The neck. Everybody’s got one, but no one thinks about it until it hurts.
Our modern world is decidedly not neck-friendly, as we’re constantly tilting our heads downward to look at our computers and phones.
Have you ever thought about how much strain this puts on your neck muscles?
Spoiler alert – it’s a lot.
If you’ve haven’t yet heard the term “Text Neck”, you will soon. It’s a real thing and it’s becoming a bigger problem as time goes on.
But dear friends and strangers, I’m not here to lecture you on the perils of phone use. Heck, most of you are probably reading this on a phone and tilting your head right now.
Instead, let me tell you about a nifty gadget that will transform your Text Neck into an Iron Neck (see what I did there?)
The Iron Neck
Simply put, the Iron Neck is a tool for training your neck in a full range of motion.
The Iron Neck uses a lightweight harness for your head connected to an elastic band (or weighted cables) to create resistance training for your neck. It’s actually a very ingenious design.
The Iron Neck combines horizontal and rotational resistance in a way that strengthens the neck’s natural movement patterns, which helps reduce the chance of injury and improves overall wellness.
Like I wrote above, modern life is *not* neck friendly. Many of us spend our days hunched over a desk and our nights hunched over a phone or tablet.
You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to realize this is bad for your neck in particular and your health in general.
Plus let’s not forget about back health.
According to the NIH, “about 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.” Yikes!
Quick anatomy lesson – there are muscles that start in your neck and run down almost the entire length of your back. So, it stands to reason that improving your neck and spinal health can have a positive effect on lower back problems as well.
This is where the Iron Neck shines. It’s a useful device for strengthening your entire spine, not just your neck.
The Iron Neck is offered in two different options, differing mainly in the amount of rotational resistance they offer.
There are also options for the resistance band, ranging from Starter to Advanced.
I received a Pro model Iron Neck with a Starter resistance band, along with a few accessories like handles, a door anchor, door belt, and a skullcap.
Everything came in a single box, well protected by form-fitting foam inserts.
My first impression of the Iron Neck was that it is much larger in person than it looks in pictures.
It’s also much lighter than I expected, although in retrospect I’m not sure why I thought it would be heavier. Perhaps having the word ‘Iron’ in the product name influenced my perception of how heavy the thing would be.
Side note, the original Iron Neck was called the ‘Halo’ and actually was made out of metal, weighing about 12 pounds.
Can you imagine strapping something weighing the equivalent of a bowling ball to your head? Yeah, me either.
The modern incarnation of the Iron Neck is made of a strong yet lightweight composite material that weighs just a few pounds.
I know I’m making a broad generalization, but I’ll wager most desk jockeys like myself have never done any kind of neck strength training, expect perhaps for those with prior experience training for contact sports.
In the past, neck training options were usually limited to clunky machines or weighted head harnesses with limited motion.
The harness and machines do help strengthen the neck, but they tend to be clunky and only work in very limited ranges of motion. They can also rarely be used in combination with any other kind of exercise.
By way of comparison, the Iron Neck allows the neck to be trained in its full range of motion. And, it can be paired with other forms of exercise to compound the effects.
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I can’t stress enough how important these two points are. Combining the Iron Neck with other forms of exercise increases the effectiveness of the exercises by adding another dimension of resistance.
For example, I’m a big fan of Foundation Training, which is great for back health. I can feel the effects of the Foundation Training extending much deeper into my musculature when I combine the movements with the Iron Neck.
For me, Foundation Training and the Iron Neck are a fantastic pairing, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Iron Neck can be paired with lots of different exercises, including kettlebells and medicine ball work as shown in the video below.
I do like the resistance bands that come with the Iron Neck, but lately I’ve been using it with my DIY lat pulldown setup and it works soooo much better because the weight is more consistent.
I’ve been using the Iron Neck for two years, which is much longer than I usually take to test a product.
I really wanted to take my time with this because rehabilitating an old injury isn’t something that can be rushed.
Plus, I also wanted to make sure the value was there before recommending it because the Iron Neck isn’t cheap.
Well folks, I’m happy to report that the Iron Neck does work.
My neck has never felt stronger, and my lower back is much more resilient than it was before I started consistently training with the Iron neck.
Although I still have work to do on my old injury rehab, I definitely feel much more muscle integration between my neck, back, and hips.
This increased muscle integration has directly translated into tangible strength gains. My overhead press and deadlift PRs have increased and the movements feel much more natural. I expect to see further gains as my rehab continues.
Let’s get this out of the way up front – the Iron Neck is not an impulse buy. At the time I’m writing this, the Pro model is almost $600.
That’s a lot of moolah. Is it worth the cost?
It all depends on how you look at it.
The average cost of a chiropractic treatment can range from $50-$150+ per session, and many people require multiple sessions to find relief.
Granted, insurance may cover some or all of this cost, but chiropractic care usually doesn’t actually fix the problem and you eventually need to get more treatment.
A one-time purchase of the Iron Neck, coupled with consistent use, could solve your back and neck problems permanently.
Note that I am not giving you medical advice – this is just my observation and experience. Your mileage may vary.
Training the neck is crucial in today’s neck-unfriendly world. Not only does it help alleviate neck pain and strain, but it also positively affects your spinal health and can contribute to better lower back well-being.
With the Iron Neck, you have a versatile tool that allows you to train your entire spine and enhance your overall strength and stability.
By combining horizontal and rotational resistance, the Iron Neck strengthens the neck’s natural movement patterns, reducing the risk of injury and improving overall wellness.
So, if you’re ready to bid farewell to Text Neck and prioritize your neck and spinal health, consider giving the Iron Neck a try. It’s a game-changer for neck strength training, providing a full range of motion and the ability to combine it with other exercises.
Say goodbye to neck pain and hello to a stronger, healthier neck with the Iron Neck.
The Iron Neck
I'm a software product manager with a full-time job, family, and a desire to stay strong, mobile, and fit. I separate fact from fiction to find the most effective and affordable options for home fitness. If you'd like to build your own home gym, start here.
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