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The 10 Best Neck Exercises For Boxing

Combat sports like boxing require immense physical fitness and strength. Athletes need to be quick on their feet, have strong arms, and most importantly, a powerful neck.

Mike Tyson is one of the greatest boxers of all time who had an incredibly powerful neck that played a pivotal role in his success.

To achieve similar results, boxers must train their neck muscles through specific exercises that enhance strength, stability, and flexibility. The right set of neck exercises can help improve balance and coordination while reducing the risk of injury during training or fights.

In this article, we will discuss the ten best neck exercises for boxing that every boxer should incorporate into their workout routine for better performance in the ring.

Benefits of neck exercises for boxing

Improved Flexibility

Boxing requires a great deal of athletic performance, especially for pro boxers. In addition to strength and speed training, improving flexibility is also crucial. Neck exercises can help boxers achieve better flexibility, which can significantly enhance their boxing skills.

The neck muscles are notoriously difficult to train but are critical in boxing as they support the head’s weight and movement. With proper training, these muscles will become stronger and more flexible. This can help prevent injuries and improve balance during fights.

Pro boxers often use neck exercises to increase their flexibility and improve their dodging abilities in the ring. By making small adjustments to head positions or angles quickly, they can avoid punches effectively.

Improved neck flexibility also allows them to move their heads more quickly and accurately in all directions – an essential skill for any successful boxer.

Increased Strength

Strengthening your neck muscles can also improve overall athletic performance. Stronger neck muscles can help stabilize and support heavy loads during weightlifting exercises, as well as improve posture and balance during sports activities.

Therefore, incorporating these neck exercises into a regular boxing workout routine can benefit athletes beyond just boxing.

Decreased risk of injury

Boxing is a combat sport that involves a lot of head and neck movement. The neck muscles play an important role in protecting the head from injury during a fight. Exercising the neck muscles regularly can help to reduce the risk of injury during a fight.

Performing neck strengthening exercises regularly can reduce your risk of sustaining an injury during boxing or any other combat sports that involve high-impact movements to protect yourself while competing in sports activities or even in daily life situations when unexpected accidents happen.

RELATED: Mike Tyson Neck Workout: The Astonishing Ruthless Routine

Neck exercises for boxing

Neck Flexion

  • Maintain an erect posture with your spine straight and your feet positioned at a distance equal to the width of your shoulders.
  • Initiate the motion by gradually bringing down the rear of your head, ensuring control and preserving the alignment of your neck and back.
  • While holding the fully extended position, take a quick break if you feel a pull in the muscles at the back of your neck.

Barbell Shrugs

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulderwidth apart and hold a barbell in front of your thighs with an overhand grip.
  • Keep your arms straight and your core engaged.
  • Lift your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your shoulders back down.

Neck Extension

  • Begin by sitting in a comfortable position with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Slowly tilt your head back, arching your neck as far as you can comfortably go.
  • Hold this position for a moment, then slowly release your neck and head back to the starting position.

Neck Lateral Flexion

  • Begin in a seated position with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently tilt your head to the right side until you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck.
  • Hold this position for a moment.
  • Slowly return your head to the starting position and repeat it on the side of your neck.

Resisted Band Isometric Neck Hold

  • Connect a resistance band to a fixed anchor point at around shoulder height.
  • Sit or stand with your back to the anchor point.
  • Using both hands, grab the resistance band palms inward.
  • Place your head in a neutral position and look straight ahead.
  • To produce tension in the band, take a step away from the anchor point.
  • Hold the band with your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Maintain tension while holding the isometric contraction for the appropriate duration.
  • Relax and bring your head back to a neutral position.
  • Repeat the exercise at various angles.

Neck Crunch

  • Lie on your back on a flat surface, such as a mat or the floor.
  • Kneel and rest your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows pointing outwards.
  • Gently tilt your chin towards your chest, and slowly lift your head and shoulders off the floor.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your head and shoulders back down.

Neck Plate Curls

  • Place yourself on a comfortable area and support your back and head.
  • Put a weight plate on your forehead and secure it with both hands. Throughout the workout, keep your elbows bent and close to your sides.
  • Maintain control by slowly curling your neck upward and lifting your head towards your chest.
  • Hold the contracted position for a few seconds, concentrating on engaging your neck muscles.
  • Return your head to the beginning position in a calm manner.

Resisted Band Neck Rotations

  • Connect a resistance band to a fixed anchor point at around shoulder height.
  • Stand or sit with your back to the anchor point.
  • With both hands, hold the resistance band palms inward.
  • Begin with your arms straight out in front of you and the band taut.
  • Rotate your head slowly to one side while keeping your chin level.
  • Feel the band’s resistance as you rotate.
  • Hold the rotated position for a few seconds, using your neck muscles. Return to the starting position and rotate to the opposite side.

Isometric Barbell Shrugs

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and an overhand hold on a barbell.
  • With your palms towards your body, hold the barbell in front of your thighs.
  • Throughout the exercise, engage your core and keep your back straight.
  • Lift the barbell by shrugging your shoulders as far as they will go.
  • Hold the shrugging position for the proper amount of time while squeezing your shoulder muscles.
  • During the grip, avoid any jerking or bouncing motions.
  • Maintain tightness in your shoulder muscles.
  • Return to the starting position by lowering the barbell in a controlled manner.

Neck Figure 8s

  • Begin in a comfortable position and place a resistant band on the front your forehead.
  • Tilt your head forward and bringing your chin to your chest.
  • Begin rotating your head in a circular motion from this posture, moving your right ear towards your right shoulder, then tilting your head back and bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder.
  • Continue in a circular motion, returning to the starting point after completing the whole figure 8 pattern.
  • Without bouncing movements, perform the movement gently and smoothly.
  • Repeat the figure 8 motion in the opposite way, beginning from the left ear and ending with the left shoulder.

