Looking for a solution for a thin neck? Training your neck can have great results but what’s the best way to do it at home? Here’s what you need to know.
What do you need to train your neck at home? The best way to train your neck is with a neck harness. They’re cheap and very effective. If you don’t want to buy a harness, you can use a dumbbell/weight plate and a soft towel to get a similar training effect.
Find out what the best equipment is and what to look out for below.
Neck exercise equipment
What’s the best thing you can buy to train your neck at home? There are a few things you can get. Only one piece of equipment is specialized to train your neck with. The other pieces of equipment are things you probably already have in your home gym but can also be adapted to train your neck.
The best thing you can get to improve your neck strength and size, is a neck harness. It’s about the only piece of exercise equipment that’s specialized for neck training. There are a few straps that go around your neck and another strap or chain to attach a weight plate or possibly a resistance band.
Most neck harnesses are pretty similar, although there are a few differences. Some models only have a strap around your head and over the top. Other models also have a strap that goes under your chin. This makes things a bit more stable.
Other differences are where the chain starts, how comfortable (padded) the straps are, how well the chain is kept away from your face and if there are any other ways of attaching weights.
Some chains are attached to D-rings that are placed next to your temples. This can mean the chain gets a bit close to your face and starts digging in, especially on the heavier weights. Neck harnesses where the straps go down to under your head before the chain attaches are a bit more comfortable.
On heavier weights, padding on the straps that touch your head is a very nice thing to have. The skin on your head is already a bit more sensitive than most other places on your body. A bit of padding can help quite a bit to keep your skin happier.
The vast majority of neck harnesses works by attaching weight plates to the chain. But some have an eyelet that you can attach to a cable machine.
Here are some options you can consider.
- Spud INC. Well built. Strong straps, strong chain and carabineers. Straps go over the head but not under the chin while the chain starts under your head. This is probably one of the strongest and most well-built harnesses on the market but also quite expensive. The biggest drawback is the lack of padding on the straps. Check it out here on Amazon.
- RIMsports. A simple neck harness that does a lot of things right especially for the amount of money it costs. In addition to the normal straps, this one has one that runs under your chin for a little extra stability. The chain starts under your head but can also be attached next to your temple so you’ve got a choice. Also, there is a bit of padding on the straps. Click here to find it on Amazon.
- DMoose. This one is quite similar to the last one although it seems to be a bit better built. The biggest difference is that the chain starts next to the temples but this doesn’t seem to be a problem with this particular one since the strap is wide enough. Also, it’s available in some cool color schemes. Buy it here on Amazon.
- Hawk Sports. This one is cheap although there are some things missing I’d like to see on a neck harness. It does have a chin strap but the chain is always next to your temples. There is however neoprene padding on some parts of the straps which is comfortable. So while it might not have absolutely everything, it’s very good value for money. Check the current price on Amazon.
Soft dumbbells/weight plates
While a neck harness is very effective, it’s not absolutely necessary to have one to train your neck. Although a neck harness will be more comfortable, you can do very similar things with dumbbells or weight plates.
Just lay down on a bench or another flat surface with your head over the edge. As long as you can let your head bend all the way down without touching the floor, it’s OK.
Then put a dumbbell or weight plate on your head and let your head bend down and back up. This way you can add extra resistance to the movement without a harness. If you’ve still got a choice, soft weight plates and dumbbells are better since they’re just more comfortable to put on your head.
If you already bought all your equipment and don’t have any budget to buy something new, a soft towel can help you out. The skin of your head is pretty sensitive and most people don’t want any bruises. They don’t want bruises in general but especially not on their head.
Now if you only have cast iron weight plates and dumbbells, the chances that you’ll bruise something during neck training aren’t small. However, this can easily be fixed by using a soft towel. Fold it a few times and put it between the weight and your head and it should be a whole lot more comfortable, not to mention there’s a lower risk of bruising.
The last alternative is a yoga mat. Why? To do neck bridges. Check out this video to see what neck bridges are.
There is some discussion on if neck bridges are actually safe for your neck. The general consensus seems to be that neck bridges don’t have to be dangerous if you do them right but getting them right can be a bit difficult. A neck harness is safer because it’s easier to use right.
Why do neck exercises?
You might be wondering why you need to exercise your neck. There are a few good reason why many people should;
- For a specific sport (or job)
- General strength
If you’re doing a sport where neck strength is important, you probably won’t have to be convinced. There are a few sports you need a strong neck for like, MMA, boxing, Motorsports, etc. With those activities, your neck has to be able to absorb big impacts or g-forces. Another example are fighter jet pilots and astronauts. The g-forces they have to deal with require a pretty strong neck.
General strength can be another reason. You’ve trained all other muscles up to a certain level but maybe your neck is lagging. Almost everyone forgets to train their neck. Most gyms don’t have any specialized equipment you can use for this purpose and because nobody else does it, people feel stupid training their neck in a gym. Luckily it’s easy to do at home.
The final, and for many guys very important part is the aesthetic part. The best way to look bigger is to train the body parts that stick out while wearing normal clothes. Those are your arms and neck. Many people train their arms. Not many train their neck. Even though it’s one of the most effective ways to look bigger, especially when wearing clothes. People seem to think other people with thicker necks are better looking as well.
Another part of looks is posture. Training your neck can give you a better posture which also has dramatic effects on how good you look.
Since the neck is often a very under trained body part, it’s actually pretty easy to put some extra mass on. And you don’t need a whole lot of extra mass in your neck to make a big visual difference.
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