For athletes that are involved in contact sports, training the neck is an extremely important part of injury avoidance and preparing for the demands of the sport. The problem with training the neck is that most equipment for doing so is expensive and takes up a lot of space. In this video, elitefts Executive Equipment Specialist Nate Harvey shows an alternative to large, costly pieces of equipment for training the neck. With the help of elitefts Purchasing Director Andy Hingsbergen to demonstrate, Nate walks through the setup of the Iron Neck and explains five exercises athletes should be performing with it.

WATCH: Equipment Feature with Nate Harvey — Rackable Cambered Squat Bar

First, Harvey explains the setup. Place it even on your head in line with your forehead and adjust the tension by using the pump on the side. This locks the Iron Neck onto your head so it fits snug and doesn't move like traditional neck harnesses would. Then attach the Iron Neck to either a cable machine or bands (the video demonstrates the cable machine setup, which is optimal). When you set the height of the attachment, you want it to be parallel to the floor. Now you're ready to start.


For the first movement, face the machine and take a step back. With your torso straight up and down, spin your entire body around five times one direction and then five times the other direction. You want the focus to be on torso position and keeping the neck locked to the body.

Look Left, Look Right — Four Positions

There are four positions to this movement, and you should repeat the same motions in each position. First, facing forward, keep your head level and turn it from left to right. Keep moving only your neck in a smooth motion for five each direction. Then turn around, face away from the machine, and repeat five head turns each direction from left to right, focusing on the movement being one smooth motion. Turn again facing laterally from the machine and repeat. Finally, face lateral to the machine the opposite direction for another five reps each direction.

Locked Neck Body Turn – Four Positions

To begin, face the machine and hold your hands in front of you like you're praying. Then lock your head in place with your torso and turn your upper body to the left and then to the right. Repeat five times and then change the direction you're facing for the reverse position (away from the machine), and then both side positions. The key to this movement is keeping your neck locked in place. This is a great exercise for mimicking many of the motions athletes experience during sport competition.

Figure Eight — Two Positions

Facing the machine, move your neck in a motion that mimics your nose drawing a figure eight in the air. Perform eight figure eights in each direction, and then face away from the machine and repeat.

Protraction and Retraction — Two Positions

Begin this movement by facing the machine again. Keeping your torso upright, extend your neck as far toward the machine as you can and then retract your neck as far back as you can. Perform eight of each of these, focusing on not looking up or down each movement but only protracting and retracting. Face away from the machine for another eight reps. Remember smooth, slow motions rather than jerking with your neck.

Diagonals — Two Positions

Facing the machine, perform this movement by pointing your nose down at your right shoulder and then upward to the ceiling over your left shoulder. Your neck should move in an angle from down to your right and then up to your left. Then switch sides so your nose points down toward your left shoulder and then up, over your right shoulder. Do eight reps each side and then turn around to face away from the machine for the same number of reps each side.