Hello and welcome back. Here we are gonna discuss the neck, and how to build neck muscles. Honestly, have you ever thought about strengthening or building the neck muscles? No, who really does. It is as neglected as the And, calves and forearms. We don’t. Think about it often. The neck plays a vital role in the human body. It is of great importance to keep it strong. I for one have neglected my neck in the past, but once aware of its significance, I find it imperative to keep the next strong. We will learn about the neck muscles, what they do. The exercises to develop and strengthen the neck. Finally, what I did to strengthen and build my neck.
Neck Muscle Anatomy
There are seven human neck bones in all. The neck muscles consist of the scalenes, which attach the cervical vertebrae to the thoracic cage, and the sternocleidomastoid, which attaches the skull to the thoracic cage, Not the UFC cage, the thoracic cage(rib cage). The scalene muscles consist of a series of muscles, the scaleus anterior, the scalenus medius and the scalenus posterior. The scalenes work like a scaffolding, support lateral flexion of the neck, and connect the cervical vertebrae(33 bones that form the spinal column) to the thoracic cage(rib cage). However, the trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid, are responsible for the gross motor movement of the head and neck, such as, moving the head in every direction. Pulling the skull and jaw towards the shoulders, spine and scapula(shoulder blades). The Trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid work together, control the flexion and extension of the head and neck. Working alone, these muscles rotate the head or flex the neck to the left or right. Here is a neck muscles diagram to make it easier to understand.
Role of the Neck
The role of the neck muscles are surprising, Only if majority of the population knew the importance of the functions of the neck in everyday life. Neck muscles are used in every single thing you do from tilting your head up and down at the computer screen to looking up at the sky. To start off, neck muscles help stabilize your neck. Allow you to lift your head upwards, lean your head backwards, turn your head left and turn your head right. A strong neck can help to prevent “whiplash”(known mostly as neck muscle strain or neck muscle sprain). Having a stronger neck is beneficial for all of us all. More so for athletes, such as, baseball players, race car drivers, hockey players, basketball players and every other sport. Especially for combat sports, MMA(mix martial arts), Wrestling, BJJ(Brazilian jujitsu), other grappling sports and boxing. Sports as aforementioned involves strikes to the head, landing on your head, and or neck, neck submissions and choke holds are very common. With that being said, Having a stronger neck can prevent related sport injuries.
Neck Muscle Exercises
There are several exercises that will help you develop and to exercise neck muscles. So when performing these exercises do so with Extreme Caution. Training the neck muscles can be done with the use of a weight plate, dumbbells, your own body weight, and you can also use a head strap with metal rings and clips(attach weigh plates). A bench is practical to use, but not required. You can improvise by using chairs, firm mattress etc. The following is a list of some exercises that I used and got the most results from.
1. Lying Face Down Plate Resistance
2. Lying Face Up Plate Neck resistance
3. Seated Head Harness Neck Resistance
4. Head harness with weight attached
5. Shoulder shrugs(dumbbells or barbells)
6. Behind the back Shoulder Shrugs
7. Chin to Chest Stretch(Use both hands behind neck, little pressure and pull head to chest)
8. Front Dumbbell Raises
9. Side Lateral Raises
10. Head Bridge(lying on your back, bridge using your head
11. Upright Row(barbell, cables or dumbbell)
12. Arnold Press
13. Barbell Bent-Over Row
14. Arm circles (narrow and wide)
How I Did It
How I did it, well, it was grueling, and time-consuming, and why not? The neck is delicate, so you want to exercise it properly to avoid injuring your neck. Injuries such as, a muscle strain, a torn neck muscle, and here is a popular one, stiff neck, and muscle pull just to name the most common. The worst being a broken neck. Who has not gotten one of those? I have, and wow, the damage these injuries can do to your progress. So basically, I trained my neck muscles tree(3) times a week. I normally did three exercises bi-weekly,12-15 reps per workout. Reps were done carefully and tempo was slow paced, again to avoid injury. I rarely did super sets or giant sets. I always did this particular body part separate from the rest, in order to place the most focus and emphasis. Bi-weekly I performed different exercises specifically targeting the neck muscles alone(isolation exercises). When exercising your back or shoulder muscles, you are also hitting your neck muscles. These types of exercises are called compound exercises. So, now you have the recipe. Choose for the exercise list above and make it happen. Have fun with it.
As you have read, how the neck plays a vital role in the human lives and how important it is to keep the neck strong and developed. Doing that keeps the body intact. Not only that, but think about it, having a big torso, big biceps, big triceps and a pencil neck, is not to appealing. I have always made, working on my neck a priority. Not only for the looks, but for safety. Always keep in mind. Never dread taking care of yourself. How many cars will you have in your lifetime? How many cell phones? How many whatever? Well, you only have one(1) body, and one(1) mind, so take care of it. It is your temple. So, when you don’t feel like working the human, without hesitation, grab weights and start exercising. Do not forget to consume a delicious essential amino packed Protein shake, before and after a workout. That alone will retrain your brain, recondition your subconscious. Once we control the human subconscious, tasks and activities become habitual and easier to modify. So start today, for a better tomorrow. If you have any comments or want to ask me a question, please do so below, and I will get back to you asap. Thank you for reading. Until next time, here is to a better version of yourself…