Towel Exercise for Neck: Variations, Tips, and Alternatives

Towel Exercise for Neck: Variations, Tips, and Alternatives

Sometimes, creativity flourishes when we are left with limited resources. For instance, who would have thought that a simple towel could become a handy tool for neck exercises? 

That's right! The humble towel can be used to strengthen and stretch the neck, and for a while, it seemed like a decent solution.

But, while the towel neck exercise is convenient and cost-effective, it doesn’t offer consistent resistance, and it's easy to get the technique wrong, which can lead to more harm than good. 

When it comes to our necks - the pillar that supports our head and protects our spine - we need to prioritize safety and effectiveness over convenience. That’s why we don’t necessarily recommend the towel exercise for neck training.

Nevertheless, we want to empower you with tips to perform neck exercises with towels safely and correctly if you do decide that the pros outweigh the cons. So below, we’ll guide you through how to use a towel to exercise neck muscles along with tips for building a neck training regimen with a few variations. 

Then, we’ll introduce you to a better way to perform neck workouts at home. With the Iron Neck, you unlock an array of movements that otherwise wouldn’t be possible with a simple towel. Not only that, but you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re being safe each time you exercise your neck.

What is the Towel Exercise for Neck?

The towel exercise for neck training, sometimes referred to as a “towel stretch”, is a simple, yet effective way to strengthen and stretch the muscles in your neck. 

This exercise method requires nothing more than a regular towel that you can find in your own home, making it an easily accessible option for neck training. But how does a towel fit into an exercise routine?

The concept is simple. The towel serves as a tool that adds resistance to your neck exercises, much like how a resistance band or dumbbell would in other workouts. The main difference here is that a towel is soft, so it doesn't add pressure directly to your neck, making it a safer option, especially for beginners or those with sensitive necks.

Performing the towel exercise for the neck involves folding the towel lengthwise and placing it behind your head or against your forehead, depending on the exercise. You then hold the towel with both hands, creating a U-shaped loop around your neck or head. 

By pulling against the towel while performing neck movements like chin tucks, looking left and right, or neck extensions, you create resistance that engages and strengthens the muscles in your neck.

However, as simple and convenient as towel exercises may seem, they come with their own set of drawbacks, which can potentially hinder your progress and put your health at risk. While towels can offer some level of resistance, they lack the consistency and precision that dedicated neck training equipment can provide. 

More on that later. First, let’s talk about how to use a towel to exercise neck pain, strengthen the neck muscles, improve posture, and more!

How to Perform Towel Neck Exercise Variations

Ready to learn how to exercise your neck muscles with a towel? The towel neck exercise variations are fairly simple and straightforward, and you can perform them on the couch, in your kitchen, or wherever you find yourself with a towel!

That being said, stay tuned for later on after we break down the variations of the towel exercise for neck. We want to introduce you to the best neck exercise equipment on the market afterward.

Chin Tucks

To perform chin tucks with a towel, start by standing or sitting with a straight back. 

Hold the ends of a folded towel in each hand and place it behind your head, with the towel resting at the base of your skull. 

Gently pull forward on the towel, creating slight tension. Now, tuck your chin down toward your chest while resisting the movement with the towel. 

Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Look Lefts, Look Rights

For this exercise, keep the same position as the chin tuck, but place the towel on your forehead instead. 

Hold the towel tight and resist as you slowly turn your head to the left, trying to look over your shoulder. 

You should feel the muscles on the sides of your neck working. Return to the center and repeat the movement to the right. Perform the desired number of repetitions for each side. 

Remember - you should feel a slight stretch here, not pinching or pain.

Neck Extension

To perform neck extensions with a towel, sit or stand with a straight back, holding the towel's ends with both hands. 

Place the towel against the back of your head, at the base of your skull. Slowly tilt your head back, looking up at the ceiling while resisting the movement with the towel. 

Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tips for Incorporating These Movements into a Training Regimen

  • When to incorporate them: Towel exercises for the neck can be easily incorporated into any fitness routine. They can serve as a warm-up for your neck muscles before more intense exercises or be used as a stand-alone workout on recovery days. If you're focusing on neck training, it's best to include these exercises at the beginning of your session when your neck muscles are still fresh and not fatigued.
  • How often to perform them: If you're new to neck training or coming back after a break, start with towel exercises 2-3 times a week to build foundational strength and avoid overworking your neck muscles. As you progress and your neck becomes stronger, you can increase the frequency to 3-4 times a week.
  • Balancing towel exercises with other neck exercises: While towel exercises for neck training are a great starting point, they should not be your only neck exercises. It's essential to incorporate a variety of exercises to target different neck muscles and improve your neck's overall strength and neck flexibility. Lateral neck flexion, neck rotation, and neck flexion/extension without resistance are a few other movements to incorporate. 

As you perform the towel neck exercise variations, remember to prioritize proper form and listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and consult a healthcare professional. 

That being said, let’s take a look at if these movements are worth performing or if you’re better off investing in a more robust, versatile piece of neck training equipment. 

Is it Worth Performing Neck Exercises With Towels?

Just as with the neck bridge exercise, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of performing neck exercises with towels before adding them to your regimen. Below, we’ll highlight the pros and cons so you can make your decision with complete clarity. 

