5 Best Neck Harnesses in [year]

5 Best Neck Harnesses in 2024

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Reviewed by Sergii Putsov

The right equipment can make all the difference, especially when it comes to strength training and fitness. One of these essential tools is the neck harness, which is supposed to strengthen the muscles in your neck, improve stability, and prevent injuries. If you’re on the hunt for the best neck harness, you’ve come to the right place, because we have 5 of them to share with you.

Why should you focus on your neck, you ask? The neck is a pivotal part of your body, and anyone who wants to improve their physical health should strengthen this area. It’s not just for fitness junkies: a strong neck can mean better posture, less pain, and a lower risk of injuries, and this is where a neck harness comes into play. 

Strap in and let’s find you the perfect neck harness!

Our team of certified experts and professional athletes has tested 18 different neck harnesses, and only 5 were good enough to make the cut. The harnesses were evaluated on 4 most important factors, and our team spent over 350 hours testing them.

In addition, they have analyzed hundreds of online user reviews to bring you the most comprehensive assessments. This list is updated all the time, so share your experiences in the comment section!

IN A HURRY?

Our Best Choice!

IRON NECK Alpha Harness

Iron Neck’s Alpha Harness promises to redefine neck training through its unique design and versatility. It’s made for linear training in both side-to-side and up-and-down motions.

Top 5 Best Neck Harnesses Reviewed

  1. IRON NECK Alpha Harness – Gold medal
  2. SPUD INC Neck Harness – Silver medal
  3. RDX H2 Neck Harness – Bronze medal
  4. YES4ALL Adjustable Neck Harness
  5. DMOOSE Neck Strength Harness
ProductTotalMaterialDurabilityAdjustabilityValue for Money
IRON NECK4.8554.55
SPUD INC4.75554
RDX4.54545
YES4ALL44444
DMOOSE3.84.5443

1. IRON NECK Alpha Harness

GOLD MEDAL

IRON NECK Alpha Harness

Our Ratings: 4.8

Material: 5

Durability: 5

Adjustability: 4.5

Value for money: 5

Iron Neck’s Alpha Harness promises to redefine neck training through its unique design and versatility. It’s made for linear training in both side-to-side and up-and-down motions.

  • Material: Neoprene, nylon
  • Size: Standard, Plus
  • D-rings (count): 4
  • Adjustability: -Standard Alpha Neck Harness: Quick Fastening Strap -Alpha Neck Harness Plus: New Vertical Adjustment Strap with Reinforced Stitching
  • Closure type: Quick fastening strap
  • Price: $$$$$

The harness is made in the USA and meant for anyone who wants to do traditional weighted neck exercises as well as dynamic rotational movements using bands. It comes in standard (olive green) and plus (black) versions.

The standard version is robust and has extra heavy D-rings, a durable nylon tether, reinforced stitching and flexible neoprene. It has a quick fastening strap to make it more convenient and it will allow you to quickly secure the harness. 

IRON NECK Alpha Harness Instagram
Photo by @theironneck

The plus version is made of honeycomb neoprene extra thick nylon and has a vertical adjustment strap with reinforced stitching. Like the standard option, this one also has extra heavy D-rings and a nylon tether. The harness is quite adaptable, and you can add small weight plates or bands to it.

It’s a good choice for people with varying fitness goals and can be used even for rehabilitation. It would be even better if the top head strap was a little shorter or, even better, adjustable. Hopefully, Iron Neck will consider this for future versions of this neck harness, because when it comes to fitness equipment, we’re all of different shapes and sizes, and it’s all about adjustability. 

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Available in Standard and Plus variants
  • Extra heavy D-rings
  • Can accommodate small weight plates or bands

Cons

  • The top head strap is too long and not adjustable

2. SPUD INC Neck Harness

SILVER MEDAL

SPUD INC Neck Harness

Our Ratings: 4.7

Material: 5

Durability: 5

Adjustability: 5

Value for money: 4

Spud Inc. claims their neck harness is durable, versatile, and comfortable. It’s supposed to redefine the way you strengthen your neck muscles and comes at a moderate price.

  • Material: Soft 1’’ webbing
  • Size: Fits most head sizes
  • Adjustability: Industrial hook and loop fasteners for a customized fit
  • Closure type: Industrial hook and loop fasteners
  • Price: $$$$

The 1’’ webbing the harness is made of is very soft and pleasant against the skin. However, soft material isn’t all it takes to make a neck harness comfortable, and this one could use some work in that area. There’s a minor issue of the “Spud” tag being stitched in a way that it rubs against your skin when you wear the harness, so it would be best if you could (carefully) remove the tag before wearing it or it will distract you.

Another issue is the fact that the side straps keep twisting against the temples during use. There’s really nothing you can do to help that, as it’s something the manufacturer should work on. Although it doesn’t compromise the functionality of the harness, it’s a bit uncomfortable. 

SPUD INC Neck Harness Instagram
Photo by @yurykonev

One of the reasons why this product is included in the list of the best neck harnesses is its great adjustability. It has industrial hook and loop fasteners, and the fit is customizable, so it will fit a wide range of head sizes, and you’ll be able to adjust it to how you like it. 

