Workouts & Exercises

Increasing Your Neck Muscle Mass (And How to Use a Neck Harness!)

Joe Rogan fanatics can eat your heart out, as I’m finally going to cover how you can use a neck harness yourself to get a thick and veiny neck just like the Rogan-meister himself.

Many people tend to neglect their necks when it comes to training, and that’s something you never want to do (especially if you want to get serious in the gym).

There’s a reason why the beefiest people in the gym have thick necks, and that’s because they train them just as they would their hands, chest and shoulders, and just about any other part of their body.


A Quick Heads Up...

Before we get into all things neck strength, I have a few things to clear up for y'all fitness buffs.

Whatever your goal is, keep in mind that training isn't just about lifting the heaviest weights around, or doing a thousand reps.

It's as much about what you eat as it is about the effort you throw into the mix, and yeah, this goes both ways.
Now, besides a whole meal, such options as preworkouts and protein shakes come in super handy for an energy ramp up when you need it.

Unfortunately, there have been all sorts of mix-ups about these two, but hey, don't get your wires crossed!

Having tried preworkouts, I can attest that they do work, but you have to pick wisely, be choosy if you have to, but get a good one. I listed some of the ones I felt most comfortable with in another post

The confusion seems to be just as prevalent in the protein shakes space. So, being the curious cat I am, I embarked on a quest to find out for myself, and I did. But then I fell in love with a few of the best ones that I could find - to be specific, Kachava.

You can read about it here, or check out its flavors, price and reviews by clicking here.

This shake has been my go-to sip to top up my energy reserves (in a snap) before/during those grueling workouts. You know, the ones that suck the energy out of you in a matter of minutes. 

Buuuut... do note that you just can't live on preworkouts and meal shakes alone. These only come in as a quick refill to get you through those energy-intense workout sessions.

Having a solid meal schedule, and making the most of it with exercise is very much a part of the fitness game.


The Importance of Neck Strength

There is more to neck strength than just fitness

Your neck is what your skull sits on, which just so happens to be home to your brain (you know, the most important thing in your body other than the heart).

When you want to know that your massive noggin is safe and sound with tons of support, working on your neck muscles is the perfect solution. There are plenty of reasons why people use neck harnesses to improve upon their neck strength, some of which would include:

  • General strength training
  • Bodybuilding
  • Rehab after dealing with neck injuries
  • Avoiding “neck sag” as you get older

There are tons of ways that training your neck can help you live a better life, but for the most part, neck strength will help you lift more weights and keep your spine/neck stable.

Without those thick necks and traps, professional weight lifters would have a much tougher time dealing with the constant strain on their bodies (particularly the spine and neck area).


Is Neck Training Safe?

If not done right, neck training could pose a risk for injury

Neck training has had a lot of research done on it in the past, mainly because we want to know if it’s totally safe to do.

Some say that if you don’t apply the techniques correctly you’re going to get injured, but the same can be said for the likes of a deadlift or any other weight lifting technique. If you don’t stretch and have no clue what you’re doing, the chances of getting hurt are through the roof!

To keep things as safe as possible, I highly recommend you read through this article and take the information seriously. It very well may help you avoid injuries while training your neck, and although they are rare, it’s very possible that it could happen to you.

Then again, I feel like all of my readers are competent and understand that exerting your neck muscles too much is never a smart idea (right everybody?).


How Often Should I Train My Neck?

Just take it easy on your neck training, allowing time for recovery when needed

It’s been recommended that you train your neck as often as possible, but you need to be aware of any potential strains or injuries and take the time to heal.

Lifting weights with your neck while injured is almost always going to make it worse, as the neck is a very sensitive area that is prone to injury. Training my neck two to three times a week is what I do personally, but if you feel like there are more “gains” to be made, you can do whatever you’d like.

I would also suggest talking to a personal trainer to get a feel for what they do, although most personal trainers will look at neck training as “unconventional”. They don’t want power bellies like the rest of us, so what do they know!?


