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How to Get Rid of Pencil-Neck?

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Hey, guys. This is my first post in this section. I wouldn't say I'm all that interested in being a "bodybuilder" per se, but I am interested in getting a physique that is stronger and healthier-looking.


One of the things I want to work on though is my scrawny neck. It really stands out when I'm wearing t-shirts. Having practically no traps is probably not helping the situation.


I know I can do shoulder-shrugs to help build this area, but I'm not familiar with any other exercises that build your neck. Can anyone help me get rid of my pencil-neck?

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Are you referring to your actual neck, like the area that connects your head to your body? Or are you referring to your traps?


If the latter, shrugs are the best. You can spice it up to get a good burn. I always end my shoulder workout with a triset for my traps.


Barbell shrugs in front of my body, barbell shrugs behind my body, dumbell shrugs to the side.


I feel like I have put on some decent size to my traps in the past few months, and owe it to this triset.

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Along with shrugs you can try upright dumb bell rows. Careful on the weight with that exercise tho as it can cause shoulder impingement.


I like doing a heavy deadlift best... if you lift heavy and stretch out properly at the top of the lift, your upper traps will be sore the next day.

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As one who has a long, uneven neck (due to some unidentified nerve/tendon damage encountered years ago), I've found that the following are by far the most beneficial to helping neck thickness and reducing how noticeable a smaller neck can be -


1. Shrugs

2. Deadlifts

3. Direct neck work, either via headstrap w/ added weight, or, weight placed on my head while lying down used as resistance


I haven't done much of #3 in some time, just the other two, and it's keeping things in ideal balance. With me, it's the long uneven neck plus wide, low-set traps that make it tough, but as long as you lift heavy and often enough and do what's noted above, in due time, things will get better!

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All depends on whether or not you have any neck issues with neck bridging, though - with my nerve damage and being around 230 lbs., neck bridges put me at risk of injury, so some of us just can't do them safely and get anything from them. Even if you have a thicker neck, the other factor to consider is that if you have little upper back mass and minimal trapezius development, it only shows off your other flaws so it's ideal to round out everything when possible!

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