How to Get a Thicker Neck for Enhanced Strength and Aesthetic Appeal

Want a neck that screams strength and power? Tired of feeling like a bobblehead on a wobbly spring? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll reveal the secrets to get a thicker neck, because who needs a puny pencil neck when you can rock a tree trunk? So, grab your invisible dumbbells and let’s pump up that neck muscle! Short answer: It’s all about targeted exercises and smart training. Now, let’s dive into the details, shall we?


Having a thick and muscular neck is often associated with power, strength, and a desirable physique. Whether you’re a bodybuilder, athlete, or simply want to enhance your neck for aesthetic or practical reasons, there are exercises and techniques you can incorporate into your fitness routine to achieve a thicker neck. In this article, we will explore the benefits of a strong neck, the difference between neck fat and muscle, effective exercises to strengthen your neck, potential risks, and other ways to build muscle in your body.

Before embarking on neck muscle training, it’s crucial to understand the muscles in this area. The neck is susceptible to injury, so knowing which muscles to target and how to effectively build strength is essential for achieving a well-developed and thick neck.

How to get a thicker neck?
Thick Neck

How to Get a Thicker Neck – A step-by-step guide

Trapezius Muscles

Key Player in Neck Strengthening

The trapezius muscles are large muscles that extend across the upper back, from the base of the skull to the middle of the back. They also extend outward from the spine to the shoulder blades, forming a trapezoidal shape. The trapezius muscles are responsible for moving the shoulder blades and providing general support for the arms. Functionally, these muscles can be divided into three major parts.

The upper region of the trapezius muscles primarily supports arm movements and resists forces pulling the arms away from the body. The middle section works in conjunction with the biceps to keep the shoulder blades attached to the body and allows for scapula retraction. The lower part medially rotates and depresses the scapula, providing a rotational range of motion and bringing the scapula closer to the body.

While the main functions of the trapezius muscles are related to the back and shoulder blades, their extension into the neck and shoulders also contributes to a thicker neck appearance in bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Strengthening and increasing the mass of the trapezius muscles can lead to a well-defined neck.

The Role of the Platysma

The platysma, a broad and thin sheet of muscle, is located under the chin and extends along the upper portion of the chest. Its muscle fibers cross over the clavicle and move upward towards the sides of the neck. Though often overlooked, the platysma plays important roles in neck function.

The thickest part of the platysma is responsible for depressing the lower jaw, allowing for proper mouth closure. It also contributes to facial expressions by pulling the lower lip down and facilitating mouth angling during various emotions. While not the dominant muscle in these actions, its presence is vital for their execution.

Anatomy of Neck Muscles
Image by rebelem

Displaying Well-Developed Neck Muscles

Flexing Neck Muscles

Developing neck muscles follows the same principles as training any other muscle group such as building muscle mass, reducing body fat for muscle visibility, adding a proper diet and finding the right balance between exercise and rest.

Building Muscle

Understanding the Process of strengthening any muscles

Muscle growth occurs through a process called muscular hypertrophy. When you challenge your muscles through resistance training, they undergo microtears. In response, the body repairs and strengthens the muscle fibers, making them more resilient. This repair process requires protein as building material and glucose as fuel. Ensure you consume adequate protein and carbohydrates to support muscle growth and energy expenditure during workouts.

Burning Fat

Enhancing Neck Definition

To achieve a thicker neck with visible muscle definition, it’s important to reduce overall body fat. While spot reduction is not possible, focusing on fat burning through regular workouts and a balanced diet can help reveal the neck muscles you’ve been developing.

To effectively target the neck muscles

  • Focus on building the trapezius muscles by working them upward and outward.
  • Supplement with exercises that engage the front of the neck.
  • Avoid ineffective practices like attaching weights to the head.

By concentrating your efforts on the right muscles and maintaining a consistent training routine, you can transform your neck’s appearance with less effort than you might expect.

The Significance of a Thick Neck

While there is no specific measurement to define a thick neck, it is generally assessed in proportion to your body’s height, weight, and composition. A well-developed neck can contribute to a balanced physique and is often admired for its attractiveness. However, beyond aesthetics, strengthening your neck can have several practical benefits.

