A muscular neck is stronger and more functional. The more neck strength you have, the better you are able to avoid injury when playing contact sports, and the better you will be able to overcome neck stiffness and soreness. The neck is made up of several muscle groups, such as the trapezius, scalenes, splenius muscles, levator scapulae and sternocleidomastoid, which are responsible for extension, rotation and flexion of the head and neck. Eating more will help increase the girth of your neck if you are thinner. You can also do neck stretches and exercises to strengthen your neck muscles to gain a bigger neck.
Big Eating for a Bigger Neck
Increase your caloric intake by 500 calories a day to safely gain a pound a week to help your body gain weight overall, resulting in a bigger neck.
Eat a healthy diet rich in plant-based foods likes fruits, vegetables and whole grains to gain weight. Do not increase your calories by eating more fatty, greasy or sugary foods. This can put you at risk of health illnesses like heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Increase the amount of protein you consume to help build more muscle as you exercise your neck. Eat between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, depending on your activity level -- protein requirements for strength athletes are at the high end.
Stretch to Strengthen
Do neck strengthening stretches by leaning your head forward, backward, side to side and by rotating it left to right.
Hold each position for two to five seconds before you release and do five to 10 reps per set of each at least three times a day.
Use your hand to add resistance to each move by applying pressure against the direction your head is moving.
A Little Resistance Goes a Long Way
Perform band look-aways by looping a mini-band, or light resistance band, around your forehead. Turn your head to the right while pulling the bands to the left. Switch to work the opposite side of your neck.
Perform a neck stabilization exercise by attaching the ends of a mini-band about 3 feet from your body at about knee height. Loop the band around the back of your head and lean your head back. Keep the thoracic and lumbar regions of your spine neutral throughout the exercise and only allow the cervical spine to protrude as you lean your head back, according to Todd Bumgardner, MS, and Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS. Turn around so that the resistance band is looped around your forehead and lean your head forward, touching your chin to your chest.
Do two 10-second reps and work your way up to three 20-second reps per set for each exercise.
Always stretch properly before beginning any exercise to make sure your body is adequately prepared for the exercise.
Always consult your physician before changing your diet or beginning any new exercise routine.