It’s also really versatile because Spud Inc. designed it to encourage people to explore creative exercises. This harness is great for traditional weighted neck exercises, but you can also try using it for something less conventional, like sled pulls or incorporating resistance bands and chains.

Pros

  • Comfortable material
  • Very adjustable
  • Good for unconventional exercises

Cons

  • The tag rubs against the skin
  • The straps twist against the temples during use

3. RDX H2 Neck Harness

BRONZE MEDAL

RDX H2 Neck Harness

Our Ratings: 4.5

Material: 4

Durability: 5

Adjustability: 4

Value for money: 5

This neck harness is designed to meet the demands of mixed martial arts and boxing, where concussive shots pose a risk to the nervous system. This harness can help you strengthen your neck muscles to prevent some of the injuries.

  • Material: Nylon, neoprene
  • D-rings (count): 4
  • Adjustability: Three-way adjustable straps
  • Closure type: Hook and loop
  • Price: $$$

RDX claims this harness provides optimal neck and back exercises, which is particularly important in combat sports. It focuses on the rhomboid and trapezius muscles and differs from the generic equipment used to build strength.

It’s true that the exercises you can do with it are effective – if you can get it on your head. It’s on the smaller side, and a lot of people complain it’s not big enough for their heads and one user even mentioned it’s only good for “peanut heads.” Truth be told, it’s not that insanely small, but it won’t fit everyone, and there’s really no way to adjust it to make it bigger. 

RDX H2 Neck Harness Instagram
Photo by @rdx_sports

Nevertheless, it does have its good sides, otherwise we wouldn’t have included it in the list. There are four D-ring latches that you can use to adjust the harness and its length. It’s built very well and uses a 35’’ HG durable and adjustable steel chain. The harness itself is made of nylon and neoprene (which could be a bit softer to make it more comfortable) with strong, industrial-grade stitching. 

As far as security goes, there are three-way adjustable straps for stability that provide a secure fit, making the harness even more effective. There are some tweaks that could be done here and there (it would be great if this was available in at least two sizes), but overall, it is a great and affordable harness.

Pros

  • Durable, adjustable chain
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Three-way straps for stability

Cons

  • Small for larger heads
  • Uncomfortable chin strap

4. YES4ALL Adjustable Neck Harness

YES4ALL Adjustable Neck Harness

Our Ratings: 4

Material: 4

Durability: 4

Adjustability: 4

Value for money: 4

The previous head harness for neck exercises works for small heads, while this one works for large ones. If your head is small, this product will be too big and won’t fit snug enough, but if you struggle to find a harness that won’t be too small for you, you’ll probably be interested in this one.

  • Material: Nylon and neoprene
  • Size: 11 13/16’’L x 7 1/2’’W, 26 3/8’’ steel chain length
  • D-rings (count): 2
  • Adjustability: Adjustable through the closure system
  • Closure type: Double ring
  • Price: $

The head strap is made of soft neoprene, while the rest is made of nylon. Neither is too durable on this harness, and overall, this whole thing feels a bit frail and like it will fall apart sooner than some others. The good news is, it’s super affordable, so even if it doesn’t last you for years to come, it’s still decent value for money. 

The D-ring area is reinforced, which helps the overall durability a bit, and it has industrial grade bartack stitching. The head strap is 2.4’’ wide and reduces the tightness against the head during use. The chrome-plate carabiner has a nice coating that makes it visually appealing, but it is another thing about this harness that feels flimsy. 

This harness prioritizes user experience and comfort, but it will be too big for most people and is not as durable as the previous harnesses we went over.

Pros

  • Comfortable head strap
  • Industrial grade bartacks
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • Too long for a snug fit

5. DMOOSE Neck Strength Harness

DMOOSE Neck Strength Harness

Our Ratings: 3.8

Material: 4.5

Durability: 4

Adjustability: 4

Value for money: 3

DMoose claims this neck training harness offers benefits beyond just muscle gains and that it’s suitable for both rehabilitation and athletic training. This harness promises to improve your posture, alleviate pain and stiffness, and enhance muscle signals.

  • Material: Neoprene, sweat-wicking material
  • Size: Upper width 9.5’’, strap width 9’’, chin strap 8.5’’, chain length 30’’
  • D-rings (count): 2
  • Adjustability: Adjustable chin and head straps
  • Price: $$$$

This harness stabilizes your neck muscles, which can improve your posture and supposedly prevent future neck injuries (if you use it regularly). The fit is adjustable through the chin and head straps, but the velcro on the back strap is way too short for the fit to be completely secure.  

The material is soft and moisture-wicking, so it will help in keeping your skin dry. The padding is another great feature: there’s a significant amount of it that feels really comfortable. The material itself seems to be durable enough, but the stitching, which is marketed as reinforced, is actually weak and doesn’t feel like it can take a lot of weight.

