and then back up. Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Neck Extension: Again, start by sitting on a bench, this time with the weight behind your head. Slowly lift your head upwards and then return it to the starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Lateral Neck Flexion: Stand up straight with the harness and weight on one side of your head. Slowly tilt your head towards the shoulder on the side of the weight, then return to the starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps on each side.
Remember, slow and controlled movements are the name of the game here. You don't want to use momentum or jerk your head around. Speaking of which…
Ensuring Proper Form
When it comes to neck exercises, form is everything. Keep your head in a neutral position, with your ears aligned with your shoulders.
And here’s a pro tip: move through the full range of motion and avoid any sudden movements that could cause strain or injury. You want to feel the burn in your neck muscles, not the rest of your body, so keep everything else still.
Gradually Increasing Intensity
As you get more comfortable with the exercises, and your neck gets stronger, feel free to increase the weight or add more reps and sets. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is neck strength.
Allow yourself some rest time between sets, usually 1-2 minutes, and avoid training your neck every day. Aim for 2-3 times a week to give your muscles time to recover and grow. Learn more in our guide on how often to train neck.
Caring for Your Neck Harness When Not in Use
After your workout, give your neck harness a quick wipe down with a clean cloth or towel to get rid of any sweat or moisture. Trust us, your future self will thank you for it when it doesn’t smell awful.
And when it comes to storing your harness, keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You want to preserve the integrity of its structure, which means no crushing it with other gym accessories at the bottom of your bag.
Is Using a Neck Harness Right For You?
Now that you know how to use a neck harness, you can add it to your regimen and get started growing your neck and preventing injury/pain. But, before you do, it’s important to consider whether this is even the right approach to neck training for you.
That being said, we want to break down the pros and cons of using neck harnesses in your workouts and introduce what may be the greatest revolution in neck training to date.
Benefits of Using a Neck Harness in Your Workout Regimen
- Improved Neck Muscle Strength: The resistance provided by a neck harness can lead to increased muscle strength in the neck area.
- Enhanced Muscle Size and Aesthetics: As you build strength, you'll also likely notice an increase in muscle size, making your neck look more muscular and toned.
- Better Posture and Alignment: Stronger neck muscles can help support a more upright posture, improving your overall alignment and reducing the risk of posture-related issues.
- Injury Prevention and Recovery Support: Strengthening the neck can help prevent injuries, and if you're recovering from an injury, a neck harness can provide targeted support.
- Increased Functional Strength for Sports and Daily Activities: A stronger neck can be beneficial in sports that require neck strength, such as wrestling or football, and can also make daily activities easier.
Shortcomings of Neck Weight Harnesses
- Limited Range of Motion: Traditional neck harnesses often restrict your range of motion, which can limit the effectiveness of the exercises.
- Uneven Muscle Development: Because of the limited range of motion and the direction of the resistance, neck harnesses can lead to uneven muscle development.
- Strain and Risk of Injury: If not used correctly, neck harnesses can put a lot of strain on your neck, increasing the risk of injury.
- Discomfort During Use: Some users find neck harnesses uncomfortable to use, especially for longer periods of time.
So, Is There a Better Alternative to Neck Harnesses? Introducing the Iron Neck
There is no denying that the benefits of using a neck harness outweigh the shortcomings. That being said, why settle for anything less than the best?
The Iron Neck offers a revolutionary way to train your neck muscles by providing a full range of motion, ensuring even muscle development, and reducing the risk of strain and injury.
But that's not all. The Iron Neck is comfortable to use, and its design allows for seamless integration into your neck workouts at home. Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance or someone looking to enhance your overall fitness, the Iron Neck is a game-changer.
With the Iron Neck, you can target your neck muscles from every angle, ensuring balanced development and improved functional strength. You have access to exercises you otherwise wouldn’t be able to perform. And, it's not just about the neck - the Iron Neck also engages your core and stabilizer muscles, offering a comprehensive workout.
So, is the Iron Neck right for you? If you're looking for an effective, safe, and comfortable way to strengthen your neck, then the answer is a resounding yes.
Ditch the traditional neck harness and experience the difference that the Iron Neck can make in your training. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did when you see your neck training before and after results.
Final Thoughts on How to Use a Neck Harness
That concludes our guide on how to use a neck harness. We’ve explored what it is, how to use it safely and effectively, and weighed its pros and cons.
Neck harnesses can offer benefits such as improved neck muscle strength, enhanced muscle aesthetics, better posture, and support for injury prevention and recovery.
However, they come with some notable shortcomings including limited range of motion, uneven muscle development, strain and risk of injury, and discomfort during use.
As we've revealed, there's a better alternative that addresses these shortcomings: the Iron Neck. It offers a full range of motion, even muscle development, and a reduced risk of strain and injury. Plus, it's comfortable to use and integrates easily into any workout routine.
Learn more about how to exercise your neck muscles and how to prioritize neck health in general in our blog. We have resources on topics like how to address tense neck muscles, how to stop carrying stress in shoulders and neck, how to fix neck posture, how to release tight neck muscles, how to do neck bridges, and so much more.
Otherwise, it’s time to get the best neck training equipment and start building neck muscles at home. Shop with us now and discover why the Iron Neck is the #1 neck training device in the world. Elevate your fitness game and enjoy the benefits of a strong, stable, and well-defined neck.