Benefits of Using a Towel to Train Neck

  • Cost-effective and accessible: One of the main advantages of using a towel for neck exercises is that it's readily available and inexpensive. Almost everyone has a towel at home, making it an easy and convenient tool for neck training.
  • Additional resistance for strengthening: A towel can provide extra resistance to neck exercises, making them more challenging and helping increase neck strength over time. By pulling on the towel while performing chin tucks, look lefts, and look rights, you can engage the neck muscles more effectively.
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion: Incorporating towel exercises into your routine can help enhance neck flexibility and range of motion. This makes them effective neck mobility exercises, and they can be used to alleviate tense neck muscles too.

Drawbacks of Using a Towel to Train Neck

  • Inconsistent resistance levels: One of the main drawbacks of using a towel for neck training is the difficulty of measuring and controlling the resistance. Unlike weights or resistance bands, towels do not offer consistent resistance levels, making it challenging to track progress or ensure proper training intensity.
  • Limited exercise variations: Towels provide limited options for neck exercise variations. While they can be used for chin tucks, look lefts, and look rights, their versatility is restricted compared to other training tools. This can lead to unbalanced neck development and plateaus in training progress. If you’re serious about seeing results from neck training before and after, you may be better off investing in more robust equipment.
  • Potential for improper technique and injury: Is neck training safe with a towel? Using a towel for neck exercises increases the risk of improper technique, as the resistance can be difficult to control. This may result in strained or overworked neck muscles, leading to discomfort or injury. Additionally, it's easy to pull too hard on the towel or use the wrong form, further increasing the risk of harm.

Introducing a Better Way to Train Neck That Towel Neck Exercises

When it comes to neck training, using a towel is a viable option, but it's far from ideal. We've discussed the potential issues with inconsistent resistance, limited exercise variations, and the risk of improper technique. 

Fortunately, there's a better way to strengthen and protect your neck: the Iron Neck.

Why Iron Neck?

Our neck exercise equipment is a revolutionary device that offers superior neck training compared to traditional methods like towel exercises. Here's why you should consider making the switch:

  • Consistent, adjustable resistance: With the Iron Neck, you get consistent and adjustable resistance levels, allowing you to tailor your workouts to your specific needs. The resistance can be easily increased or decreased to match your current strength level and training goals.
  • Versatility and variety: The Iron Neck unlocks a wide range of exercises that target all aspects of neck strength and mobility. This ensures balanced muscle development and eliminates the limitations associated with towel exercises. All of this is thanks to the ability to train the neck from all angles - something you can’t do with towel neck exercise variations.
  • Safe and effective: The Iron Neck's design minimizes the risk of improper technique and injury, ensuring a safer training experience. With its adjustable head harness and resistance band, you can maintain proper neck posture and prevent straining your neck muscles. No more stressing about neck pain after workout!
  • Progress tracking: As you can easily adjust the resistance level with the Iron Neck, you can track your progress over time, ensuring a steady improvement in neck strength and mobility.

All things considered, this is the #1 neck harness alternative. On that note, though, if you can’t bring yourself to justify investing in the Iron Neck, the next best thing is our neck weight harness

It won’t offer the same 360-degree training and versatility of Iron Neck, but it’s certainly safer and more effective than towel neck exercise variations! That being said, here are just a few of the exercises you can perform with Iron Neck.

Exercises You Can Perform With the Iron Neck

  • 360 Spin: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, wearing the Iron Neck. Keep your eyes level and slowly turn your body in a full circle, both clockwise and counter-clockwise. This exercise helps improve neck mobility and trains the stabilizing muscles in the neck.
  • Look Left & Look Right: With the Iron Neck on, keep your shoulders relaxed and your chin parallel to the floor. Slowly turn your head to the left, then to the right, focusing on neck mobility. This exercise targets the muscles on the sides of your neck, enhancing overall neck strength and stability.
  • Locked Neck Body Turns: In this exercise, you'll be rotating your entire body while keeping your neck and spine in a fixed, neutral position. It creates anti-rotational engagement throughout the body and trains the neck muscles to resist rotation. Stand with the Iron Neck aligned with the anchor point and rotate your body to the left and right, ensuring a full range of motion.

Want to learn more about what you can do with the Iron Neck? We have a database of resources on exercises for a saggy neck, exercises for turkey neck, neck exercises for boxing, neck spasm exercises, neck fat exercises, neck exercises for mass, neck exercises for vertigo, exercises for neck arthritis, and neck exercises for posture

With all that said, it’s time we wrapped up this conversation on performing the towel neck exercise and left you to reap the neck training benefits with Iron Neck!

Wrapping Up Our Guide to Performing the Towel Exercise for Neck

While the towel exercise for neck training can offer some benefits, it has its limitations. Inconsistent resistance, limited exercise variety, and the risk of improper technique make them less than ideal for serious neck training. 

Enter the Iron Neck, a revolutionary device that offers consistent resistance, a wide range of exercises, and a safe training experience. 

Whether you're an athlete, recovering from an injury, or simply looking to improve your neck strength and posture, the Iron Neck is the answer. So why settle for less when you can have the best? 

Explore our blog to learn more about neck training and health, where you’ll find resources on topics like how to get a thicker neck, how to stop carrying stress in shoulders and neck, how to build neck muscles at home, how to release tight neck muscles, and so much more.

At this point, though, it’s time to decide how serious you are about your neck training goals. Do you want to rid yourself of neck pain and discomfort for good? Are you tired of dealing with poor mobility and neck weakness holding you back in life? 

If so, you’re just a few clicks away from upgrading your neck training with Iron Neck!