Question about the neck. I train it but it doesn’t seem to get any bigger. What am I doing wrong?
If you’re training your neck correctly and it isn’t growing, you’re definitely doing something wrong. The neck is one muscle group that really responds to training, the anti-thesis of calves, for example.
The first mistake most trainees make is training too heavy. Although the neck needs progressive resistance like other muscle groups, it doesn’t take much weight to stimulate growth. Consider for example, the following set and rep spreads, alternating between them every 6th session:
3 sets of 15-20 reps with a neck harness, followed by front and back BW neck bridges for up to 1 minute
Front neck bridges held for up to 3 minutes, followed by wrestler neck bridges for up to 3 minutes.
Barbell shrugs, followed immediately afterwards by DB shrugs until form breaks down
If you look at athletes, amateur wrestlers dominate both the visual and functional aspect of neck development – it isn’t even close. Their necks are almost an afterthought of their grappling, coupled with copious amounts of bridging and other bodyweight exercises. Most don’t even use weights, a testament to how growth sensitive the neck can be.
There is a danger in neck training, both in pulling a muscle and causing an underlying skeletal injury (i.e. a subluxation/rotated vertebrae and/or a disk issue). Either is going to put you on the shelf for a LONG time, so going slow is the order of the day. That and regular chiropractic adjustments are recommended. One big caveat though: You need the RIGHT chiropractor to work on your neck, so choose wisely.
I can tell you that of all the adjustments I’ve received, adjusting the neck has done the most for me. An almost instant sense of stress relief, and aligns the spine from the top down (atlas bone on down).
Proceed cautiously Mike.
Coach Rob Regish