Neck Exercises that KILL Your Neck (DO THESE INSTEAD!!)

Neck Exercises that KILL Your Neck (DO THESE INSTEAD!!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today we’re talking all about the neck and
how to build a bigger one, safely. See there’s a lot of options out there when
it comes to training your neck, but only a few of them are actually going to help you
train them safely. See if you can spot – in these exercises
– some of the things that you might have been doing in the past, because people have
told you to do these. Maybe they’ve been telling you to do this
neck bridging on your back like this. Maybe even lean forward and do them like this. The idea is, this series will do two things
for you. Number one: it will help you to build a huge-ass,
thick neck. Number two: it’s going to help you build a
huge-ass pile of shit for vertebrae that’s left over when you’re done doing those. You see, it’s not all about the muscles, guys. Especially if you’re watching this channel. It’s about doing what you do so that you can
have some longevity in the process. I’m going to break out Raymond here to show
you exactly why, because when you look at those exercises that I’ve showed you, we’re
not just talking about being able to build strength in the neck. We’re talking about the position you’re putting
yourself in, in the process of trying to do that and you are doing some major damage to
the structural integrity of your spine. Remember this, you only get one of these in
your lifetime. Only one. So you’d better protect it. What we’re looking at is, we get a lot of
compression through all of those because this is a closed-chain exercise. Normally, closed-chain exercises are fantastic. They’re exactly what you want to do. Exactly how you want to train. Especially if you want to train like an athlete,
but when it comes to the neck you do not want to train that way because you’re introducing
all this compression here through the spine. Now look at what’s going on here. All these little yellow things here exiting
the sides of the vertebrae are your nerve roots and they exit between the level of the
two vertebrae that they’re named after. So if you’re talking about a C5-6, it’s between
the levels of C5 and C6. If you’re looking at a C6-7 it’s between the
levels of C6 and C7. Now each one of these nerve roots is going
to control the actions down a specific distribution of your arm. So you can have a C6-7, which is being controlled
more by the tricep strength down that arm, motor wise. You’re going to also have sensory commands
as well, but you’re going to have a C5-6 that’s going to come down the deltoid into the bicep. The fact is, until you get compression on
one of these nerves, until this little nerve right here is compressed by a vertebrae, or
something in the area you won’t feel anything. You might feel a little bit of crunching in
the neck, but you’re not going to feel pain, or weakness down the arm. It’s the moment that you get this impingement
in connection with one of these nerve roots. Just like that you can go from 0 to 60 in
terms of discomfort, and weakness. Now, when you do those other exercises you’re
compressing the spine down, pushing these bones into each other. Then I have to in and either rotate side to
side, or I do the gapping side to side that way, or I’m pushing down and moving my neck
forward and back. The idea is that these two bones are now pressing
together and they’re grinding. When we get bone on bone, the response to
your body, or by your body, to that is to try to fortify the area a little bit. What it does, unfortunately, is it usually
lays down more bone called “bone spurs”, or “osteophytes”. Those bone spurs, all they’re doing is making
it a higher likelihood that it’s going to impinge, or touch upon this nerve. You’re leaving more – less room for the
nerve to occupy itself. Meaning it’s going to have a higher chance
it’s going to touch something. Again, you might be building a really great
neck by doing these exercises on the bone, but the moment that new bone formation, or
that compression that’s going on in here through the spine by doing them allows it to touch
the nerve, you’re going to be in a lot of pain, my friend. It may be the situation where you’re doing
this for a long period of time and never feel anything until the day you wake up and realize
“Holy shit! Jeff was right. I should have been doing something else.” What that something else should be is something
that people talk about all the time, or you’ve probably seen it as well. It’s a plate series. What you do is you wrap a plate in a towel,
put it on your head and you go through the four major directions of movement here. Which would be flexion, extension, and side
bending. Now as you see me here doing flexion, what
I do is I lay so my head is rested at the back of the bench, and laying backward over
the end of the bench. So when I go through the motion here I have
to flex my neck, bring it forward, in order to work the muscles on the front side. Then I flip over, I put the plate on the back
of my head, and I do the same thing. Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to bend
my head backward. I’m going to work the muscles on the backside
of the neck. When I turn on the side here and drop my head
down, and have to come up against the resistance of the plate, I’m actually now working one
side of the neck. Then of course, when I go to the other side
I’m working the other side of the neck. But that’s not even enough if you want to
do this properly. What you need to do in order to do this really
the right way, is add one more significant tweak. That is, if you want to work the neck, you
have to realize that postularly we’re usually all pretty messed up. We allow ourselves to have rounded shoulders
throughout the day, then our head follows our shoulders. The only way that our head will compensate
so that we can actually still see straight ahead of us, is to move up that way. So when it moves up that way what we’re doing
is, we’re stretching out the muscles on the front side of our neck here, and in the same
process, weakening them. So if we want to get this nice and strong
here, we can’t just train those four major directions. We have to do it in a way that we allow these
de-flexors of the neck to become activated and strong while we’re training our neck. S you need to be able to tuck your chin back,
and in this way. Not out here. Pull it straight back. If you have to you take your index finger,
you put it right at the point of your chin, you push straight back in like that. Once you’re strong in here, now I go through
my motion. If I want to go side bend, I go side bend. When I go flexion, I go flexion here. If I’m going to go extension, I go extension
here. So if you took a look at the plate series
again you can see that now, with this modification, pull the chin in, set it, and now do my reps. I don’t care if I have to decrease the number
of reps I can do to do them effectively with this combination of de-flexion, or if I have
to just lighten the weight. But for anybody that tells you “Oh, you can’t
build a really big neck that way. You need to be getting on the ground doing
that bridging series”, that’s complete bullshit. Because you can take any weight plate and
continue to progress it. I don’t care if you want to throw 100lbs
on there, if you can handle it. The idea of progressive overload is firmly
in place here and that is going to help you build bigger muscles regardless of whether
it’s in your neck, the biceps, your triceps, or your legs. So the idea is, allow yourself the chance
to strengthen your neck safely because you really only get one. If you abuse it you’re going to be in big
trouble down the line. As I’ve said before, those complications that
can happen from having all that compression, it’s not a matter of “Oh, I’m good. I’ve been doing it for a long period of time.” You don’t know what’s going on in here unless
you’ve had an MRI to show, or prove what damage you’ve done because the day you wake up you
literally will experience what I talk about here. That 0 to 60. No pain, to all of a sudden “I can’t really
move my arm. There’s so much weakness. I have a lot of pain here. What do I do? I can’t even move my neck.” You might have though you even slept on it
wrong. Maybe not. Maybe a lot more things are going on inside
your neck than you ever bargained for. So let’s do this the right way, guys. This channel is all about training and training
for the right effect, but at the same time doing it safely. If you’re looking for a workout program that
does the exact thing, never compromising the gains you can make, but just trying to guide
you down the way to do it the most safe way, for the most longevity; then head to
to get our ATHLEANX training program. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful, leave your comments and thumbs up below. This came as a direct suggestion that you
guys have made many times on this channel. That’s why I’m making this video for you. So continue to make those suggestions, and
I’ll continue to do the videos you want to see. All right, guys. I’ll be back here again soon. See ya.

