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Jones1874

Neck Training - 'The Neck Flex' and Alternatives

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Jones1874

Ive recently came across a product called 'the neck flex'. For anyone that hasnt heard of it, its a head/neck harness that uses resistance bands instead of your typical harness which requires you to use weight plates.

As far as i can see, there are only pros to this training equipment. Its portable, light, doesnt require weight plates, has a smoother action. You can train different angles and takes hardly any effort to set up. I think the added addition of the chin strap would make curling your neck forward towards your chest feel smoother to. The only downside is the price tag.. If your in the UK it costs around £107.00 .. if it werent so expensive id definitely pick one up.

Im going to try and upload videos of The Neck Flex, and worthy alternatives. This post miight need to be edited as i dont think ive uploaded videos before so bear with me!

1. Mighty Joes review. Probably the best review ive seen as he covers the pros and cons, and demonstrates how you can work the neck from lots of different angles for more variety.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dfD8EQq62IM

2. Mike 'The Machine' Bruce review.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KyhWGZeHlPg

3. Neck Flex review. Showing yet again different angles to target the neck.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cn6EWjhxlEo

 

I made this thread for those interested in training with this piece of equipment (Im not affiliated with the Neck flex in anyway), training their neck with bands, cheaper alternatives, and for anyone who has never trained their neck before, or bring light to those whove been skipping neck day.

I own the Ironmind Neck Harness, I love it, and will always use it to neck curl heavy weights. I liked the idea of using bands for the front of the neck, but especially the sides of the neck. Ive recently started neck training again. Ive fixed an injury to the side of my neck using a theracane. Before then, I use to lay on the top of the stairs and do my neck curls (front and sides), but i injured the side of my neck pretty bad by adding weight and not bracing properly. which resulted in me going to the hospital because i couldnt turn my neck to the left what so ever. Ill never forget the look on that doctors face when i said ive been doing 'neck curls' and had to go into detail haha!

Back to the point, i dont want that type of injury again so ive been looking for alternatives. Ill post a few more videos that you can do on the cheap, if your interested or have any thoughts on this subject id be happy to see what you think.

 

1. Ross Enamait

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohy7yGBnJY4

2. Joe Defranco

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AjfutdMhL8E

3. Scott Leech

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pIaMZdaSB0w

4. Strongergrip 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzy0nNROu2o

 

Hope this sheds some light and gives you a few idea of your own!

Alex.

 

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terminal

Alex,

I use the Spud harness and try to get 100 reps in total  (4 sets of 25) before I increase the poundage. I prefer to use a longer chan than the one that it comes with in order to get a smoother motion when I drop my head forward. I know that Mike Bruce has done absurd weights but I have kept it light (and am no Mike Bruce). I use a min-band for sides of neck and I will loop the band over my head and look over each shoulder. I keep the resistance light for this. I will also do manual resistance for approximately 5 second holds in the four directions. Admittedly I have mostly just used the harness in the conventional manner so have neglected training much of the possible neck movements available to me. 

 

The most intense effect on my neck that I have felt is actually from doing infrequent greco-roman type wrestling and jiu-jitsu. My neck can get really sore afterwards. 

 

I would like to pay more attention to my neck so I look forward to the discussion on this thread.

 

Al

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Jones1874

Thanks for the reply.

Spud inc make good quality equipment. I bought one of their dip belts before which you can tell is quality. Ive never tried the Spud neck harness though. The Ironmind harness is longer than your average run of the mill cheap harness as well, But you can really tell the difference if youve trained with both. As far as comfort, balance spread evenly on both sides, and the pump you get at the end of your workout there's no comparis

I stick to pretty much the same rep range. 20-25 reps per set. Once i can get to that rep range with a certain weight ill add 1kg ,or 2kgs if im feeling good. Sets very slightly. some days i can work all angles (front, back, both sides) for 3 sets and my neck can be so pumped i can hardly turn it. If im not as focused i might have to stretch to 4 sets, but on the 5th, your getting about 5 measly reps.. so then ill just do an isometric hold to failure (not with the head harness) to get as close to failure as possible. 

I like the sound of adding in the looking over the shoulder movement to hit the neck from a different angle and to add extra size and strength to the neck. A movement you cant really do with free weights.

Whats the brand of the mini bands you use? I was thinking of getting some bike inner tubes until my neck gets strong enough to use my jump stretch bands.

 

Thanks

Alex.

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terminal

My mini-bands are fairly generic. I think that most of them come out of the same factory in Sri Lanka. A local company brings them in and brands them (In Vancouver, Canada so very far from your location).

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Jones1874

How many days a week do you train your neck, or plan to? Since im new to the movements again, until the soreness goes my plan is to train day on-day off. Or train it hard then take 2 days off. ill do this until im happy with the size of my neck, then Ill probably just hit ithard twice a week.

Would you mind posting a link of the bands your using?

In regards to the videos Ive posted, are you going to give any of those methods a go? What ive noticed in the videos where people are using bands, the bands are attached close to their head, which is what makes the movement smooter. They aren't using long harnesses like we have which i think would make trai ing the side of the neck awkward and lack that smooth motion.

If you look at the number 4. Alternative where Ryan from strongergrip uses a small tow stap, he cant get a good range of motion because the strap is too far from his head. So he ends up doing more of a partial/isometric movement. You'll notice this on other videos on youtube. Some people are ok with that, but training that way through experience, you want full range of motion for best results.