By working on your neck muscles, such as the trapezius and deltoids, you can positively impact other muscles in your body. A thick neck can also help reduce the risk of injuries, stress, and general neck pain, which is especially crucial for individuals involved in sports or physical activities that heavily rely on neck strength.

Distinguishing Between Neck Fat and Neck Muscle

Ideally, a thick neck should result from muscle development rather than excess fat. Differentiating between neck fat and neck muscle is relatively simple.

Fat deposits in the neck area tend to be softer to the touch, and the skin may appear looser. On the other hand, a muscular neck feels strong and firm, especially when flexed.

It’s important to note that excessive fat in the neck region, particularly due to obesity, can carry certain health risks. It may result in narrower airways in the throat, increasing the likelihood of sleep apnea.

Research from 2010 suggests that larger neck circumferences are associated with increased cardiometabolic risks, indicating that upper-body fat can have specific health implications. While obesity can contribute to neck fat, it is typically a result of insufficient physical activity and poor eating habits rather than underlying medical conditions.

Exercises to Strengthen Your Neck

To tone, strengthen, and thicken your neck muscles, incorporate the following exercises into your workout routine. Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise, adjusting the numbers based on your needs and fitness level.

Neck Flexion

  • Stand tall with a straight spine.
  • Slowly bend your head downward, aiming to touch your chin to your chest.
  • Keep your mouth closed during the exercise.
  • Return to the starting position.
Neck Flexion (neck strengthening exercise)
image by semanticscholar

Neck Lateral Flexion

  • Stand with correct posture, looking straight ahead.
  • Tilt your head to the side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder.
  • Ensure your shoulders remain flat throughout the exercise and avoid lifting them.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Neck Extension

  • Use a four-way neck machine or perform this exercise without equipment.
  • Push the back of your head backwards as you move your chin away from your chest.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Stand while turning your head to the side and looking over your shoulder.
  • Maintain stability in the rest of your body.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
  • You can use your hand to provide resistance.
Image by DesertCart

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

  • Stand with your back straight, tucking your chin into your chest.
  • Drop your shoulders down and back.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as closely as possible.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Image by Krames Staywel

Dumbbell Shrugs

  • Stand tall and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body.
  • Lift your shoulders as high as possible while exhaling.
  • Hold this position for at least 1 second.
  • Lower your shoulders back down to the starting position.
Image by StrongShopUSA

Benefits of Neck Exercises

Engaging in neck exercises offers various advantages beyond thickening your neck muscles. These exercises help release tension, tightness, and stiffness in the neck, reduce pain, and increase flexibility. Regular neck training can also help prevent neck and cervical spine injuries.

According to a 2007 study, long-term neck muscle training can enhance neck muscle strength and range of motion while reducing pain and disability in individuals with chronic neck pain.

Additionally, a 2010 study suggests that combining neck exercises with stretching, muscle endurance, and strength training can alleviate headaches and neck pain effectively.

Risks of Neck Exercises

It’s crucial to approach neck exercises with caution to avoid overworking or misusing your neck muscles, which can lead to pain and injury. Be mindful that strained muscles, worn joints, and nerve compression can result from excessive stress on the neck.

If any exercise causes discomfort or doesn’t feel right, refrain from doing it.

Maintaining good posture and proper alignment during neck exercises is essential to prevent unnecessary stress or strain. Perform the exercises with slow, controlled movements, avoiding forced motions.

Remember that you don’t need to work out your neck every day—allow for sufficient rest between sessions.

Neck Injury
Image by TheInvisibleinjury

When Can You Expect Results?

While you may begin to feel the effects of neck exercises before they become visible, noticeable results typically emerge within a few weeks or months of consistent training. Several factors influence the timeline, including your fitness level, body size, body fat percentage, and the duration and intensity of your workouts.

Methods for Building Muscle

If you’re looking to build muscle in other parts of your body, consider incorporating strength training into your fitness routine. This can be achieved with or without equipment, utilizing resistance tubing, free weights, weight machines, or engaging in a full-body exercise program. Supplements such as creatine, whey protein, or beta-alanine may also support muscle development. Always consult with your doctor before adding supplements to your regimen and ensure you obtain them from reputable sources.

