Personally, I don't really see a need for anyone wanting to build up the neck muscles. That is, as you progress with your training routines, you will naturally strengthen and build your neck muscles.
However, with that being said, there are some instances where it may be beneficial to strengthening your neck.
Now, this is a natural response to weight training and other movements requiring strength: IE construction work, brick layers and so on.
Exercises for strengthening the neck muscle is not usually required, however in some cases, adding strength in the neck area is required for sports such as football players, wrestlers, and boxers.
The only problem I have with training the neck is that this area is really sensitive so extra caution must be adhered to.
Before performing any neck exercises, always remember the following points:
-Safety first. The first thing you must do before you perform any exercise for the neck, is to make sure that area is properly warmed up by rotating your head from the left side to the right side. Point to remember: Don't jerk your head back.
-Always perform an exercise with a full range of motion. Avoid any jerking and perform the exercise properly.
I'm sure you're doing a full range of motion for the rest of your body in your training program, right? Extend that same principle when you do your neck exercises.
-Always practice good form when you do an exercise for the neck muscle. Of course, this should always be the number one rule when you are weight training but it goes double with neck exercises.
Here's a great exercise for the neck.
Start by sitting in an upright position with your hands pressed against your forehead. Slowly bend you head back as far as you can comfortably go without forcing or overextending.
Remember, you don't want to force or overextend the exercise because the neck is a very sensitive area.
Using your hands, gently apply resistance against the front of your forehead, bend, or flex your head as far forward as possible. Go backward through the full range of motion, and repeat.
Next, tilt your head all the way over to your left. Place the right hand up to the side of your head and bend all the way over to the right against the resistance of the power of your arm and hand.
Next, tilt your head to your right shoulder and using your left hand agains the side of you head, gently move and flex your head all the way to the right.Now, bend your head all the way forward and place your hands behind your head.
Extend your head back through the range of motion against the resistance of your arms and hands. Repeat this exercise for the neck muscle for as many repetitions as needed.
As you do this exercise and you get more advanced, you can try to use a towel instead of your hands to provide the resistance. A towel can be very effective for the forward flexion and reverse position but not in the sideways direction.
This is a great exercise for the neck. The great thing about this exercise is that you control the amount of resistance that you want to use. It's alot more safe and just as effective with weighted exercise for the neck.
The one thing that I have to stress here is safety. The neck is very sensitive and fragile so be careful when you are doing neck exercises. Always start off light and never do super heavy work for the neck. Use some common sense and you'll do fine.
All the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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