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Jones1874

Another option is to use a bungee chord.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bungee+cord&client=tablet-android-samsung&prmd=sivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi255en6ePVAhWGKlAKHehRAFoQ_AUIEigC&biw=601&bih=962#imgrc=Be1OiviT7aVfUM:

I Just borrowed one, tried it out quckly and it seems to work very smoothly especially for hitting the sides of the neck. I havent tried it for curling my head toward my chest, maybe another time. As well as using my neck harness to neck curl heavier weights im hoping to have a good session later on today.

If you have one lying around its worth giving it a try.

Alex.

 

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bencrush

The straps look really efficient and safe.  I used to just hold a plate on the front of my head and then on the back of the head and that worked pretty well.  You just have to remember to focus on not using the hands to pull the weight instead of using your neck muscles to do the work. 

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Jones1874
7 hours ago, bencrush said:

The straps look really efficient and safe.  I used to just hold a plate on the front of my head and then on the back of the head and that worked pretty well.  You just have to remember to focus on not using the hands to pull the weight instead of using your neck muscles to do the work. 

Which strap are you referring to? The one Ryan from stronger grip used?

Your right there. Some will cheat slightly by using their hands to assist or even their abs in some cases.

Im going to go back to using a plate on the front of my head, the bungee chord didnt feel right from that angle. As for working the sides, im going to alternate between using a plate and slow down my tempo for a better mind-muscle connection, and finish with an isometric hold. 

I have Jump Stretch bands here to. When my neck gets stronger Ill use those to do isometric holds from every angle.

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terminal
On 2017-08-18 at 7:11 AM, Jones1874 said:

How many days a week do you train your neck, or plan to? Since im new to the movements again, until the soreness goes my plan is to train day on-day off. Or train it hard then take 2 days off. ill do this until im happy with the size of my neck, then Ill probably just hit ithard twice a week.

Would you mind posting a link of the bands your using?

In regards to the videos Ive posted, are you going to give any of those methods a go? What ive noticed in the videos where people are using bands, the bands are attached close to their head, which is what makes the movement smooter. They aren't using long harnesses like we have which i think would make trai ing the side of the neck awkward and lack that smooth motion.

If you look at the number 4. Alternative where Ryan from strongergrip uses a small tow stap, he cant get a good range of motion because the strap is too far from his head. So he ends up doing more of a partial/isometric movement. You'll notice this on other videos on youtube. Some people are ok with that, but training that way through experience, you want full range of motion for best results.

@Jones1874 Sorry I've taken awhile to respond, went off on a camping trip.

I am getting back into it using two or three sessions weekly and usually just adding one neck movement towards the end of my session as I am trying to keep training sessions brief at the moment.

These are the bands I use, much the same as Jump Stretch bands I think:

https://www.fitnesstown.ca/All-Fitness-Equipment-Departments/Accessories/Resistance-Tubes--Bands/Stretchwell-20-Bands/Product.aspx?PriceCat=1&Lang=EN-US

I'll have a look at all those videos you posted links to soon.

Have you tried wrestler's bridges?  I have done it a bit but not enough to get any results or strong opinions about them. I know that they are considered dangerous.

As for using plates against the head, I have done a bit of that but mostly using medicine balls instead.

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Jones1874

No problem at all. Got to live your life!

I have done wrestlers bridges before but im talking years ago. Youd never catch me doing them these days, times have moved on. Apart from using a neck harness, there are much better and safer alternatives out there, like the ones weve covered so far in this thread.

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Jones1874
On 17/08/2017 at 8:19 PM, terminal said:

The most intense effect on my neck that I have felt is actually from doing infrequent greco-roman type wrestling and jiu-jitsu. My neck can get really sore afterwards. 

And in regards to this ^

That makes perfect sense. In those two sports people are constantly pulling on your head to get control of you. If you trained your neck more often i doubt it would be an issue. Like you said, its just fitting it in when you can.

Edited by Jones1874

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Jones1874

As far as my own training is concerned, ill have to look at different options. Im only 3 sessions in from training my neck and i can already feel that old injury creeping back up on me. The first session went well and i was really happy with it, but these last 2 havent been great.

I dont want to ruin my neck so im gonna be trying some of the different options linked in the thread.

I dont think ill be using free weights to work my neck soon, im going to go with bands and see how that feels. The neck flex seems ideal, but its just too pricey for what it is.

 

EDIT: I just found this video by Westside Barbell

Im going to try this for my next neck workout and see how it feels. I may not even hit the sides as its my left side thats giving me trouble. Id like to find a lighter band (bike inner tubes) to go through the motion and get a feel for it before doing anything intense.

Again, heres another option for you. Its portable and could be set up pretty much anywhere. You can even have someone to hold the band if theres nowhere to fix it to.

Alex

Edited by Jones1874

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Old Dax

Hi Jones!

Check this site for bands:

http://www.fitstream.com/fitness-equipment/resistance-bands/

I think they're German owned but the link is based in the North East.

I have their micro, mini, super mini (similar to a monster mini), light and average bands. They are extremely similar in feel / resistance to the original Jumpstretch bands I ordered from the states. If you want bands I would go here. I tried Myprotein brand bands but they feel different (less gradual build of tension) and are less durable IMHO.

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anson

Don't forget the jaw muscles.

 

 

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maidenfan
Posted (edited)

What I used to do in my old gym   Gotta be careful though, as you can put a lot of tension on the neck quickly  

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bCNSwuAyzA8

Edited by maidenfan

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richcottrell

i just got a Neck Flex two days ago and will be revisiting these old questions... but if anyone has updates to this very None-grip  thread, please feel free to chime in... or more specifically, please chime in,

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