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What is the best workout for building a strong neck? A strong neck can be a necessity in some high contact sports. Here are some great workouts.

Before you begin any resistance exercise for the neck always warm up first. Move your neck forward and backward, side to side, and turn your head from left to right. Do 20-30 reps of each movement to warm up.

1-Neck harness

    Place a neck strap on the floor at the end of a flat bench. Once you have selected the weights, sit at the end of the flat bench with your feet wider than shoulder width apart from each other. Your toes should be pointed out.

    Slowly move your torso forward until it is almost parallel with the floor. Using both hands, securely position the neck strap around your head. 

Tip: Make sure the weights are still lying on the floor to prevent any strain on the neck. Now grab the weight with both hands while elevating your torso back until it is almost perpendicular to the floor. Note: Your head and torso needs to be slightly tilted forward to perform this exercise.

    Now place both hands on top of your knees. This is the starting position.
Slowly lower your neck down until your chin touches the upper part of your ches      while breathing in.

    While exhaling, bring your neck back to the starting position.
    Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

2-Neck Flexion

Neck flexion is another way of saying “tilting your head forward.” The chief muscles involved are the longus colli, longus capitis, and infrahyoids. These neck flexor muscles can easily be worked on a four-way neck machine by facing the machine and putting your forehead against the pad, then tilting your head forward against the resistance and performing repetitions.

Unfortunately, four-way neck machines have gone the way of the dodo bird in most gyms to make room for chrome machines, BOSU balls and other “functional advancements.” Instead of crying alligator tears over this blasphemous charade, get creative. You can perform this movement against a resistance band, provide your resistance against your forehead or even have a competent partner resist.

3-Prone Cobra

A more advanced exercise that strengthens the muscles of the shoulder girdle as well as the neck and upper back is the prone cobra exercise. This is done lying on the floor face down. The face down position uses gravity as resistance in the strengthening process.

    Lying face down, place the forehead on a rolled up hand towel for comfort.
    Place the arms at the side, palms down on the floor.

Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth (this helps stabilize the muscles in the front of the neck to assist in strengthening)
    Pinch the shoulder blades together and lift the hands off the floor.
    Roll the elbows in, palms out and thumbs up .
    Gently lift the forehead about an inch off the towel keeping the eyes looking     straight at the floor (do not tip the head back and look forward).
    Hold the position for 10 seconds.
    Perform 10 repetitions.

4-Shoulder Shrugs

This exercise is excellent for working the traps and the neck muscles. It also works the forearms from gripping the weights.

 Grip a barbell shoulder width apart. Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the barbell at arms length in front of you.

Keep your arms straight during the entire movement. Sag your shoulders downward as far as you can. You will feel your traps stretch, hold this position for a second. Shrug your shoulders upward and squeeze your traps at the top. Hold this position for a second. Repeat.

For variety you can do this exercise from a low cable pulley or use a pair of dumbbells instead of a barbell.