59 thoughts on “Neck Exercises that KILL Your Neck (DO THESE INSTEAD!!)

  1. I got laughed at the gym today for trying these neck exercises with the weights on my face.
    Lets see who will laugh when they see my neck in 3 months from now.

  2. Hey Jeff! Great video, great content. I have been trying to build a bigger neck for a few months now using weights, as you illustrated in this video. I fear I am overtraining, or not adding enough weight to grow. I switch between a 45lb plate 4 sets of 25 reps, and then I do light weight 10-15 pounds for sets of 50-100. I also use a neck harness to get the neck flexion at home. Is this optimal? Do you have any suggestions? I have also been working on rack pulls above the knee for trap/neck/upper back focus. Thanks!

  3. This guy is awesome and very knowledgeable. No disrespect but your voice sounds just like Ross from friends lol… thanks for all the knowledge

  4. Great video, however, I have 3 questions:
    1. Why is compression on the cervical spine bad, but for the rest of the spine, it is ok? (eg squats/compression of thse spine from a weight on your shoulders ok, but if I put the weight all the way to the top of my head, it is suddenly not ok? Is it because you have no muscles in the neck to resist the compression, unlike in the torso?)
    2. What if the movement I need to strengthen/train is the rotation of the neck? Is there a modification for rotation?
    3. What is an appropriate calisthenics/no equipment variation of these exercises? I have a group setting I need to train at once and not in the gym – I can at most pair them up, to use the partner in some fashion, but no plates to speak of.

  5. Can't we do less range of motion, I mean most of things get out of hand when someone exaggerate things, may be we less likely chance of that bone generating thing in b/w vertebrates?

  6. As an Lightweight BJJ practitioner this is gold. After too many big and strong guys twisting, pulling, pushing and strangling on my neck, I frequently get neck pain. I'll give this a try and strengthen my neck from now on

  7. My neck has taken absurd punishment from all those years of staring at a phone in a nerd position. Sleep postures weakened my shoulders too. Also doing some stupid head isolation dance moves made them lean af. Time to get back to training.

  8. Theres been a lot of new thinking on neck training since this Video went out..3 years ago. Also what are your thoughts on the Iron neck?

  9. Neck training? I've heard people say "don't skip neck day" I thought it was a joke, like a meme. Are there really any asthetic benefits or needs for a strong neck? It seems really weird. I've been going to a gym for over 5 years and I've never seen anyone do neck excercises

  10. thanks Jeff, been doing those wrestling bridges for a couple weeks now – in the back of my mind I was thinking compression. you summed it up perfectly, def gonna try these exercises cheers mate

  11. Hello Jeff, love your informative video's and myself as well as my workout partner have incorporated much of what we learn into our daily routines, great stuff! Actually, it is a coincidence to see your video on neck workouts as just this morning my buddy and I were doing some of the routines you describe in this video. However something very ODD was occurring when we were trying the routine as you demonstrate in this video in which you lay on the bench, put a cloth covered weight on your forehead, then move the head front and back like you are nodding yes while laying down. The strange thing that my workout partner and I were experiencing is when either of us tried this routine, it made use physically nauseous! We re-attempted the routine several times and each and every time either of us tried it, both of us would get almost an instant sour stomach feeling bringing us close to vomiting. Never had anything like this happen before. Granted, there are times when sickness occurred after a rigorous leg workout but this was different. The fatigue and burning from the leg workouts was always attibuted to that. This neck routine however, made both of us almost instantly sick after only a few reps. Have you experienced this and if so, know the cause? Thank you for your help!

  12. This looks lot better. Just few minutes I saw Jeff Niparb or whatever his name. To me it's odd looking but what do you think of head harness??? I prefer the plate excersize

  13. I guess resistance bands are also "OK" can you please do that in one of the upcomin videos ? For neck and rest of the areas need to be trained

  14. This guy has more knowledge than most PT's pro body builders & boxing coaches especially for neck training my coach never once told me to tuck my chin when doin neck flexion yet never taught neck side bends or neck extension. Thank you #jeffcavaliere

  15. I got injured in hit, at boxing, ring, at fair,, 30 years ago, what exercise can I do, too get out of this awfully feeling, of damaged neck stiff and… Disbalence of shoulder blades ,

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