Friday, April 19, 2024

3 Workouts to Get A Thicker Neck: From A Bodily Therapist

When constructing a thicker neck within the fitness center, the advantages are quite a few, and there are no drawbacks.

A thicker neck is extra than simply aesthetically pleasing; with extra meat round your neck, you are much less susceptible to varied neck accidents, both from sports activities or actions of day by day residing.

However you might want to be sensible with the way you go about widening and thickening your neck. In any other case, you will not get the outcomes you are after and will discover your neck changing into downright painful moderately than larger.

However don’t fret, I’ve acquired you lined on this article.

Right here’s the right way to get a thicker neck: Constructing a thicker neck requires neck workout routines just like the barbell shrug, reverse shrug, and the SCM aspect crunch. You’ll additionally have to eat 1.2 and a pair of.0 g of protein per kilogram (2.2 to 4.4 lbs) to gasoline the required muscle progress. You will additionally need to prepare about 3 occasions every week to make sure higher success.

Simply as when coaching different muscle tissues in your physique, including measurement to your neck takes constant effort and a hefty dosage of endurance.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re devoted sufficient, you may get to a degree the place others take discover and begin dropping compliments whereas on the similar time feeling the consequences for your self (much less ache, higher operate, and so forth.).

So, let’s take this from the highest. I will stroll you thru:

  • The advantages of getting a thicker neck
  • Fundamental neck anatomy
  • 3 workout routines to thicken your neck
  • Diet to make sure a thicker neck

By the tip of this text, you may be pointed in the precise course for the journey to the neck of your goals.

Advantages of Having a Thicker Neck

Unrecognizable man shows strong neck muscles closeup

When you’re in search of the right way to construct larger neck muscle tissues, it may possibly take some devoted effort, however the effort is properly value it; a neck with ample power and endurance will result in fewer aches and pains as you enterprise down the street of life.1,2 

When neck muscle tissues lack ample power and endurance, it may possibly result in additional points, similar to poor neck mobility, postural dysfunction, extreme stress, complications, and different points that may cut back the practical capability of your neck.2–5 

The end result is usually a notable lower in high quality of life (simply ask any of my sufferers I deal with within the clinic).

So, whether or not you are seeking to construct a thick neck to forestall damage in your sport or simply need to hold your high quality of life as excessive as doable, thickening your neck is a great transfer. And, in fact, it simply seems good, too.

Fundamental Neck Anatomy

The neck is a moderately advanced area of the physique (plenty of tissues and buildings are packed into this small area). Fortunately, you need not know the small print. What you do have to know, nevertheless, is the important thing muscle tissues value focusing on together with your workout routines for a thick neck – these would be the ones that provide the best bang on your buck.

Particular observe: In case you have a historical past of nasty neck ache, ensure you slowly construct into your neck strengthening routine, and if one thing would not really feel proper, get an analysis from a certified skilled; neck workout routines ought to by no means be painful.

The principle neck muscle tissues it’s essential to concentrate on are the trapezius (significantly the higher fibers of this muscle) and the sternocleidomastoid (usually shortened to the SCM).

Each of those muscle tissues are superficial (just below the pores and skin) and are the biggest muscle tissues that run up alongside the neck. Let’s take a look at every of those in a bit extra element since they may assist make the upcoming workout routines way more intuitive.

Sure, there are many different muscle tissues inside the neck, however for sensible functions, these are those we have to think about.

The Trapezius Muscle

The trapezius is the big trapezoid-shaped muscle in your higher again. It’s divided into three sections (higher, center, and decrease). The higher fibers run from across the high of your shoulder blades as much as the bottom of your cranium (the occipital protuberance).

These fibers are answerable for serving to produce the shrugging movement of bringing our shoulders up in the direction of our ears. In addition they have a job in producing upwards scapular (shoulder blade) rotation – which is able to come in useful for a muscle-building neck train you may be taught shortly.

It’s additionally a crucial muscle to focus on when studying the right way to carry out efficient again exercises.

The Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle

There are two SCM muscle tissues – one on all sides of the entrance of the neck. Their position is to flex the neck (pull the chin all the way down to the chest) and rotate the neck both left or proper. This muscle is usually fairly seen on slender people or when people rotate their necks in both course.

What About Different Neck Muscle mass?

