The neck is an overlooked part of the body among bodybuilders, and it’s a shame considering its beautiful form and essential function. Aside from being the column that supports your head, it also protects the nerves that send motor and sensory information from your brain to your body.
There’s also the fact that the neck can suffer from crimps, kinks and knots that will adversely affect your ability to perform exercises. You must then train your neck so that it’s strong, sturdy and flexible for the work that it must do. You should then perform three types of exercises – rotation, extension, and flexion – one to three times per week.
Be sure to perform warm up exercises, too, before these three movements. Your personal trainer at Powerhouse Gym can also guide you in these movements.
Keep in mind that neck rotation is more of an activation exercise and less of a resistance exercise.
- Attach a resistance band to a power rack or a pole.
- Place the band across your forehead so that it feels comfortable with a slight pull.
- Step away from the power rack or pole until you feel a moderate pull on your neck and head.
- Rotate your head to the right – your chin should be over your shoulder – and hold for a second.
- Return to the center, rotate your head to the left, and hold the position for a second.
- Perform 25 reps with side-to-side alternate movements so you perform 50 reps. Repeat until you perform 2 sets.
Avoid stressing your neck so turn your head as comfortably as it can go only.
Be sure that your neck moves through its full range of motion during the neck extension. You should also check your form and control your speed for maximum benefit.
- Lie with your face down on a bench.
- Hold a light weight plate against the back of your head. Ask someone else to do it for you, if needed.
- Lower your head as far low as possible until you feel a comfortable stretch in your neck.
- Bring your head up for a couple of seconds and lower it again to make one rep.
- Perform 20 reps for a set and do 3 sets for this exercise.
As with the neck extension exercise, you should start with light weights and then gradually increase the weight by 2.5 pounds or less with each succeeding session. Stop adding on the weights when your neck becomes uncomfortably stretched.
- Lie on a bench with your back firmly against it but your head hanging off its head. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Place a folded towel on your forehead and place a weight plate on top of it.
- Slowly flex your head up; controlled movement is key. Continue moving your head up until your chin nearly touches your upper chest.
- Extend your neck as far back as it will go until you feel a comfortable stretch.
- Repeat the movements for 3 sets with each set consisting of 20 reps.
In time, your neck will be among the strongest parts of your body and that is sufficient reward unto itself.