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Why do boxers train their neck?

Why do boxers train their neck?

Why do boxers train their neck?

Don't let a weak, untrained neck be the reason you lose a match in training, or worse, have to miss months of training due to injury. Instead, read this article to understand how important neck exercises in boxing are to strengthen your neck and protect you in combat sports. A strong neck makes you less susceptible to whiplash that can cause a concussion, which will not only put you out of action for long periods, but also increases your risk of long-term brain injuries.

In addition to the risk of brain injuries, whiplash can cause serious damage to the neck, causing pinched nerves, swelling and pain, as well as general discomfort. Today we are going to discuss the importance of neck exercises for a boxer or anyone involved in combat sports. We'll also share our favorite ways to train your neck for boxing!

Why are neck exercises so important in boxing?

There's no doubt that if you're going to box, you're going to take a few hits to the jaw. If you've fought before, this is something you already know. Repeated head movements over time can cause a concussion or, at the very least, neck pain and swelling. So how can you prevent this from happening?

Many people believe that wearing a boxing helmet is enough to prevent injuries, but unfortunately, this is not true. With a stronger, thicker neck, your head will be better supported and you won't feel the effect of whiplash as much. You will be able to absorb blows and counterattack without wasting time. Over time, you'll protect both your brain and your neck by strengthening your neck from the start. To avoid injuries and improve your performance in combat or in the ring, let's see what are the best neck exercises for boxing.

What are the best neck exercises for boxing?

One of the biggest advantages of training the neck for boxing is that it doesn't require a lot of time, effort, or equipment. You won't notice that it takes long for your neck muscles to recover from these exercises, and they won't interfere with other workouts in terms of recovery.

When you search the internet for the best exercises for your neck, you will find some pretty strange answers, including headstands, neck planks, towel exercises, etc.

Our opinion?

These really aren't worth your time, and many of them aren't even safe. We recommend that you stick to basic exercises that have been shown to be beneficial for both combat sports and athletics in general. Before sharing our favorite neck exercises, we'll discuss the type of equipment you'll need.

What equipment is necessary to strengthen your neck for boxing?

A good neck workout will require a neck harness or a more sophisticated neck strengthening machine. Of course, you can try just using your body weight or placing your hands above your head for resistance, but to really strengthen your neck, you'll need some type of resistance: weights or resistance bands.

The neck harness will be used with these and will clip onto the back of your head. Then, you attach your weights and you can perform the movements that we will share below. For these exercises, we recommend getting a quality model like the one from the RDX brand:

Now, without further ado, let's talk about neck strengthening exercises for boxing.

The basic movements

Before starting an intense workout, it is important to start with basic movements to gradually develop your neck and avoid injuries. For this, you can follow Solid Mike's advice to take your first steps in the development of your neck:

Exercises with a neck harness

Once you have mastered the basic movements, you can begin the controlled movement patterns of boxing, particularly exercises that require the use of a neck harness. Be careful, the neck is fragile, so do not overload the harness. Start with light 1kg weights and gradually increase while paying attention to your sensations.

Exercise 1: Neck flexion

  • Stay standing and adjust the neck harness to your size.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Move your torso forward by slightly bending your knees.
  • Place your hands on your knees.
  • Lower your neck as you inhale.
  • Return it to its starting position as you exhale.
  • The entire movement counts as one repetition. Aim for ten repetitions and gradually increase.
  • Don't forget to go slowly.

Neck curls can also be performed lying down, for example on a bed or ring with the head in a vacuum, or face down on a weight bench.

Exercise 2: Neck Extension

  • Sit with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Adjust the harness on your neck according to your preference.
  • You do not need to lean forward for neck extension.
  • Slowly tilt your neck back toward the ceiling.
  • Hold the position for at least 5 seconds.
  • Go back to the starting position.
  • Aim for five repetitions at first.

The exercise can be done standing, but ideally it is done sitting.

Final Thoughts on Neck Training Exercises for Boxing

Now you know how important neck training exercises are for boxing and you know exactly where to start. Finally, we want to reiterate the importance of adjusting your form with these movements before adding weight. Train with just your head weight in front of a mirror, then consider a neck harness or iron neck brace.

Boxing is a wonderful sport, but also one of the most dangerous in its practice. So don't neglect the shape of your body, and in particular your neck before going to train!


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