The opposite neck muscle tissues are a lot deeper and smaller than the trapezius and the SCM. They are not value mentioning for this text since particular person neck muscle tissues cannot be remoted with coaching. So, the bonus of studying efficient workout routines for the trapezius and SCM is that:

  1. You will prepare the big, superficial muscle tissues that shall be best to note neck progress
  2. You will hit a number of different muscle tissues of the neck inside the train.

For instance: If you learn to do reverse shrugs (in an upcoming part), you may additionally hammer the levator scapulae muscle tissues and problem the postural muscle tissues of your neck, such because the splenius capitis and semispinalis capitis.

And when performing the SCM aspect crunch, you may additionally concurrently goal the scalenes and deep cervical neck flexors.

So, we will get the most effective of each worlds by going after these two crucial neck muscle tissues.

3 Workouts for a Thicker Neck

Man with barbell in a gym
Barbell shrugs might help you get a thicker neck

Alright, the second you’ve got been ready for: the tried-and-true neck workout routines for mass that may beef up your neck, hold you out of ache, and provide the neck you are eager for. You will not want a lot tools, which is sweet since not each fitness center has specialised neck-strengthening tools.

The details to pay attention to with huge neck workout routines are:

  • Be constant – like some other muscle within the physique, rising muscle measurement takes time. Your greatest wager is to carry out your neck workout routines twice or 3 times per week. Typically talking, it often takes 6-8 weeks earlier than the primary indicators of muscle progress are noticeable.
  • When you aren’t used to performing neck strengthening workout routines, begin mild and ease into it – the neck might be fairly delicate, and tweaking your neck is a awful expertise and may intervene with the remainder of your lifting.
  • There is no room for “ego lifting” in neck coaching. It isn’t about utilizing excessively heavy masses that impress different individuals; it is about offering ample stimulation to make your muscle tissues reply and develop whereas minimizing any pointless stress or pressure the remainder of your neck (joints, discs, and so forth.) should endure within the course of.

Bear in mind: Sensations of effort and fatigue in your neck throughout any of the most effective neck exercises are to be anticipated, however ache is just not. When you discover any train to be painful in your neck, it is best to forego it in the interim or try to switch it to keep away from any ache being produced.

Train 1: The Barbell Shrug (and Variations)

The barbell shrug is a traditional (and battle-tested) train for constructing a much bigger neck.

It is also excellent for performing since barbells are readily accessible within the fitness center. It goes straight after the higher trapezius fibers (whereas additionally getting the levator scapulae). That is the train to make the spine of your neck-thickening pursuits.

Consider it or not, again workout routines like these might help enhance your bench press, so don’t skip the barbell shrug.

How To Carry out The Barbell Shrug:

  1. Maintain a barbell in your palms with a reasonably heavy weight. You may choose the barbell up off the ground or from pins in a squat rack, your name.
  2. Utilizing an overhand grip, together with your palms about shoulder-width aside, increase your shoulders to your ears whereas holding your elbows straight.
  3. Maintain this high place for 3 seconds, then slowly decrease your shoulders again to the beginning place.
  4. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions. Sure, it is a larger rep rely, however this repetition vary will probably result in higher muscle hypertrophy (measurement) good points than heavy shrugs (which construct extra uncooked power).

A lighter weight can even permit you to carry out a bigger vary of movement on your shrug, stimulating extra of your higher trapezius fibers than with a smaller vary of movement.


 The beginning place for the barbell shrug


 The highest of the shrug motion (when the higher trapezius fibers are contracted).

For this train, use a weight that completely exhausts your higher again and neck by the point you get to your final rep. By utilizing a bigger vary of movement, holding every contraction on the high for 3 seconds, and performing the next repetition vary, your muscle tissues shall be below stress for a a lot higher period of time than an ordinary shrug, which is able to assist facilitate muscle progress.

Variation 1: When you’re in search of some variations of this train, you may carry out the motion with dumbbells moderately than a barbell. Neither the barbell nor dumbbell model is best than the opposite, so choose whichever works greatest for you.

Variation 2: You may as well carry out barbell shrugs with the barbell behind your thighs moderately than in entrance. It is nonetheless the identical motion, however the concept is you stimulate the higher trapezius fibers barely otherwise than when the barbell is in entrance of you. I am extra of a fan of the barbell being in entrance, however, as they are saying, “selection is the spice of life.”