Are you tired of dealing with neck pain?

One of the most effective exercises you can try is the chin tuck exercise.
This exercise not only helps combat neck pain but also strengthens the muscles that align your head properly over your shoulders, known as the upper chest extensors. Additionally, it provides a stretch to the scalene and suboccipital muscles.

Wondering how to strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles?

Dumbbell shoulder raises are a great option. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent knees. Hold a weight in each hand, allowing your arms to hang down at your sides with your palms facing your body. Shrug your shoulders up, contract the upper trapezius, hold for a moment, and then lower them.

Now, let’s address the question of what causes weak neck muscles?

Myasthenia gravis is one potential cause, as it can lead to weakness in the neck, arms, and legs. Weakness in the legs can affect your ability to walk, while weak neck muscles make it challenging to keep your head upright.

If you’re looking for,

Best exercises to alleviate neck pain

Here are five effective options,

To perform the following exercises effectively, you will require some equipment. Gather the following items:

  • Foam roller
  • Tennis ball
  • Golf ball or Foam roller ball
  • Chair

Fascia Roll/Tennis Ball (Upper and Middle Back)

Starting Position: Lie on your back and position the foam roller beneath your shoulder blades. Lift your hips off the floor, engaging your abs and glutes. Ensure that your hips, back, and neck form a straight line. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck.

Execution: Slowly roll back and forth, massaging your back muscles and promoting spine mobility.

Variation: If you have specific painful spots, use a tennis ball or golf ball to target them. Apply pressure to these areas for 20 to 40 seconds until the pain subsides.

Standing AWTUVI

Starting Position: Stand with your back against a wall, ensuring your entire spine and arms touch the wall. Your arms should form the shape of the letter “A.” Pull your shoulder blades back and down, pressing them, along with your elbows and wrists, against the wall.

Execution: Move your arms through various positions, forming different letters.

W position: Bend your elbows and bring them up to chest level.
T position: Stretch your arms out to the sides, aligned with your chest/shoulders.
U position: Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, raising them to shoulder level.
V position: Straighten your elbows and raise your arms diagonally above your head.
I position: Stand with your arms raised directly above your head.

Repeat the exercise several times, allowing each position to flow smoothly into the next.

Standing AWTUVI

Neck strengthening exercise
Image by Runtastic


Starting Position: Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides and elbows slightly bent.

Execution: Perform the exercise in the same way as the standing position but while lying face down. Repeat the exercise several times and remember to flow smoothly from one position to another.

Sitting T-Spine Rotation with a Foam Roller

Starting Position: Sit on a chair, maintaining an upright upper body. Lace your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing out. Place the foam roller between your thighs and press them together to stabilize your hips.

Execution: Rotate your head, elbow, shoulder girdle, and thoracic spine to the side. While maintaining this position, tilt your upper body to the side. Repeat the exercise multiple times.

Image by Runtastic

Quadruped T-Spine Rotation

Starting Position: Get on all fours, positioning your hands shoulder-width apart with slightly bent elbows. Keep your knees hip-width apart, ensuring your body is parallel to the floor. Place one hand behind your head.

Execution: Open up your upper body to the same side as the hand behind your head. Then, lower the bent elbow toward the base elbow. Repeat the movement several times, then switch sides. Maintain still and square hips throughout the exercise.

These exercises target your upper and middle back, promoting mobility and strengthening the associated muscles. Incorporate them into your routine for a healthier and more flexible back.

Now, you might be wondering if neck exercises actually work.

While consistent training of the neck muscles can help strengthen them, there haven’t been any definitive studies to confirm their efficacy. Exercise is beneficial for your overall health and muscle toning, but it won’t eliminate excess skin.

Let’s address another common query

Do shrugs work the neck?

Shrugs primarily target the trapezius muscles, located on either side of your neck. These muscles control the movement of your shoulder blades, upper back, and neck. Strengthening your trapezius muscles can help pull your shoulders back, providing stability to your neck and upper back.

