Does Using A Neck Harness Actually Work?

neck harness
September 19, 2022 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “does using a neck harness actually work?”. I will explore whether the neck harness can help you to develop a stronger and thicker neck.

In a previous article I explored how using bands can be effective in building a thicker neck. You can view that article here. This article will be focused around the neck harness.

Does Using A Neck Harness Actually Work?

The answer is yes. Neck harnesses are one of the most effective ways of training the neck and isolating the muscles well. I would recommend using the neck flex as opposed to other harnesses with chains.

This is because the neck flex is more effective and offers a smoother range of motion. There is no “hitching” of the chain that you get with standard harnesses when you are exercising. 

To get the best out of the neck harness you should work various ranges of motion. Neck flexion, neck extension and rotation. Start off light and execute with control to ensure that you don’t injure yourself. Careful attention has to be paid to technique.

It is best to start off very light and add reps and weights very slowly over time. The neck responds really well to high rep ranges and can hypertrophy relatively fast.

How The Neck Harness Can Help

The main benefit of the neck harness is that it is an easier and less cumbersome way of isolating the neck muscles than using bands. 

With the neck harness you can get consistent reps in time and time again with no deviation. It may look strange and you should be prepared for some funny looks if you use this in a gym.

However, the tool is incredibly effective in building size and strength in your neck. American football players, boxers and MMA fighters are examples of people who have embraced the neck harness and use it regularly in their training.

Having a strong and thick neck is very important in a lot of contact sports. But it is also important from an aesthetic point of view. If you have muscle all over your body but a pencil neck, this will make you look very small and weak. 

Having a thick and strong neck is a sign of power and one that immediately garners respect. Therefore, training the neck properly will benefit you in every way imaginable. 

Mike Bruce Case Study

Mike “the machine” Bruce is a former wrestler and has become famous for his feats of strength. He has done a record seated neck curl with 300lb for 2 reps and has also performed the Hangmans noose.

The Hangmans noose is where you hang yourself with a noose. This demonstrates how insanely strong Mike’s neck is. In the video below Mike endorses the effectiveness of the neck flex neck harness.

He has done neck work with bands and cables in the past, but he finds the neck harness to be a great way to shock the neck muscles. Mike also explains that having a strong neck helps to protect your brain.

He has noticed that many bodybuilders who are muscle bound have small pencil necks. This doesn’t exude power and it also means that your neck is more susceptible to get injured.

You can check out Mike Bruce’s site here to learn more about him. 

AlphaDestiny Case Study

AlphaDestiny is another well known face in the lifting community that is very much into neck training. He uses a neck harness regularly and often uses cables to hook up his harness to.

One of the benefits of using cables is that you can get constant tension throughout the range of motion. With free weight exercises like the neck curl, there is more room for cheating. With cables you can get more out of less weight.

By using more controlled form with less weight you also reduce the risk of injury. According to AlphaDestiny, if you can neck curl between 35 to 45 lbs for 4 sets of 25, you are likely to have a very thick neck.

He is the biggest fan of doing neck flexion exercises for building up thickness in the front of the neck. However, you can also incorporate flexion movements to the side using the neck harness. 

neck harness

Neck Harness Study

There was a study [1] published in the Clinical Journal Of Sport Medicine in 2014, on the effects of neck strength training on isometric neck strength in Rugby Union players.

The participants in this study were 15 professional and 10 semi professional rugby union players. The 15 professional players undertook a 5 week neck strengthening program. This was performed twice a week.

The 10 semi professional players acted as the control group. The findings of this study showed that the professional players had increased their isometric neck strength in all planes. The control group showed no significant improvement in neck strength.

This illustrates the importance of dedicated neck training to improve neck strength. The neck harness is one of the best tools to do this.

Final Thoughts

 Does using a neck harness actually work? The answer is a resounding yes. The neck harness is highly effective and should be used by a broader range of people. It is not just for athletes, everyone can benefit from having a stronger and thicker neck.

You should use the harness to work in all planes – flexion, extension and rotation. If you use cables you can adjust the height of the pulley to work so many different angles and provide unique stimulation. 

Overall, the neck harness works very well. It is a good investment for anyone serious about building their neck. 

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!


[1] Geary, Kevin MSc*; Green, Brian S. PhD; Delahunt, Eamonn PhD‡,§Effects of Neck Strength Training on Isometric Neck Strength in Rugby Union Players. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: November 2014 – Volume 24 – Issue 6 – p 502-508 doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000071

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