It isn’t a nasty concept to be taught all the important thing particulars on the variations between barbell and dumbbell shrugs, as it should present extra key data that can assist you beef up your neck.

The principle advantages of the barbell or dumbbell shrug are that it is extremely easy, solely requires a barbell and a few plates (normal tools), and is a confirmed train for increase neck measurement.

The principle downside you may run into is that grip power might be the limiting issue when attempting to carry onto the barbell. If this occurs, think about using lifting straps to get round this frequent problem.

Train 2: The Reverse Shrug

The reverse shrug is the lesser-known cousin of the usual barbell shrug, which is an absolute disgrace since this train hammers your higher trapezius fibers.

The one caveat right here is you may need to ensure you have ample shoulder well being and mobility so to increase your arms close to a full 180 levels above your head (if you cannot get close to this vary, you might need a troublesome time with the motion).

This train hammers the higher trapezius fibers because of the intensive quantity of upwards rotation your shoulder blades should produce.

Bear in mind: the higher trapezius fibers shrug the shoulders and rotate the shoulder blades upwards.

How To Carry out the Reverse Shrug:

  1. Seize a barbell with a wider-than-shoulder grip (you may have to mess around with the precise width to find out what feels greatest for you).
  2. Elevate the barbell above your head after which straighten your elbows. Hold your shoulders in a impartial place (DO NOT PULL THEM DOWN AND BACK – doing this within the overhead place will put you liable to shoulder impingement). Your beginning shoulder blade place ought to be the mid-range of absolutely pulled down and absolutely pushed up (i.e., a impartial place).
  3. From the beginning place, press the bar straight upwards as if attempting to get it to the touch the ceiling. Your elbows ought to at all times keep straight as your shoulders shrug as much as your ears.
  4. Maintain this high place for 3 seconds, then slowly decrease all the way down to your beginning (impartial) place.
  5. Carry out for 15-20 repetitions. Attempt to hold your reps unbroken, which means you do not pause at any level between every rep.

The beginning place for the upwards shrug. The arrows characterize the course you push your shoulders (consider pushing them upwards in the direction of your ears).

An impressive good thing about this train is its means to stimulate the higher trapezius fibers (resulting in a much bigger neck) whereas additionally bettering general shoulder power and well being. The downsides listed below are that the motion can solely be carried out with a barbell (dumbbells are a bit difficult with this train) and that you just want a wholesome and cell set of shoulders to carry out the train.

Train 3: The SCM Facet Crunch

The SCM aspect crunch could look easy, however it’s deceptively fatiguing (tiring), which is an efficient factor; fatiguing muscle tissues by way of a repeated problem is what makes them acquire power, endurance, and measurement.

All you may want for this train is an area on the ground to lie down or a exercise bench – both is completely positive.

For the reason that operate of the SCM is to flex the neck and rotate it, this train will problem each of those muscle features, making it fairly a tiring train on your neck. Bear in mind, this can be a huge and highly effective neck muscle on each side of the neck, so having a devoted train to focus on it’s important for beefing up your neck measurement.

How To Carry out The SCM Facet Crunch:

  1. Lay down on the ground or a exercise bench and rotate your head to the aspect so far as comfy. Let your head relaxation on the ground or the exercise bench.
  2. Whereas holding your neck rotated, elevate your head off the ground as excessive as doable. Maintain this place for about 5 seconds, then slowly decrease it again to the beginning place.
  3. Repeat for fifteen to twenty repetitions.
  4. As soon as you’ve got carried out all of your repetitions, rotate your head to the opposite aspect and repeat the method.

 The beginning place for the SCM aspect crunch. If full-rotation is simply too tough or uncomfortable, you may carry out this train with much less neck rotation.


The ending place for the SCM aspect crunch.

When you discover this train is simply too straightforward or turns into too straightforward after some time, a straightforward repair is to seize an ankle weight and drape it throughout your brow when performing the train.

Ankle weights can vary from 5 to 10 kilos and are the right strategy to comfortably add some resistance to the motion. They’re additionally moderately cheap, so you may probably choose up a pair of them for just a few bucks.

The principle good thing about this train is its simplicity; no fancy neck harnesses or gadgets are required, and it actually goes after the massive, beefy SCM muscle on the entrance aspect of the neck.

