As a boxing trainer, I am firmly convinced that all fighters must carefully train their neck. In fact, I recommend this recommendation to anyone involved in contact sports (e.g. football, rugby, wrestling, etc.). A strong neck will undoubtedly help prevent injury. Unfortunately, many athletes ignore neck training until a problem arises. In other words, they respond to trauma rather than actively training the neck all the time.
Do not make this mistake.
Neck training demo
I recently posted a short video on neck training, which includes several exercise options. As you will see, I can train my neck in several directions with a few inexpensive tools.
After posting this video on social networks, I got a few questions about the exercises, so I will explain each of them in more detail below.
I. Wrapping Weight
The first exercise you will see is done with the neck weight turned upside down.Such weights are sold by most boxing equipment manufacturers and usually weigh about 10 pounds. With wound weight, you can train your neck in all directions. The total weight is also minimal, which makes this tool ideal for beginners.
More advanced athletes can still benefit from these weights, however they are great for higher reps. For example, Gennady Golovkin can be seen using the same weight for high reps in this last entry. Training with a high reputation can be excellent if you want to increase the size of your neck.
II. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are also great for training your neck. In the video above, I use the 41-inch middle strip from Iron Woody Fitness. You can also use a small or mini strip. You do not need too much resistance from the group to make this exercise effective.
As for attaching the tape to your head, I use a strip of industrial strength with Velcro. For more information on neck training using ribbons, please refer to this past video.
I grew up watching Mike Tyson perform various exercises to overcome the neck (see here). As a young fighter, I naturally copied Tyson and started doing the same exercises. After 25 years, I still connect, and my neck seems as healthy and strong as ever.
With that said, I understand that bridges are not for everyone (especially for beginners). Bridges are safe only for those who have the necessary strength and flexibility to exercise. Therefore, my demonstration of the bridge is not a recommendation for everyone to follow suit. I just demonstrate some of the exercises that I have used over the years.
Intravenous Neck Harness
Another option for training the neck is to work with a neck strap.Beginners and experienced athletes can use the neck, as you can set the load according to your abilities. Beginners should begin to glow and progress gradually. More advanced athletes can work with heavier loads for a more moderate range of repetitions (for example, from 8 to 15 repetitions).
V. Manual Resistance
Neck training can also be done using manual resistance (not visible on video) As a trainer, I usually use a towel to resist this way. The fighter will lean his head against the end of the ring (or bench). Then I will resist by pulling down a towel that is wrapped around the fighter’s head. We will work in four directions (face up, face down and on each side).
Training frequency and rep range
As for the frequency of neck training, in most cases, two or three short sessions per week are sufficient. You do not need much time to strengthen the neck. Just be sure to start training gradually if you haven’t done this before.
Regarding repetition ranges, I usually work with a moderate repetition range when using heavier weights or resistance bands (for example, 8 to 15 repetitions). I then end up with higher reps using the wrapping weight. For high reps, individual abilities will determine how many reps you can and should safely perform.
Although I have written many times about neck training, this is a topic that does not receive enough attention. Therefore, I have no problem with repetition if more combat athletes take neck training more seriously.
And if you don’t take my advice, maybe you’ll listen to George Chuvalo instead. I have already shared his video many times and will share it again. Chuvalo had one of the best chins in boxing history. And although one of these was natural, he decided to rigorously train his neck. This certainly helped, as he was never knocked down in more than 90 professional fights.
Listen and learn …
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin