Neck Training—When, Why & How

by: Josh Bryant

Baptiste Deodati, a long time user of Tactical Shield Training.

1990s oversized sweats can cover up missed leg days.

Baggy t-shirts can hide the recent Asian Fusion Buffett Binges, but ain’t no hiding a stack of dimes neck.

It’s not just all about the aesthetics of a no-nonsense physique.

In tennis, if you screw up, it’s 15-love; as a linebacker, it’s your ass; as tactical athlete, it’s six feet deep!

Bottom line is a strong neck can be the difference between stardom injury free, pitching a tent on the injured reserve list or shaking hands with Elvis! 

Setting aside five to 10 minutes thrice weekly to neck training can start the process of turning that sagging jaw line into chiseled, tinder, right-swiping masterpiece!  

That pencil will become a powerful pillar. 

Instead of making this the newest edition of Anatomy Trains and naming each neck muscle, I provided the cliff notes version of neck muscle groups and their functions:

Neck Muscle Groups:

§  Rotators (rotation): Move the head from side to side, looking over the shoulder.
§  Flexors (flexion): Move the head down, touching the chin to the chest.
§  Lateral Flexors (lateral flexion): Tilting head to the side, touching the ear to the shoulder.
§  Extensors (extension): Tilt the head backward, looking up.

4 Way-Neck Machine

If you have a 4-way neck machine, use it!  Perform two sets of neck extensions, two sets of flexion, two sets each side of side lateral flexion, for 12-20 repetitions; do this thrice weekly.  This hits the entire neck with exception of the rotators.

Working the Rotators

Rotators are best worked with self-resistance.  Apply resistance against your head with your hand by slowly turning your head right or left.  Each rep should take approximately five seconds to reach the end range of motion, and at the end range of motion hold it for five seconds.  Do two sets of five reps. This technique applied with the 4-way neck machine is all you need.

No Equipment or Time

All you need is you.  You know the function of the neck muscles so  mimic the movements of the 4-way neck machine, using your hand as resistance you can even use a towel. Perform the neck work as staggered sets.  In between sets of your current routine, do the prescribed neck work.  

Final Thoughts

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  The neck as a weak link screams physical flaccidity and, more importantly, a strong neck protects you from concussions and numerous other injuries.
Don’t neglect your neck!

Build your shield with our detailed neck training manual.