Diet for a Thicker Neck

Athele eating protein bar
Eat plenty of protein

The best neck-building and strengthening workout routines will not imply a lot in the event you do not present your physique with the required vitamins and substances to develop your muscle tissues. Fortunately, there is not any have to overcomplicate any of this if you wish to add some notable measurement to your neck.

Simply as with every different muscle (or teams of muscle tissues) inside the physique, muscle progress requires a surplus of protein (also known as a optimistic nitrogen steadiness), which the physique breaks all the way down to then construct new muscle. This optimistic nitrogen steadiness ensures the physique is in an anabolic state, which means it at all times has extra protein coming into the physique (ingested) than what’s being misplaced or damaged down.

There’s a complete world of scientific vitamin that could possibly be mentioned right here, however that is not the intent of this part. The aim, moderately, is to guarantee you that your physique is getting what it wants to extend the girth of your neck.

So, here is the vitamin data you might want to know:

  • The American School of Sports activities Medication (ACSM), the Academy of Diet and Dietetics, and the Dieticians of Canada all suggest that lively people (i.e., these taking part in sports activities and bodily train) eat between 1.2 and a pair of.0 g of protein per kilogram of their physique weight day by day.6,7 So, in the event you weighed 90kg, this equates to between 108 and 180 grams of protein consumed day by day.
  • Dietary dietary supplements could assist, however they shouldn’t be the spine to constructing a bulkier neck. As a substitute, you need to ensure you get the overwhelming majority of your macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, proteins) and micronutrients (nutritional vitamins and minerals) from naturally occurring meals sources when doable. Suppose there are dietary deficiencies which can be nonetheless current after optimizing your weight loss plan with complete, wholesome meals. In that case, it might then be value attempting to plug any remaining dietary gaps with dietary supplements.
  • It could be value consuming some simply digestible carbohydrates and protein inside an hour of finishing your coaching session. It is believed that there’s an anabolic window that happens inside roughly one hour after coaching, the place the physique makes use of and partitions these vitamins extra successfully than at different occasions within the day.8–11 Whereas there may be conflicting proof to point out this anabolic window really exists, there would not look like any draw back in consuming these vitamins inside the post-workout window.

Widespread Neck Coaching Errors

Handsome sportsman cringing from neck muscle soreness

Essentially the most noteworthy errors to say are those who result in ache and damage; not solely is that this a depressing expertise, however it should forestall you from having the ability to hold coaching your neck, guaranteeing you do not pack on any added measurement to the muscle tissues.

So, do not make any of the next errors:

  • Do not attempt to push by way of ache. Ache will solely hinder your street to efficient neck coaching (and general neck well being).
  • Do not prepare your neck muscle tissues every single day. Give them exercise, then allow them to relaxation for a day or two earlier than your subsequent session.
  • Do not go ridiculously heavy on any direct neck coaching. Necks might be delicate and delicate. You may probably go heavy in your normal shrugs, however hold the resistance on the average aspect for different neck workout routines.

Suggestions for Getting a Larger Neck Quick

Tips about the right way to get a thicker neck is a fairly straightforward matter to cowl. If you wish to get a much bigger neck as quick as doable (whereas staying pure):

  • Practice your neck 3 times per week, and go arduous on shrugs since that is the muscle that produces probably the most notable measurement enhancements for the neck.
  • Eat loads of protein (see the vitamin part above if you have not already learn it).

Remaining Ideas

You will thank your self for taking the effort and time to learn to get a thicker neck. It begins with realizing which muscle tissues to focus on and the right way to gasoline them appropriately all through the method. Do that for a number of months, and outcomes ought to be evident. Not solely will your neck muscle tissues grow to be larger, operate higher, and be much less liable to damage, however they can even let others know that you just take your coaching severely and know what it takes to construct a thicker neck.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Listed below are some solutions to different often requested questions that people have when seeking to carry out power coaching for his or her necks or enhance their neck measurement!

How Can You Practice Your Neck at Dwelling?

Sure. Coaching your neck at house is feasible and might be finished both with house tools or with none house tools. Although tools offers extra versatility and train choices, difficult neck workout routines might be carried out with out tools by:

  • Laying in your again and lifting your head in numerous methods
  • Sitting upright, putting your hand or palms onto your head, and urgent your head into your palms (whereas your palms forestall your neck from transferring). This is called isometric coaching and might be an efficient strategy to start to strengthen and prepare your neck.