What equipment is needed for training the neck?

Neck Harness

You must have seen fighters nowadays do boxing neck exercises with a neck harness device, it is a type of exercise equipment that is specifically designed to strengthen and condition the muscles of the neck.

This equipment typically consists of a padded strap or harness that is secured around the head or forehead, along with a chain or strap that is used to attach a weight plate for added resistance.

The device are commonly used by athletes, especially those involved in contact sports like boxing or wrestling, as well as individuals who are undergoing rehabilitation or physical therapy for neck injuries.

By performing these exercises regularly, individuals can improve their neck stability, enhance muscular strength, and reduce the risk of neck injuries.

Weight Plate

A weight plate can be used for neck plate curls to strengthen their neck muscles, especially boxers. A strong neck is a crucial component of boxing as it helps absorb punches and reduces the risk of injury.

It’s important to note that proper form should be maintained at all times when using this equipment to prevent injuries and maximize results.

Weighted Barbell

A weighted barbell is a perfect piece of equipment for individuals looking to strengthen their neck muscles. Using a weighted barbell for shrugs engages several muscles in the back, shoulders, and neck.

This exercise targets the trapezius muscle that runs along your spine and spreads across your shoulders to your collarbone. It also works on strengthening the levator scapulae, rhomboids, and serratus anterior.

Using a weighted barbell while performing shrugs can help increase resistance and promote muscle growth in these areas over time. Additionally, using this equipment can help you maintain proper form during the exercise by keeping both hands evenly spaced apart on the bar and allowing you to easily control the weight.

Incorporating this type of equipment into your workout routine can be especially beneficial for athletes like boxers who require strong neck muscles to withstand punches during sparring or matches.

Resistant Bands

Resistant bands for neck holds and rotations are a valuable piece of equipment that can be used during boxing training. These bands provide resistance as the boxer moves their head in different directions, strengthening the muscles in the neck.

By using resistant bands, boxers can improve their overall neck strength and stability, which is essential for protecting against potential injuries caused by punches.

The benefits of using resistant bands for neck exercises extend beyond injury prevention. A stronger neck also means that boxers will have better control over their head movement in the ring.

This improved control allows them to keep their head from being pushed back by an opponent’s punch and helps them maintain balance during footwork.

incorporating resistant bands into a boxer’s neck workout regimen is an effective way to improve neck strength and stability while providing additional benefits such as improved head movement control.

Boxers should consider adding these exercises to their routine to help them stay safe and perform at their best in the ring.

Iron Neck Device

The iron neck device is a piece of equipment designed to help strengthen the muscles in your neck. This neck strengthening device consists of a padded helmet that fits over your head, with adjustable straps to secure it in place.

A metal ring attaches to the front of the helmet, which you can then attach resistance bands or cables to. This allows you to perform various exercises that target different parts of your neck.

Using an iron neck device can help improve your overall strength and stability in the ring, as well as reduce the risk of injury from any impact received during sparring or matches.

It’s a valuable tool for anyone serious about their boxing training and looking to take their skills to the next level.

How often should you train your neck?

Boxers need strong neck muscles to take punches without getting knocked out or injured. Neck strengthening for boxing is crucial, and how often you train your neck depends on your fitness level and goals.

Boxers can train their neck 2-3 times a week to improve their strength and endurance. However, increasing the workout frequency to 5 times a week can be beneficial for those who want more significant results.

Boxers training neck should include exercises that target all the major muscle groups in the neck, such as the upper trapezius, lower trapezius, levator scapulae, and sternocleidomastoid.

Some of the best exercises include head nods, lateral head tilts with resistance bands, chin tucks with a towel or ball between your chin and chest, and rotation exercises with weights or resistance bands.

It’s essential to start slow when training your neck muscles for boxing as they are sensitive compared to other body parts. Pay attention to any pain or discomfort during exercise and adjust accordingly.

Also, make sure you warm up before starting any exercise routine by stretching or doing some light cardio activities like jogging or jumping jacks.

Is it safe to do a neck bridge?

The neck bridge is a popular exercise that boxers such as Mike Tyson did it’s also popular among wrestlers to strengthen the neck muscles. The exercise involves lying on your back and raising your body up by supporting yourself with just your head and feet.

While this can be an effective way to develop strong neck muscles, it can also be very dangerous if not performed correctly.

Although you can strengthen neck muscles ne of the biggest risks associated with the neck bridge exercise is the potential for neck pain or injury. This is particularly true if you are new to the exercise or are attempting it without proper instruction or guidance.

We don’t recommend boxers or mma fighters to do this exericse because of risks outweights the benefits.


Neck exercises for fighters are essential in boxing. Athletes who want to excel in the sport should not underestimate the importance of a strong neck. The best neck exercises for boxing include chin tucks, neck bridges, and head nods.

These exercises target different muscles that contribute to a fighter’s overall strength and agility.

Moreover, it is crucial to note that proper form is vital when performing these exercises. Fighters should consult with their trainers or coaches to ensure they are doing them correctly and avoid any injury that may compromise their performance. Consistency is also key in reaping the benefits of these neck exercises for boxing.

Adding the best neck exercises for boxing into a fighter’s training regimen can help improve their flexibility, strength, and endurance. It takes dedication and discipline to develop a strong neck but with consistent practice and correct form, fighters can achieve optimal results on the ring.

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