Will Training My Neck Help Me Look Bigger?

Neck training with harness brings about some unbeatable results

Getting a bigger look will call for you to train three major groups of your upper body, as they will help you look broader and more intimidating the larger you make them. After you’ve built up your lats and chest, you can consider working on your:

  • Shoulders
  • Traps
  • And Neck!

These three bad boys are all it takes to turn a typical beach body into something that you’ll fear in the wrestling ring, there are ton of exercises you can do to build these three areas; if you are a beginner you can start with wall angels, Zottman curls ,or alternating dumbbell presses after that you can move to doing deadlifts and other more advanced exercises that require a bit of strength.

 Most of the time when you’re deadlifting tons of heavy weights, doing sumo deadlifts using a machine or doing military presses, you’re going to develop some sort of muscle in your neck. When compared to someone who uses a neck harness though, your thickness is going to be trumped by theirs with ease.

It’s a strange thing to ponder, but there are most definitely instances where grown men are gawking at each other’s necks, wondering how they managed to grow them that thick. I say that because, well, I’ve been there!


What is a Neck Harness

A neck harness is what you need to lift with just your neck alone

A neck harness is a product that you can use to lift weights using your neck, and neck alone. The harness will attach to your head and offer a snug fit, as well as feature a hook or “weight placement” area that can be used to increase the resistance/weight of your lifts.

You use the neck harness exactly as it would seem, with a small (or large) weight hanging down in front of you - from there, you can implement whatever technique you’d like.

This means you’ll have to purchase weights additionally, and you’ll want to make sure that the carabiners that come with the harness are high-quality steel.

They’re going to be responsible for stopping the weight from dropping on your big toe randomly and trust me, that’s a situation that you’ll want to actively avoid. They come in several different kinds of material, although for the most part, they will consist of strong nylon.

Some companies say that they use military-grade Kevlar for their neck harnesses, and while I’ve yet to try one for myself, I get the feeling that it’s just a marketing ploy.


How to Use a Neck Harness

Knowing how to use a neck harness is the first step to effective neck training

Using a neck harness is quite simple, as you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the idea. You could probably throw one of these into the monkey exhibit at a zoo and watch them get jacked, as they’ll find a rock that the carabiners can fit for weights.

Regardless of how easy it is to use, you’ve got to understand the technique behind it - after all, using improper technique is a quick way to get hurt in the weightlifting world.

There are two major movements that I use personally when working out with a neck harness, and those are twisting and curling.


Neck Twists

Neck twists help develop the often neglected neck's side muscles

Neck twists are where you turn your head back and forth slowly, giving your neck a chance to develop the “side to side” muscles that are all too often neglected. I like to start off with around 2 pounds and gradually bump things up to around 10 pounds, which is currently where I’m sitting.

Once my neck gets thicker though, I’m going to work my way up to 20 pounds and (hopefully) even higher than that!


Neck Curls

Neck curls are easy to do and fast to learn

Neck curls are amazing and easy to do, and you can probably get into the rhythm of things after a day or two of trying them out. As the name would suggest, load your weight up and place the neck harness on your head - from here, you’ll want to look down at the floor, and then back up.

From here, look up towards the ceiling, and bring your head back into a resting position (facing forward). This can be paired alongside neck twists to create a neck-busting workout that will build more muscle up top than you ever thought possible!

It’s finally your chance to become one of those muscle-bound tryhards at the gym, all you need is a V-Cut shirt and some sweat-proof fake jewelry.


Best Neck Harness Products of 2021

There is a wide range of the best neck harnesses on the market

Here are the best neck harness products on the market


Iron Neck Alpha Harness w/ Carabiners

The Iron neck harness is simple to use and thus ideal for most beginners

This is a product that I was pleasantly surprised with, as I wasn’t expecting much when I received it initially. There aren’t any crazy claims, although they did say that there are four carabiners available to offer a unique workout experience.

With one size fits most available, using the Iron Neck Alpha Harness w/ Carabiners is straightforward and perfect for a neck harness beginner.

