If you have a tiny neck, getting it huge is pretty much the number one thing you should be doing if you want to improve your overall attractiveness. A big neck is something that results from just being overall muscular. So even if you’re not completely jacked, people will still assume you are jacked just by looking at your face.
To get a bigger neck, do forward and backward neck extensions. Do 2 sets on each side, 5 days a week. While training the neck, you need to focus on high volume instead of strength, with explosive reps.
Neck Training Before/After Photos
Bodybuilders and football players may have huge necks, but so do male models, even though the latter group usually lacks muscularity and body fat.
Let’s look at some models photoshopped to have smaller necks. Unaltered photo in the before section, photoshopped with a smaller neck in the after section.
Before = dominant, masculine, alpha
After = submissive, feminine, weak
The difference is pretty obvious. Now, let’s look at people with smaller necks photoshopped to have large necks. Unaltered photo in the before section, photoshopped with a bigger neck in the after section.
These guys above could all benefit from neck training. You can clearly see that it makes you look more masculine.
How to Get a Big Neck
While training the neck, you’re going to want to focus on high volume instead of strength, which will build the most mass.
The bread and butter of your training is forward and backward neck extensions. For this, all you need is a bench, 20 lbs. plate, and a neck strap.
Do 2 sets of each exercise until failure. Use explosive reps instead of going slow. Remember, the amount of weight isn’t as important as the number of repetitions.
If you need posture work, do more sets on your back to work out your front neck muscles. These muscles are the weakest with forward head posture because they never have to contract.
Your neck is always in use. Every time you do a compound exercise at the gym, you’re going to be working your neck. In fact, some people have a problem where their neck gets too big and it becomes too hard to go back to normal. So don’t overtrain.
This chart shows the optimal neck circumference for your height:
But ultimately, you should just go off what looks good. Reference the first set of pictures for what a great neck looks like. Keep working out in the mirror until you look like those guys.
Thus, your workout will look like this:
- 2 sets of backward neck extensions until failure.
- 2 sets of forward neck extensions until failure.
- Use fast explosive reps.
- Do this 5 days a week, 2 days off.
Neck Exercises Without Gym Equipment
If you want to workout your neck without any plates or equipment, do the anterior isometric neck exercise.
- Place both palms on your head.
- Flex your head forward, resisting with your hands.
- Hold for one minute.
- Start at 2-3 reps per week and increase the volume and intensity with each week.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that overtraining your neck can make your jawline look worse. When the neck muscles get too tight, they pull down on the jaw and can cause your neck and jaw to merge together. People with skinny necks are going to have sharper jawlines, and this is just inevitable. This is why botox is sometimes injected into the platysmal bands on your neck, which essentially paralyzes the muscle and keeps it relaxed.
To counteract this, I suggest just straight up chewing gum. Get a pack of falim gum and work up to chewing a couple of hours per day, after your neck exercises. Doing this will build up your masseter muscles:
Keep chewing gum after your neck has gotten to the size you want. Don’t go too far though with either the neck exercises or the gum chewing. You want a balanced face. Just don’t make your neck as big as your jaw and you’ll be fine.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Won’t my neck get bigger anyway by just going to the gym?
Not necessarily. Conley et. al (1997) took college-age students and separated them into two groups: one that did conventional resistance training exercises such as squat and deadlift, and another that did the same thing but also incorporated head extensions. After 12 weeks, they looked at the cross-sectional area of the participants’ necks via MRI. The first group that only did the resistance training did not gain any neck area. The group that incorporated head extensions gained over 2 cm² of neck area.
Now, over a longer training regimen, sure, you’ll see noticeable neck gains. But it’ll be at a much slower rate. Instead, you can speed up the process and look jacked even if you’re not approaching a bodybuilder physique yet just by adding some neck training to your normal gym routine.
What about lateral/side-to-side neck exercises?
Don’t worry about it. Both the forward and backward neck exercises shown above will work all the muscles in your neck and increase its overall circumference. The sternocleidomastoid muscle is primarily responsible for the appearance of a thick neck in a frontwards view and is always activated in neck extension exercises.
If you want extra gains, it probably won’t hurt to add these. However, make sure you decrease the weight and don’t get injured. Your neck isn’t as strong when doing these exercises.
How many days a week should I do neck exercises?
If you’re new to neck exercises start off at 3 days per week. Build up to 5. Remember that you’re going after volume, not strength, so do it as much as you can. But give yourself adequate rest and don’t injure yourself.