My first time trying the Iron Neck was in the Columbus Airport after the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival, waiting to board my Southwest Airlines flight back to Sacramento. An odd place to try an odd looking device for sure!
I had seen some Instagram videos of it and remember hearing Joe Rogan talk about it once so I was curious to give it a try. The guy who invented it, Mike Jolly, was flying back to California as well so when I met him at the airport, he said, “Let’s just set it up right here.”
I was like, “Right where?”
“This post will work just fine,” he replied
And then he just connected a resistance band to one of the Southwest Airlines boarding posts and ran me through a 5 minute workout…with everyone looking at me with the same What the ?!?! look on their faces!
My 3 Keys to Training with Iron Neck
Having started wrestling at a young age, neck strengthening has always been a part of my routine. Up until I started training with the Iron Neck, I had done a mix of neck bridging and weighted harness.
Since incorporating Iron Neck into my training, I've done a lot of experimenting and come up a few exercises I think are valuable for MMA fighters and wrestlers. I've found Iron Neck to be most useful not just for building up strength, but more so for training neck and core stability in my more vulnerable positions.
Getting stronger in my weaker positions improves my chances for success. Here are three keys I've figured out with the Iron Neck that have made my training more effective and efficient.
1. Just move the way you do!
I've found that shadowboxing or progressing through various wrestling positions helps me with my head position. The band is pulling my head at 30-50 lbs so I need to work pretty hard to keep my posture upright. This works my core and back like crazy and I like to work in some explosive slip out moves as well.
2. Work your posterior chain to counter head pulls
I wrestled in high school and then four years at Ohio State. I spent a lot of time strengthening my neck but when your head is being pulled forward, every link in the posterior chain is engaged to counter that. To build up my posterior chain, I get into a wrestling stance facing the resistance band and stand up. I'll do 3 sets of 15, increasing the resistance each set. All that strength is going to matter to keep a good stance.
3. Turn up rotation for killer finish
Adding more rotational resistance towards the end of my workouts helps build up my progressions. The rotational resistance really bumps the exercises to another level and leaves my neck feeling great and loose after a workout.
Watch this video to see some of my MMA and Wrestling specific exercises with Iron Neck and share your thoughts and ideas below.