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There are plenty of reasons why men want a big and strong neck, and not just to look more aesthetically pleasing.
A muscular neck is more functional and will help you to avoid and overcome injuries in contact sports. It will also help you overcome neck stiffness and soreness too.
So what can you do to build massive neck muscles? Here are some tips to help you achieve that goal.
The Different Neck Muscles
The neck region is made up of over a dozen muscles that help stabilise and assist the movement of your head. These muscles can also assist other activities, for instance, shoulder movement and respiration.
Let's look at these muscles in more detail:
When people talk about their neck muscles it is usually their traps that they are referring to.
Your trapezius is a flat, triangle-shaped muscle that extends from your neck, down along your spine down to the middle of your back and across your shoulder blade.
There are both right and left traps, and they are used to support your arms and shoulders. They are needed to help raise your arms.
These are three pairs of muscle found in the lateral neck; scalenus anterior, scalenus medius and scalenus posterior. Sometimes there is a fourth muscle present called the scalenus minimus. This fourth muscle is found behind the lower portion of the scalenus anterior.
The purpose of these muscles is to help lift the top two ribs and to help bend your neck.
There are 2 muscles, one is a broad muscle (splenius capitis) located at the back of your head, while the other (splenius cervicis) is a smaller muscle found below the splenius capitis.
These muscles are used in movements such as the shaking of your head.
This is a skeletal muscle located at the back and side of your neck. Its primary function is to lift your scapula.
This is a long bilateral muscle of your neck that is attached to the sternum, the clavicle and the temporal bone.
It is used to help flex the neck both laterally and anteriorly. It is also used to help with head rotation.
The Benefits of Building a Strong Neck
One of the major benefits of a stronger neck is that it can reduce everyday neck pain.
If you have ever woken up to a stiff neck then you should take steps to strengthen your neck.
Research has shown that long-term neck muscle training can reduce pain and also increase the strength of your neck muscles and their range of motion , this is good for those who suffer from chronic neck pain.
There is also research  that has shown that those who perform neck exercises had reduced headache and neck pain.
For those in contact sports, a strong neck is a must. A strong neck can help prevent “whiplash” from contact in sports, and in sports like boxing or MMA it can prevent your brain from being jostled too much if hit.
It has been shown that American football has the highest incidence of head and neck injury. With 0.41 concussions per game . By using machine-based neck training you can increase isometric cervical neck strength .
Tips for a Bigger and Stronger Neck
If you want a bigger neck then there are two things you should look at.
As with any muscle group you will need to make sure you are eating enough, and getting the right kinds of nutrients to aid in muscle recovery and growth.
You will also need to perform exercises that will work your neck muscles. I would highly recommend doing some neck stretches beforehand.
Best Exercises for a Strong Neck
If you want to strengthen and build the muscles of your neck then I would suggest the following exercises:
#1: Dumbbell Shrugs
To perform dumbbell shrugs you will need to hold a pair of dumbbells at your side with your palms facing inwards.
While you keep your arms straight you should shrug your shoulders towards your ears, holding this position for 10 seconds.
You should then return to the starting position before you repeat the movement again for the required number of reps.
#2: Push Press
In a standing position, you should grab a barbell using an overhand grip. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder width.
Rest the bar at clavicle level, slightly bending your hips and knees.
You should then extend your hips, knees and ankles, driving the barbell overhead.
The barbell should then be slowly returned to the starting position, before repeating the movement for the remaining reps.
#3: Dumbbell Upright Rows
With this particular exercise, you will use a staggered stance holding the dumbbells in front.
You should keep your hands close to your body, and should then drive your elbows high to raise the dumbbells to chin level.
This position should be held for around 10 seconds before you return to the start position ready for further repetitions.
#4: Dumbbell Rows
Placing your right hand and knee on a bench with your left foot on the floor, you should hold the dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing inwards.
You should then bring the dumbbell to your chest, keeping your elbow tight to your body.
Next, the dumbbell should be lowered to the start position. That is one rep. You should then repeat the movement for the required repetitions.
Potential Risks of Neck Exercises
While you may want to build up the size and strength of your neck muscles if you overwork them or misuse them then you may risk pain and injury.
Failure to perform the exercises using the correct form can lead to muscle strains, worn joints and nerve compression. It is important that any exercise performed does not make any injury worse. If it does not feel right, then it is best that you don’t perform it.
I would recommend using good posture and proper alignment. You should perform each exercise in a slow and controlled manner.
You definitely won’t need to work your neck every day. And it is important that you allow yourself adequate rest between workouts.
Well, now you know why having a strong neck is important, and how you can achieve this goal yourself.
Hopefully, you have taken in some of the information provided. If you have any of your own tips that you have used to build your own neck muscles then we would love to hear them. Leave your tips below using the comment form provided.
Remember you need adequate nutrition to build muscle. Our bulking article will help with this.