How To Build A Thicker Neck – Detailed Guide

November 8, 2021 0 Comments

In this article I will give a detailed guide on how to build a thicker neck over time from consistent neck training. I will also detail the importance of having a thicker neck and the benefits that it provides. If you look around most gyms you will rarely see a bodybuilder doing neck specific training. The best you might see is a set of dumbbell shrugs every now and then. How to get a thicker neck is something that many bodybuilders ask themselves. 

Benefits of building a thicker neck

In my opinion there is nothing worse aesthetically than a muscled bodybuilder with a small neck. It instantly exudes a sign of weakness and fragility. As humans when we talk to a person we look at their faces – a big thick neck is something that catches the eye immediately and can command respect as it is a sign of power. Not only this but a thicker, stronger neck reduces your risk of neck injury. Neck training is commonplace amongst many athletes for this reason. In addition it can reduce neck stiffness and instances of headaches. Pictured below is Kurt Angle, a well known wrestler and olympic champion. He won a gold medal even with a broken neck, ever since he broke his neck he has been training it consistently with even more focus. Doesn’t this image exude power and masculinity?   

kurt neck

Exercises to build a thicker neck

How to get a thicker neck? Now we move into the actual exercises that can be used in order to build a thicker and stronger neck. You can get into specific training using a neck harness, but for me old school type movements are sufficent. The best movements in my opinion for this objective are neck curls and neck training using heavy duty resistance bands. Neck curls are where you lie on a flat bench with your head slightly off the bench. Put a towel over your head and then put a weight plate on your forehead and just using your neck muscles move your neck down and up. When coming back up just be sure to stop when your neck is in a neutral position and not to start tucking your chin in too much. Start light on this exercise initially with say a 5kg plate and aim to do sets of around 20 reps. Slowly increase the weight over time and keep the reps high.

Another incredible neck exercise is specific training using heavy duty resistance bands. Essentially you drape a resistance band over your head, push the band away from your head to apply greater tension and step back to increase the tension. Then you just move your neck side to side for high reps, or you can move your neck down and up. With resistance bands you will feel an incredible pump in your neck and if you slowly increase the tension over time using heavier resistances you will develop a lot more neck thickness and strength. Pictured below is the starting position when you are using resistance bands.

neck training with bands


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Neck goals to shoot for

I would say for bodybuilding purposes for men, a neck circumference of 17 inches or more would be a great goal to go for. You certainly wouldn’t be in any danger of having a pencil neck and it would bring up your physique in general. In my case my neck is 17 inches and I just train it twice a week specificially. One day I do the neck training with resistance bands and another day I do neck curls using weight plates. I also incorporate dumbbell shrugs or shrugs with resistance bands into my routine for total trap development. I believe if I trained my neck even more often very heavy then I could build a bigger neck closer to say 19 inches. But I am happy in the range I am in and two or three neck specific exercises are enough for me in my training. Genetics also play a big role in neck development, for example Kurt Angle with his 21 inch neck is already predisposed to building muscle very easily in his neck and he trains his neck religiously. 

Ease yourself into neck training

If you have never done neck specific training exercises like the ones I have outlined in this article, don’t worry. Don’t be in a hurry to rush off and start neck training with high volume with exercises you have never done before. Just ease your way into these exercises, start off light and be in it for the long haul. You will benefit from “noob” gains in your first year of neck specific training. From there you will never look back! How big and thick you want to build your neck is up to you. Have a goal that you want to work towards – is it a 19 inch neck or maybe 20 inches? Once you have set out your goal, set a plan and stick with it religiously for the long term just like you do with your bodybuilding workouts. 


How to get a thicker neck? This article has shown you how and I have explained the importance of neck training, exercises to build a thicker neck and good goals that you can shoot for over time. Make sure to put a towel over your head when doing neck specific training to ensure you don’t bruise your face. When using resistance bands be careful as well that you don’t lose control of the bands and go through a controlled range of motion. Try to avoid too much cheating and “body English” as this could lead to a neck strain or injury.

I would love to hear from you if you are already using some of these neck exercises in your own training. How have you fared with these training methods and what results have they given you? If you have any questions regarding neck training or want further clarification from me about the exercises outlined please leave a comment below. Neck training was an eye opener for me and not something that I even thought about for many years. Only in recent years have I gained more knowledge on this subject and how important it is in the quest for a formidable and aesthetic physique.


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