How to Strengthen Your Neck for Boxing: My Top 3 Exercises

Boxers and fighters in general often wonder how they can get a stronger neck. Having a strong neck with developed muscles is believed by many boxers to increase punch resistance or chin. Many pro boxers, from Floyd Mayweather to Anthony Joshua have been photographed and filmed doing grueling neck exercises to improve their ability to take a punch. So, how do you strengthen your neck for boxing?

  • Isometric Neck Exercises
  • Exercise With A Weighted Neck Harness
  • Do Dumbbell Shrugs

Why Workout and Strengthen Your Neck For Boxing?

Boxers and fighters in general understand the importance of having an extra strong neck. A strong neck and good ‘chin’ allows a fighter to withstand hard punches from their opponent. While the best chin in boxing or MMA is the one that doesn’t get hit, you have to expect to get hit at some point when fighting- so being prepared is key. One’s ability to take a shot well is often something you are born with, but if you strengthen your neck and trap muscles, you will improve your ability to take a punch. This is because having a strong neck and upper back will keep your head from jarring or swivelling when hit with a shot. A strong neck will absorb much of the force from a punch to the head, allow a fighter to take a punch well and continue to fight. Training your neck for boxing has been overlooked for some time now, but lately this training has been taken up by elite world champion boxers like Tyson Fury, Floyd Mayweather, and Anthony Joshua. If these seasoned and successful professional boxers are using valuable training time to strengthen their neck muscles, so should you. A little bit of training can help build the muscles of your neck so you can have a better chin and take a shot well when fighting. Here are some exercises to consider…

Neck Exercises To Increase Punch Resistance and Chin

1. Isometric Neck Exercise


To do neck isometrics, first take a seat and plant your feet on the ground. Put your hand on your forehead and try and push backwards- resist this movement with your neck muscles. Resist for about 15 seconds and then take a rest. Repeat this process once more. Do this same exercise on both sides of your head and from the back of your head just as the illustration to the left outlines. Once you have practiced isometric neck exercises sitting a few times, try and do them standing. This will require more stability from your neck and body.

2. Exercise With A Weighted Neck Harness

Exercising your neck with a weighted harness is the next logical step after introducing isometric neck exercises. To do this exercise, you will need a neck harness. I like the ThaDreamPhysique neck harness because it is made of heavy duty materials compared to many other neck harnesses you can find online, and it is in the mid price range.




To exercise with the weighted neck harness you will first need to get in position. Then you are going to attach a weight to your neck harness. Make sure you start with a very comfortable and light weight. Either standing or laying down over an edge like Floyd Mayweather in the photo, you will begin to lower your head and look down slowly. Then raise your head up and look forward. Do not over extend your neck on the upwards motion and look up- you should finish the exercise just looking forward. Try to do 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions. If you feel any discomfort in your neck while doing this exercise, stop and allow your body to rest. Remember it is very important to do each repetition slowly so you do not risk picking up an unnecessary injury.

3. Dumbbell Shrugs

This bodybuilding exercise is very useful for boxers and fighters looking to strengthen their upper back, neck, and shoulders. Having muscular development in all these areas will help you increase your chin and absorb a hard punch better. What is great about dumbbell shrugs is they are extremely easy to do. Simply take two dumbbells and let them hang by your sides. Then you are going to raise your shoulders as if you are shrugging. Keep your arms straight and hold the shrug position for a few seconds, then slowly release the weight back down. Try to do 3 sets of 12 repetitions of this exercise. Consult the photo next to the text here for guidance, or check out some videos on youtube if you are stuck when it comes to proper form. Make sure to use a comfortable weight for this exercise- technique is more important than how heavy the weight is when doing an isolation exercise like dumbbell shrugs.


I hope this article on how to strengthen your neck for boxing has been useful. Strengthening your neck muscles for boxing is very important. When you have a strong neck and upper back, you will be able to take a punch better. I definitely recommend the three exercises outlined for anyone looking to improve their chin in boxing.