I’ve spoken to a couple of the current Olympia competitors about the very things I’m about to share with you. I’m not going to mention any names but … I am going to talk about a weak point on both of them and … that body part is their neck.
There’s a prevailing notion that upright rows, side lateral raises, etc. is going to build our neck enough to keep it up to par with the rest of the body. Occasionally that might be true because some guys look pretty good even if they never do any actual neck work. Not great, but okay.
But then again, there are others who’s neck looks downright scrawny and detracts from the overall impact of an otherwise fabulous physique.
We used to say … “Their necks looked like a Stack Of Dimes”. It’s too bad because the neck responds just like any other bodypart. It just has to be worked into your routine.
Your neck should be as wide as your head when viewed from the front but it shouldn’t be much wider or it makes you look like a “pinhead” and detracts from the rest of your physique.
Here’s a couple of terrific neck exercises that are easy to do and very effective.
The first is the Preacher Stand Wrestler’s Bridges. The best way to do this thing is to pull the top of the Preacher bench out of the upright and lay it on floor with the post butted up against a wall.
To work the front of the neck (sterno-cleido-mastoids) lean over at the waist and place your forehead on the bench. While in this position rotate your neck up and down and to the sides. It’s a little tough if you haven’t done it before so … right at first you probably want to support some of your weight with your hands until you build up some strength.
Then to build the back of the neck (upper trapezius), put the back of your head against the bench and do the same thing.
You need something like a preacher bench to rest your head on because … if you try to do it with your head on the floor, you end up skidding across the floor on your face.
Another great neck exercise is the Barbell Plate Neck Curl. It’s done by laying face up on a flat bench with your neck hanging over the end. Then with a 45 lb plate padded with a towel, place the plate with the hole right on your forehead and while holding on to the plate do the same movement you were doing on the preacher bench. Then switch around to the back side and do the same thing. This exercise is not as comfortable as wrestler’s bridges but it lets you select the weight.
Actually, you need both exercises to add variety to your workout, which is the key to faster growth.
The nice thing about these exercises is … you don’t need any special machines.