Now, let’s talk about the safety of neck rolls. While neck rolls and stretches can be beneficial for reducing stress, they are not suitable for everyone. Studies have shown that relaxing the muscles in your neck, jaw, and face can have a calming effect on your nervous system. However, it’s essential to be cautious and consult with a professional to ensure proper execution.

Looking for ways to strengthen your neck?

Isometric Exercise

Try these neck isometric exercises:

  • Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor, maintaining a straight back and shoulders pulled back.
  • Place your hand over your ear and use your neck muscles to press your head into your hand.
  • Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Put both hands on your forehead and push your head forward.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
Isometric Neck Exercise
Image by Kiropraktorcentrum

Can neck problems cause head tremors?

Yes, in addition to neck pain, some individuals may experience head tremors. Retrocollis refers to the extension of the neck (chin up), while anterocollis refers to neck flexion (chin down). There may also be lateral or sagittal shifts, as well as shoulder elevation.

What causes a sagging neck?

This condition is often linked to specific neuromuscular disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, polymyositis, and genetic myopathies.

Can neck problems cause head tremors?

Yes, in addition to neck pain, some individuals may experience head tremors. Retrocollis refers to the extension of the neck (chin up), while anterocollis refers to neck flexion (chin down). There may also be lateral or sagittal shifts, as well as shoulder elevation.

How to build your neck muscles ?

Here are some effective exercises:
Neck flexion: You can perform this exercise without equipment or use a four-way neck machine.
Neck-side flexion: This exercise can be done without any equipment.
Neck extension: Use a four-way neck machine or perform this exercise without equipment.
Neck rotation.
Dumbbell shrug.

losing neck fat?

Follow these tips:

  • Reduce your daily calorie intake to shed excess weight.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water daily.
  • Incorporate neck exercises into your routine.
  • Engage in cardiovascular exercises.
  • Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Practice neck stretches.
  • Increase your intake of lean protein.
  • Chew gum, as it can help exercise the muscles in your neck.


If you’re experiencing tight neck and shoulder muscles, they could be a result of strained or injured muscles, Prolonged sitting, improper sleeping positions, injuries, poor posture, and misalignment can contribute to this condition.

To alleviate Neck tension


  • Getting a massage.
  • Applying heat or ice.
  • Soaking in salt water or a warm bath.
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Practicing meditation.
  • Engaging in yoga.

If you’re struggling to hold your head up, you may be dealing with Dropped Head Syndrome (DHS).

This condition is characterized by severe weakness in the neck extensors, leading to progressive kyphosis of the cervical spine and an inability to maintain an upright head position. Weakness can be isolated or associated with a generalized neuromuscular disorder.

To improve your neck alignment

try the following exercises:

  • Head tilt: Slowly tilt your head forward, resting your chin on your chest.
  • Head rotation: Rotate your head to the left until you feel a stretch.
  • Neck stretch: Push your chin forward to feel a stretch in your throat.
  • Side head tilt: Tilt your head toward your left shoulder to stretch the neck.

If you’re having trouble rotating your neck, it may be due to torticollis, a condition caused by a joint or disc injury. Whiplash or awkward sleeping positions can contribute to this problem. The neck requires sufficient movement, so any limitation can affect its rotation.

Feeling a heavy sensation in your head on your neck can be attributed to injuries or strain on the neck muscles. Sports injuries, car accidents, lifting heavy objects, and muscle cramps can all contribute to this discomfort.

It’s essential to address the underlying cause and consider appropriate treatments.

Note :  Remember, it's crucial to consult with a fitness professional or trainer for personalized guidance and to ensure proper form and technique during neck muscle training.

The final words are if you are interested in strengthening the Neck you should understand the Muscular anatomy of the Neck and trapezius.

Incorporate some exercises such as Neck Flexion, dumbbell shrugs, neck lateral flexion, shoulder blade squeeze and Neck extension as these exercises are beginner friendly and help a lot to tear the muscle fibers which will eventually make your neck stronger and thicker.

If you Have pain in your Neck Then you must be careful while exercising and consult a doctor for the exercises.

Also Check | Transform Your Back with the Dumbbell Lat Pullover: The Best Ultimate Exercise for Size



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