Developed with soft webbing to keep you comfortable and a 40-inch pure steel chain to ensure durability, this is a product that I think is well worth the purchasing price. It cost me around $60 brand new, but I’m sure you can find an online sale and get it for even cheaper.


Hustle Athletics Neck Harness

This Hustle Athletics neck harness is as comfy as it is stylish

Looking for something that will stay comfortable, but also offer a little bit of “swagger” should you choose to use it in the commercial gym?

You can count on Hustle Athletics Neck Harness to keep you going when the times are tough, allowing you to build a thick and muscular neck that even your mother would be proud of.

Developing a beastly presence is simple when you’ve got a product like this on your side, and the 5-star ratings from Amazon users are merely a testament to its quality.

The harness is said to fit all head sizes, which is something you may have to worry about if you purchase the previous option I recommended. If you’re part of the “Big Head Brigade” and have a large skull to worry about, you’ll never need to worry about fit when you purchase from Hustle Athletics.


Hypeletics Neck Weight Lifting Harness

This Hypeletics neck harness is not only popular, it's also very affordable

Hypeletics is here to pump you up! With their neck harness being sponsored by the likes of professional boxers, kickboxers, and many other combat sports athletes, it’s the kind of product that you buy just to be a part of the community.

It’s only about $20, and is clearly one of the more affordable options in the neck harness industry. You don’t need a lot of extra features, although the chinstrap may be a difficult thing to get used to (from the pictures it looks like it could be somewhat uncomfortable).

If you just want a simple neck harness that will help you build a strong and thick neck without any nonsense involved, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better alternative. The Hypeletics Neck Weight Lifting harness is worth checking out in any regard!


Jayefo Fitness Head Harness

The Jayfo neck harness is one well-rounded product that you can count on

Equipped with wrist wraps, three different kinds of belts (four if you count the dipping belt), and even an arm blaster. If you wanted to incorporate neck harnesses and workouts into other techniques in the gym (such as dips, squats, or anything of that nature), the Jayefo Fitness Head Harness is the perfect product.

Reviews have stated that Jayefo found the perfect “chin and neck support” position, meaning you won’t have to constantly adjust the neck harness to try and find a comfortable spot.

They only use the highest quality materials possible, and the price range is relatively affordable (much like most neck harness options). The product was out of stock when I tried to purchase it myself, but the Amazon reviews are immaculate and I’m assuming it’s sold out for a reason.


So, What Do I Think?: Neck Harnesses Are Needed for a Stronger Neck

Developing a thick, strong neck can be hard without using a neck harness

As if it weren’t obvious initially, it’s tough to develop a strong and thick neck without using some sort of neck harness to introduce more workouts into your routine.

Bodybuilders are doing everything possible to reach the highest levels of physique possible, and that’s why we praise them for these feats. 

It takes a lot of time and dedication to build a neck that thick! You can build up a neck with a neck harness and the right workouts, just always be sure to consider the:


Pricing

Often highly priced neck harnesses offer better value

The higher the price, the more likely you’re to get a high-quality neck harness. It sucks, but that’s just the way it is!


Quality

For the best durability and comfort keep an eye out for the best quality

Quality is very important for not only the durability of your neck harness but for how comfortable it’s going to be as well.


Manufacturer

Prominent manufacturers like Hypeletics mostly pump out great harnesses

More reputable manufacturers are going to produce better products (for the most part), so be on the lookout for popular names like Hypeletics or Iron Neck.

If you’re willing to put the work in and purchase yourself a neck harness, you probably have what it takes to follow in their footsteps. We won’t know until you try, now will we?

Related Readings:

Resources:

  1. https://muscularstrength.com/article/How-To-Build-Massive-Neck-Traps
  2. https://www.iron-neck.com/collections/neck-training/products/iron-neck-harness
  3. https://www.roguefitness.com/neck-harness
  4. https://hypeletics.com/product/hypeletics-neck-weight-lifting-harness/

Related Articles

Back to top button