Neck Training For Boxing

Floyd Mayweather Neck Training

Anyone who has ever been inside the ring recognizes the significance of the neck. It is inevitable that all fighters will eventually get hit. Even the best defense will not deter all incoming shots. With that in mind, a strong neck can certainly help to absorb some of the punishment. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees with this simple notion.

Yet, recognizing the importance of the neck does not always equate to making time to train the neck. Over the years, I have seen countless fighters who disregard the neck entirely. Some complain that they are fearful of bridging and others don’t have a weighted harness to use. Fortunately, if you’ve ever used either excuse, there are other options available.

Neck Training With Resistance Bands

One of the most effective and convenient ways to train the neck is with a resistance band and Velcro strip. As demonstrated below, bands will allow you to train the neck in multiple directions. The bands and Velcro strip are also easily packed in a gym bag. You can train the neck almost anywhere.


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As for band resistance, a small or medium band will typically suffice for neck training. It is unlikely that you will outgrow either, as you can always add manual resistance by pulling down on the band when performing the exercise.

The Velcro strip that I use is 30 inches long. It is 2 inches wide and rated as industrial strength. Velcro is easy to find at any hardware or fabric store. A closer image of the setup can be seen below.

Neck training with resistance bands and velcro

When performing this exercise, you may also wish to wear a beanie hat for comfort. Wearing a hat will prevent the Velcro strip from scraping the head.

Additional Options

Resistance bands are not the only option for neck training. Personally, I recommend a varied approach. For example, bridging has always been a favorite of many boxers and wrestlers. In the video below, you can see a young Mike Tyson demonstrate the exercise.

A weighted harness is also useful. The harness seen below is homemade and only cost around $10 to construct.

Neck Harness

Manual resistance from yourself or a partner is also an option. As a coach, I typically use a towel to provide resistance in this fashion. The fighter will rest his head off the end of the ring (or a bench). I will then provide resistance by pulling down on a towel that is draped around the fighter’s head. We will work in four directions (facing up, facing down, and each side).

As for frequency, two or three brief neck sessions per week will be adequate in most cases. You don’t need a lot of time to strengthen the neck. Just be sure to gradually ease into neck training if you haven’t done so before.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, listen to George Chuvalo reiterate the importance of the neck. Chuvalo had one of the best chins ever. And while some of that was natural, he also made a point to develop his neck.

In summary, you probably weren’t born with the same granite chin as George Chuvalo, but you can certainly focus as much time and attention towards improving what you have. There is no excuse to ignore the neck.




  1. Hey Ross, I am a big fan of your old school section and studying the greats that came before us. I have been wondering which successful boxer is the most like me so that I can watch and learn from them. I am male, 5 foot 3 inches (161 cm), weighing 60.4 kg with a 58 cm reach. Note I said successful, they dont necessarily have to have been champions.

    1. One of the easiest things you could do is go to and look under the current rankings. Look up all the top guys between featherweight and lightweight. Those will all be guys worthy of a look (around your weight class). You can also look back to some recent examples who are no longer around (ex. Barrera, Morales, etc.). Even guys like Roberto Duran (see recent post) are well worth a look. Duran was a killer as a lightweight.

  2. Great article Ross. Yes, the neck is often neglected by fighters, but not by Nahk muays (thaiboxers) who regurlarly does neck-crunches with or without weight. For weight they usually take a dumbell, or a empty paint can filled with cement, and attach a string or cord to ir then bite it and lift it with the teeths. Good for the jaw at the same time as well. Not to forget that the thai clinch will strength the neck as well.

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