Have you ever seen how many muscleheads have HUGE bodies but little tiny pencil necks? I don’t quite understand this but to each his own. The neck is one of the most neglected body parts, but one of the most important. A strong neck can tell you a lot about a person. If you are covered up in a jacket you can conceal your body and make people wonder how big you are. But with a big, thick, muscular neck there is nothing left to the imagination as to whether you are built or not. Even in a turtleneck you can’t hide a muscular neck.
So besides your appearance why else should you build up your neck? There are many reasons, one that comes to mind is that having a big neck and a strong jaw line can act as deterrent to troublemakers looking for prey. Predators, or those that prey on the weak don’t want to get involved with someone that is physically fit and gives off the appearance of strength. That would be too much of a hassle, they want weak people who play the role of a victim.
A strong neck is a necessity for all Combat Sports
Grappling, Wrestling, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, Boxing and Football are all sports that require a strong neck. If you have a strong neck it will help you absorb a blow to the chin by acting as a shock absorber. In grappling matches having a strong neck will assist you in defending a choke and also make it difficult to be choked out [of course if someone gets a choke on your windpipe it won’t matter how strong your neck is, but having a strong neck provides more chance for you to fight off the choke and escape].
In wrestling for example if you are being pinned, you can use your neck strength to bridge on to the top of your head and get your shoulders up off the mat, thus canceling out the pin attempt.
Another use for a strong neck in combat is you will be able to defend having your head pulled down and your body controlled.
One of the first things you learn in wrestling is that if you can control the head then the body will follow. During a wrestling or grappling match if you have been training your neck and your opponent tries to pull your head down you will be able to resist his attack and then in turn set up an attack of your own.
During a football game the players run at each other full speed and SMASH right into their opponent head first. Do you think that a player with a little Pipe Cleaner neck could take a hit like that? Of course not.
Another reason you should be doing neck work is if you are a Power lifter or a Strongman. Take a look at 2 of the most important lifts we can do for size and strength. They are the Squat and the Dead lift. During both of these exercises the head must be pulled back. Why? Because as I stated earlier, where the head goes the body will follow and during the dead lift if your head is tilted back when you start your pull your hips will follow. This is what you want because all your power is generated from the thighs to the butt and the hips. In the squat if you look down instead of up you will round your back and possibly go forward during the movement which will most certainly lead to injury. Anytime we squat we want a flat back, head tilted back and in tight on that bar.
Beginner neck-training program
These were just a few examples of why we should put some strong emphasis on our necks. Following is a beginner program to help get you started from Pencil neck to neck of steel.
- Neck Curls on a flat bench with weight 1-2 sets of 20-30 repetitions
- Neck Harness work [same as above]
- Side of Neck on a flat bench [same as above]
Do this every other day for the first month. Then you can increase the workload to everyday you train. Or increase the weighted repetitions to 5 sets of 50 repetitions. Once you can attain 100 straight repetitions in the 3 exercises then it is time to increase the weight.
What’s The Machine’s reason for a strong neck?
Because I was such a shy and insecure little boy that all I did was look down at my feet. Well now as a man I couldn’t look down on myself again if I wanted to. I have built my neck so much that all I can do is keep looking up, up and up brothers.
Best Regards and Thanks,
Mike “The Machine” Bruce