Strengthening the cervical vertebrae and building up the neck muscles is essential, especially for those with a strong chest. It is even proven that in case of an accident, a muscular neck allows to avoid injuries. From an aesthetic point of view, a neck that is particularly developed is a real asset of seduction. However, it should not be forgotten that this part of the body is fragile, so it is important to strengthen it gradually and by following the right bodybuilding exercises. As the neck is attached to the spine, the slightest wrong movement can have serious consequences.
The neck is a part of the body that we don't talk about much, we have a vague idea of it, because in the collective imagination it represents the relay between the head and the trunk. We massage it when we are stressed, we twist it to the right and to the left when we feel a little muscle fatigue and then we move on without really paying attention.
However, it is our messenger, the one that alerts us when the body starts to get tired, since it is the link between the head, whose brain is the decision-making centre, and the other parts of our body. It is therefore important to pay attention to it when doing physical activities that involve working the back or neck muscle.
Namely, theneck anatomy is made up of vertebrae, muscles, nerves and also organs. Let's take a closer look at how all this looks:
It has two layers of muscles: the deep muscles and the superficial muscles.
What are the muscles of the neck used for?
The deep muscles help the other parts of the neck to perform their functions such as swallowing, head rotation, bending and rotation of the cervical vertebrae, and they also connect the scapula to the rib cage. The contraction of these muscles ensures the flexion of the cervical spine.
As for the superficial muscles, they are used to lift the shoulders backwards, they are connectors between the shoulder and the skull, they also allow to turn the head thanks to forward flexions.
For this reason, it is essential to strengthen the neck in order to avoid muscular contractures and tensions. Stiffness of the neck muscle fibres can cause pain in the upper and lower back. And this back problem can be unbearable. Through muscle strengthening exercises alternating between warm-upsBy using a combination of relaxation and contraction, you will develop your neck muscles while maintaining a consistent physique. It all comes down to the posture you adopt during your workouts to work your neck muscles without any danger.
Even the greatest sportsmen: contact sports, English boxing, rugby, bodybuilding and other sports, need to have a muscular neck.
Normally, when you practice weight training in the gym, you muscle your neck partly thanks to the other exercises but it can be interesting, as in my case, to work it in a specific way to make up for this weak point.
Having a muscular neck: the benefits
Within the framework of the musculation, the neck must be worked as well as the biceps, the thighs as well as the pectoral muscles. Indeed, an impression of fragility emanates from a muscular body whereas the neck is fine. In the same way, the neck is stressed for combat sports or contact sports such as rugby. It is important to know that a muscular neck absorbs shocks and thus protects the spine. Neck injuries are also very impressive and often require a long period of immobilization.
To build up your neck, you must, like others muscle groups Choose the right exercises and take it slowly. If you force yourself, the strong compression can hurt your muscles and your neck.
Exercises to strengthen the neck muscles
To strengthen the neck, it is not always necessary to do complex physical exercises, sometimes basic movements are effective to develop this part of the body.
The main purpose of this exercise is to the muscles in the neck and trapezius. And to do it, you need a bar. First, spread your legs slightly and bend them. Raise the chest and then gradually lift the bar until it is halfway up your thighs. Throughout the exercise, your body should remain straight. Slowly lower the bar and repeat.
For this exercise, the weights to be lifted will depend on the individual. Nevertheless, beginners should start with light weights and increase the loadAs with all bodybuilding exercises, it is important to keep in mind that it is not possible to do all the exercises at the same time. Like all bodybuilding exercises, the deadlift must be done properly.
Elongated neck flexion
This exercise is also recommended for strengthening the neck. I particularly recommend it because no special equipment is required. Just take a bench, lie on your back with your head hanging down. Then bring your head up to rest on your chest. This movement will be done several times.
When you will have acquired the good gestures, correct the series by holding a washer of cast iron at the level of the face. Even with such a load, the movement must be precise and slow. Attention, risks are to be feared for those which try to accelerate the exercise.
The shrug in front of the bar
If this exercise is often used to develop the trapezius musclesYou can do it to strengthen your neck. To do this, stand with your legs slightly apart so that they are parallel to your shoulders. Keep your head straight during the exercise.
The front bar shrug consists of holding the bar loaded, in front of your thighs and with your arms straight. Then raise your shoulders and contract your trapezius muscles to lift the bar, without having to bend your elbows. Do not hesitate to make long series, because the risk of false moves is rather lower.
This exercise is practically the opposite of the lying neck flexion. So take the bench or chair and lie on your stomach with your head hanging down. This time, the head moves down towards the floor. Note that the back must remain straight to avoid injury.
As with the recumbent neck curls, you can make the exercises more challenging by supporting a weight on the back of the neck. Again, the movements should be long and precise. Avoid sudden movements as much as possible.
The Farmer's Walk
Despite its rather original name, this exercise is very used to develop the muscles in the neck. It consists of lifting two heavy objects of equal weight. These can be dumbbells, trap bars or even sandbags. Once loaded, perform a short walk. This is the farmer's walk. Your neck will be used and the muscles will develop as the exercise progresses.
We don't always think about it, but most weightlifting movements also make it possible to muscularize the neck. This is the case for the shoulder press, snatch, muscle snatch, clean deadlift, high pull and many others. For best results, incorporate two variations three times a week. Start with basic exercises. In most cases, dumbbells and the Kettlebell will be essential.
The Karwoski kirk rows
This exercise is quite similar to shrugs, as it involves holding a heavy barbell and then raising it up to your belly button. You will hold it up for a few seconds before lowering it slowly. Again, feel free to do long runs to optimize results.
The side elevations
While the lateral raises target the shoulders in particular, they also help to build up the neck. The movement is quite simpleHold a weight and then raise your shoulders to perform the lateral raise. Be careful, don't be tempted to stop at 90°, you have to go higher. This movement should be repeated several times.
Muscles to work on
The neck is made up of about ten muscles that are used when you have to turn or tilt your head. These muscles protect the spine cervical vertebrae. It is therefore essential to strengthen them with the right exercises.
In order to build muscle in this part of the body, other muscles such as the middle and upper trapezius must be developed. Therefore, the exercises that aim to develop them are particularly recommended.
In addition, you can work the posterior deltoids, which are a bundle located at the back of the shoulders. All you have to do is perform a simple bird with a dumbbell.
How does neck pain manifest itself?
The neck is a real crossroads sinceit connects the nervous systemThe neck is the most important part of the body, and it is the most important part of the digestive system, as well as all the muscles and the skeleton. Consequently, the pains that one feels at the level of the neck can have various origins.
If you are experiencing neck pain, you should know thatthey can be caused by a ligament stretchThis can be caused by arthrosis, muscular contractures or inflammation of the tendons. Similarly, herniated discs cause neck pain.
On the other hand, if you have severe neck pain, it may be due to torticollis, osteoarthritis or whiplash. The most common symptoms are neck stiffnessHeadaches, migraines or pain in the back of the neck. Eye strain or tingling in the hands or arms are symptoms of neck pain.
Focus on simple exercises to relax the neck
There is no better way to avoid ailments such as cervical osteoarthritis than with exercises that strengthen the neck. If necessary, you can always perform simple movements that will help relax your neck:
- Stretch your neck muscles by placing your hands behind your neck. Then pull on each side to relax the muscles.
- A manual massage is also an excellent alternative for relieving neck pain. The gestures are quite simple, as it consists of gently massaging behind the ears before continuing slowly towards the base of the head.
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