Will Our Necks Shrink if We Cease Coaching Them?

Sure. Neck muscle tissues are like some other skeletal muscle within the physique; when we don’t problem them to maneuver in opposition to sufficient (or any) resistance, they shrink by way of a course of referred to as muscle atrophy, which ends up from continuous disuse of the muscle(s).

Do Deadlifts Construct Thicker Necks?

If heavy sufficient, deadlifts will stimulate the higher trapezius fibers (which run upwards alongside the bottom of the neck), probably including to elevated measurement and thickness. Nevertheless, they should not be thought-about a major train for constructing a thicker neck since a lot of the muscle emphasis throughout the train is positioned on the glutes, hamstrings, and decrease again muscle tissues.

How Lengthy Does It Take To Get a Thicker Neck?

Including sufficient muscle mass anyplace to grow to be seen takes constant coaching and endurance. Muscle hypertrophy (the method of a muscle changing into bigger) usually takes six to eight weeks (if all different coaching parameters are carried out ideally).12 Different analysis, nevertheless, have proven favorable adjustments to happen inside a shorter timeframe.13

Does Your Neck Get Thicker As You Acquire Weight?

Necks will get thicker as you acquire weight, nevertheless it’s necessary to comprehend that merely gaining weight doesn’t imply your neck thickness shall be from added muscle mass. Fats mass might be added across the neck and can probably be what’s added in the event you’re gaining weight however not strengthening your neck muscle tissues all through the method.


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2.        Vuori I. Train and bodily well being: musculoskeletal well being and practical capabilities. Res Q Exerc Sport. 1995;66(4):276-285.

3.        Quek J, Pua YH, Clark RA, Bryant AL. Results of thoracic kyphosis and ahead head posture on cervical vary of movement in older adults. Man Ther. 2013;18(1):65-71.

4.        Jull G, Kristjansson E, Dall’Alba P. Impairment within the cervical flexors: a comparability of whiplash and insidious onset neck ache sufferers. Man Ther. 2004;9(2):89-94.

5.        Beazell JR. Dysfunction of the longus colli and its relationship to cervical ache and dysfunction: a scientific case presentation. J Man Manip Ther. 1998;6(1):12-16.

6.        Medication AC of S, Affiliation AD. Joint Place Assertion: vitamin and athletic efficiency. American School of Sports activities Medication, American Dietetic Affiliation, and Dietitians of Canada. Med Sci Sports activities Exerc. 2000;32(12):2130-2145.

7.        Campbell B, Kreider RB, Ziegenfuss T, et al. Worldwide Society of Sports activities Diet place stand: protein and train. J Int Soc Sports activities Nutr. 2007;4(1):1-7.

8.        Betts JA, Toone RJ, Stokes KA, Thompson D. Systemic indices of skeletal muscle injury and restoration of muscle operate after train: impact of mixed

carbohydrate–protein ingestion. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009;34(4):773-784.

9.        Harris PR, Eager DA, Constantopoulos E, et al. Fluid sort influences acute hydration and muscle efficiency restoration in human topics. J Int Soc Sports activities Nutr. 2019;16(1):15.

10.        Kanda A, Nakayama Okay, Sanbongi C, Nagata M, Ikegami S, Itoh H. Results of whey, caseinate, or milk protein ingestion on muscle protein synthesis after train. Vitamins. 2016;8(6):339.

11.        Shirreffs SM. Publish-exercise rehydration and restoration. Maughan RJ E Murray R Sports activities Drinks Fundamental Pract Asp. 2001;1.

12.        Phillips SM. Brief-term coaching: when do repeated bouts of resistance train grow to be coaching? Can J Appl Physiol. 2000;25(3):185-193.

13.        DeFreitas JM, Beck TW, Inventory MS, Dillon MA, Kasishke PR. An examination of the time course of training-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011;111:2785-2790.

About The Creator

Jim Wittstrom, PT, DPT, CSCS, Pn1

Jim is a bodily therapist, power & conditioning specialist and former aggressive powerlifter. He loves treating lifters and different lively people within the clinic and dealing with them within the fitness center so as to assist them transfer higher, really feel higher and maximize their coaching potential.
Web site:

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