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Protect Your Neck! 7 Exercises to Strengthening Your Neck & Shoulders for Grapplers & MMA Athletes

neck exercises

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Hey you, yeah you! Are you experiencing a sore neck from all the work you have been putting in on the mat? Well, you’re not alone! Not to mention, we have a bad habit of always looking down whether that is at a phone or looking at our laptops for work. Lately, we have been looking into ways to strengthen our neck and found something extremely useful! In this post, we will give you practical neck exercises you can do (from pretty much anywhere) and introduce you to a game-changing device that has helped thousands of people!

neck exercises

Understanding the Importance of Neck Strength for Grapplers

Combat sports such as grappling are grueling, both mentally and physically. Along with building up the required skills, you need to have the physical strength to be able to push your weight around and survive the opponent’s onslaught. 

Having strong neck muscles is key here, as issues such as neck pain are pretty common while practicing grappling. This is due to the neck strain that can be caused when the muscles are taken beyond their range of motion. 

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the practitioners often target their opponents’ necks in order to submit them. Hence BJJ grapplers do neck workouts to condition the neck as part of their training and they have this in common with wrestlers. 

Amateur wrestlers’ necks have to deal with a lot of weight and pressure, which cause neck strain that can lead to chronic neck pain. They too need strong necks in order to prevent injury and relieve neck strain. 

Grapplers have to take this training more seriously as they can’t just rely on easy stretching exercises for half hour a week.

neck exercises, neck ache

Key Benefits of Neck Exercises for Grappling Athletes

Neck workouts are great for everyone, especially if you’re a grappler. You get a thick and strong neck that can help you during matches. They prevent neck strain and protect you from injuries. The neck becomes stronger which means that it is harder to control.  

Other than that, the quality of the brain’s signals are enhanced due to the crucial position of the neck. The overall posture is improved as well as the body’s balance and coordination. Those who work out their neck regularly even tend to breathe better. 

Top Neck Exercises to Enhance Stability and Injury Prevention

In order to prevent neck strain and enhance strength and stability, you need to incorporate some key neck exercises in your routine. You should do these on a designated day or add a half hour more for them whenever you’re training your upper back or shoulders. 

There are several exercises for strengthening and stabilizing the muscles that also prevent neck strain. The best ones are the following: 

decrease neck pain, neck exercises

Lying Neck Extension

The neck extension is an important exercise and can be done in various ways. This specific version is done by lying on your chest on a bench with your head hanging over its edge. You then pull your head down to form a double chin and then look straight down.

You then return to the starting position without bringing your chin forward and repeat the motion for a great workout of your cervical spine.

side neck raises

Side Neck Raises

For this, you lie sideways on a bench with your head hanging over its edge. Then you slowly raise the head and return it to the starting position. Once you get good at this you can even move on from body weight to using a weight plate placed on the side of your face. 

neck rolls, neck exercise

Neck Rotation

For this straightforward exercise, you start with your head in a neutral position and just have to turn your head slowly from side to side. Try not to utilize the full range of motion when you turn your head. Don’t pull your head backward or lower it towards the chest though. 

Standing Neck Extension

This one’s similar to the first exercise on this list but you’re standing. The motion is pretty similar as you have your chin tucked, and then you retract the head and look at the ceiling. Then you return to the starting position which is the tucked position. 

Scapular Retraction 

For this exercise, you’ll need a resistance band but it can be done at home as a warm up for more difficult exercises. You put the band around your bedpost and extend it with both hands with your elbows at 90 degrees. Follow this up with shrugging and squeezing shoulder blades. 

Thoracic Rotation

This requires a resistance band and you start by standing and keeping your neck straight. Then you line up against a wall with your hip and lateral thigh against it, while your arms and palms in front of you – the latter being closed together.  

Begin the rotation by reaching your outside arm forward and rotating your inside arm around the wall. You also rotate the inside shoulder so that the palm faces the wall. You draw the scapula back on the ribcage for a full rotation after you draw up into the noon position. 

Iron Neck Exercises

The Iron Neck is a revolutionary device that helps you work out your neck in the most optimal manner possible. It allows for a series of exercises that stabilize it and prevent neck pain. It should be an excellent investment for your neck’s well-being. 

Building Strength and Endurance

Building neck strength and increasing the neck’s endurance should be the goal of every combat sports athlete. Exercises that strengthen the muscles such as bridges and various kinds of shrugs can be opted for here. 

For the non-body weight exercises, moderately high weights can be used. You should substitute volume for good form and a small rep range. 

Incorporating Neck Exercises into Your Grappling Training Routine

There are several ways to seamlessly add neck workouts into your training regimen. The simpler solution is to do these exercises before your workout as they’ll be a nice warm-up for your grappling training. 

Or, you could do them at the end of the workout provided you have the energy for the tasks. Another way to do this is to work out on the days when you’re not training so that you dedicate your whole energy and focus to it. 

Introducing Iron Neck: A Game-Changing Tool for Neck training in Grappling

Do you want to build a stronger neck? or maybe you currently have neck pains and want to work yourself back onto the mats. We can understand how frustrating this can be to be sidelined in this way but we found something that helps!

The Iron Neck is a state-of-the-art device that helps you train in the best ways possible. You put it on top of your head and it provides you many advantages which include a more actively engaged central nervous system, and better muscle activation.

The six foundational movements of this device are the 360 Spin, the Look Left & Look Right, Protraction & Retraction, Locked Neck Body Turns, Diagonals, and Figure Eights. Because of the Iron Neck, you’ll be able to do these flawlessly.  

With the Iron Neck, you resist strain, thereby reducing simple neck pain.

The Iron Neck

Boost neck strength and size by 10-fold with the Iron neck!

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