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  1. #1
    Registered User aatwo's Avatar
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    skinny neck to tree trunk neck

    I'm one of these guys that used to be pretty skinny before I took up weight lifting. I have been lifting for a couple of years now and I am really happy with my gains, however there's one part of me that's made very little progress. My neck. It is still very thin when viewed from the side. Now I have seen a lot of well built up guys with very skinny necks, and I have seen a lot of well built up guys with huge necks. So what are these two groups of people doing differently?

    I do a lot of shrugs, squats, deadlifts etc and my routine is pretty good, but are there any neck specific exercises I should be adding to my workout to get some decent gains on my neck?

    Basically this is a case of "I have a skinny neck but I want a tree trunk neck".
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  2. #2
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    For neck size, wrestlers bridges.



    In terms of differences in individuals... you see the same variance in chests, backs, calves...whatever.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  3. #3
    ANGELS ABOVE! Kate~'s Avatar
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    Any exercise hitting the sternocleiomastoid muscle..

    any and all trap exercises. You still may not genetically get that thick neck..geeze..hope i don't
    rather be 4wheelin !
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  4. #4
    Banned HumanHorrorFilm's Avatar
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    could pick up a neck harness, ive heard pretty good things about that
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  5. #5
    In the Iron Game Juggernaut33's Avatar
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    Deadlifts and shrugs have added size to my neck.
    "Shut up and lift!"
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    'Train, Eat, Sleep."
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  6. #6
    Strength Addict ElderJefferson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Juggernaut33 View Post
    Deadlifts and shrugs have added size to my neck.
    Yeah, my neck has grown (as my dress shirts would testify to), and I never do direct neck work (I've never even seen anyone do any, come to think of it).
    "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38,39

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  7. #7
    Strength Addict ElderJefferson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kate~ View Post
    You still may not genetically get that thick neck..geeze..hope i don't
    You sound like my wife. She has threatened to pummel me if her frame becomes too "manly".

    I'm thinking that a thick neck would fall within that category.
    "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38,39

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  8. #8
    Registered User GreyGeese's Avatar
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by Kate~ View Post
    Any exercise hitting the sternocleiomastoid muscle..

    any and all trap exercises. You still may not genetically get that thick neck..geeze..hope i don't
    Clever trick photography! Putting those tiny dumbbells next to the Barbie doll makes her appear life-sized.
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  9. #9
    Supplement Logger papi93's Avatar
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    If you want direct neck work, and don't have a 4 way neck machine, a neck harness works the neck extensors very well. Bridging also works the neck extensors. That still leaves side flexion and flexion of the neck. "Back" bridging works the neck flexors statically. I've learned an exercise from Combat Conditioning that allows you to work extension flexion, extension, and lateral flexion. It's called the 4 Way Neck Exercise. You use your bodyweight as the resistance (unless you would purchase a weight vest). Four Way Neck Exercise. Get into a headstand position and bring your feet up against a wall. Your knees will be bent to a 45 degree angle. Start with right and left side flexions. Try to touch your right ear to the ground and then your left ear. You might not be able to get a full ROM due to flexibility issues or lack of strength. Increase range as you develop more flexibility or strength. Now go into neck flexions. Try to touch your nose to the ground. Same rules apply as earlier. Lastly, go into neck extensions and try to get your chin into your chest. I'm having you do this exercise from your weakest movement (side flexion) to your strongest (neck extension).
    Last edited by papi93; 06-07-2007 at 07:37 AM.
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  10. #10
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by papi93 View Post
    If you want direct neck work, and don't have a 4 way neck machine, a neck harness works the neck extensors very well. Bridging also works the neck extensors. Their still leave side flexion and flexion of the neck. "Back" bridging works the neck flexors statically. I've learned an exercise from Combat Conditioning that allows you to work extension flexion, extension, and lateral flexion. It's called the 4 Way Neck Exercise. You use your bodyweight as the resistance (unless you would purchase a weight vest). Four Way Neck Exercise. Get into a headstand position and bring your feet up against a wall. Your knees will be bent to a 45 degree angle. Start with right and left side flexions. Try to touch your right ear to the ground and then your left ear. You might not be able to get a full ROM due to flexibility issues or lack of strength. Increase range as you develop more flexibility or strength. Now go into neck flexions. Try to touch your nose to the ground. Same rules apply as earlier. Lastly, go into neck extensions and try to get your chin into your chest. I'm having you do this exercise from your weakest movement (side flexion) to your strongest (neck extension).

    I roll to the sides on bridges and do front bridges.

    Obviously work up to this.

    No better exercise for neck size IMO and experience.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  11. #11
    Registered User aatwo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I have had a go at the different forms of bridging suggested, but I have a very hard time doing any kind of bridging. What can I do to ease myself into being able to bridge?
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  12. #12
    Registered User aatwo's Avatar
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    or... should I just do as much of the neck bridges as i can without hurting myself, and pray that with time i will get betterand better until i can actually do them properly?
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  13. #13
    Registered User justinluck's Avatar
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    You should start a poll asking which girls prefer.
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  14. #14
    Supplement Logger papi93's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aatwo View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I have had a go at the different forms of bridging suggested, but I have a very hard time doing any kind of bridging. What can I do to ease myself into being able to bridge?
    Strength will be developed with practice. Start doing them daily until you develop the strength to get into your desired ROM and rep range. Don't work to failure on a daily basis, though. Work at an intensity of about 50%. Overtime, the ROM and rep range will increase.
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  15. #15
    Registered User aatwo's Avatar
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    Ok I'll do that, thanks papi93.

    Originally Posted by justinluck View Post
    You should start a poll asking which girls prefer.
    Choosing between a tree trunk neck and a skinny neck, I think most girls I know would definitely choose the tree trunk neck.
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  16. #16
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    Hmmm, I guess having to stretch out the necks on my t-shirts isn't such a bad thing?
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