DMOOSE Neck Strength Harness Instagram
Photo by @dmoose

The chain, however, is of great quality. Although the overall durability of this harness isn’t what you would expect considering the price, this isn’t a short-term tool. It will last you decently long if you’re careful with it and don’t use too much weight. In case you want to use this for rehabilitation, you’ll probably really like it.

Pros

  • Breathable, moisture-wicking material
  • Good for rehabilitation
  • Nicely padded

Cons

  • Weak stitches
  • The velcro on the back strap is too short for a good fit

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What Is a Neck Harness?

Those of you who have just seen a neck harness for the first time probably think it looks strange and uncomfortable, but this neck workout equipment is very useful and has a lot of benefits.

Essentially, a neck harness is a fitness accessory designed to target and strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back. It usually has a padded head strap connected to a chain or a strap that you can add weights to. Its main purpose is to provide resistance during exercises, which then translates into a stronger neck. 

It's used in many sports and physical activities, especially those that involve contact or where neck stability is a key factor. Athletes in combat sports (boxing, MMA, wrestling) love using a neck harness to fortify their neck muscles against potential impact. 

Football and rugby players and those involved in strength training or conditioning programs also frequently use neck harnesses. It’s a versatile piece of neck strengthening equipment that, sadly, often gets overlooked. 

How It Works

A neck harness uses the principle of resistance training, and it requires you to attach weights to it. The padded head strap distributes the weight and challenges the muscles in the neck and upper back. After you’ve placed the harness, you do controlled movements (nods, tilts, rotations) with your head against the resistance that comes from the weights. 

This intentional resistance prompts your muscles to exert force, leading to microtears in the fibers. Consequently, your muscles need to be repaired, which happens during the recovery process and also strengthens the muscles.

6 Benefits of Using a Neck Harness

The neck is one of the areas people don’t pay as much attention to during workouts, which is unfortunate, because using a neck harness and having strong neck muscles has a lot of benefits. 

Strong Neck Muscles

The most important benefit the neck harness has is that it makes the muscles in your neck stronger. It engages them through resistance training, improves their capacity to withstand stress, and, overall, provides a foundation for better neck health.

Better Posture

Using a neck harness on a regular basis is a proactive measure against injuries, especially in sports or activities where the neck is vulnerable. Your muscles being stronger means you have an extra layer of protection and minimizes the risk of strains or trauma.

Improved Stability and Balance

The stability you get through using a neck harness extends to overall balance. If your neck is strong, you have a stable foundation that positively influences your balance.

Benefits of Using a Neck Harness

Less Neck Pain

Neck pain is very common, especially among people who have desk jobs, and a neck harness is a great way to help alleviate that pain. Since the exercises are so targeted, they promote better blood circulation, flexibility, and strength in the neck region. 

Increased Resistance to Fatigue

Strong neck muscles improve endurance and resistance to fatigue. This is especially beneficial for athletes who do sports where neck stability is key or whose activities last for prolonged periods of time. 

Better Circulation and Nerve Function

With your circulation being improved, your entire cardiovascular health benefits. In addition, a neck harness will contribute to optimal nerve function and ensure effective communication between the brain and the rest of the body. 

How to Choose a Neck Harness

With so much to choose from, it’s almost impossible to know what to buy if you go into the process blindly. We have a whole list of factors to keep in mind before that will make your decision-making process easier. 

1. Material and Construction

A neck harness should be durable, so go for one that’s made of high-quality nylon or neoprene. You can even choose a leather neck harness. Stitching is another important factor – you want it to be neat, symmetrical, and, if possible, reinforced. 

Choose a Neck Harness

2. Adjustability and Fit

Necks and heads come in multiple sizes, but neck harnesses usually come in one (a universal size). Therefore, you should definitely look for a neck harness that will allow you to make adjustments according to your preferences. Look for a harness with adjustable head and chin straps, which allow you to tailor the fit to what feels comfortable for you.

3. D-Rings and Attachment Points

The number of D-rings or attachment points is a big deal when it comes to the harness’s versatility. You want strategically placed extra heavy D-rings, because you’ll need to adjust the amount of resistance according to your fitness level and the exercise you’re doing. 

4. Padding

If it’s not comfortable, your neck harness will be distracting and your workout will be less effective. Make sure that whatever you choose has a good amount of padding, especially around the head strap to prevent chafing. 

5. Closure Type

Closure typically involves straps and fasteners, and it influences how securely your harness stays on during exercises. A double-ring closure is always a good choice, and so is the hook-and-loop with reinforced stitching.

FactorConsideration
Material and ConstructionChoose a neck harness made of high-quality nylon or neoprene. Make sure the stitching is neat, symmetrical, and preferably reinforced.
Adjustability and FitGo for a harness with adjustable chin and head straps to adjust the fit to your comfort and sizing.
D-Rings and Attachment PointsSelect a harness with strategically placed heavy D-rings for versatility.
PaddingThe harness needs to have enough padding, especially around the head strap, to prevent chafing and discomfort.
Closure TypeDouble-ring or hook-and-loop closure with reinforced stitching.

How to Use a Neck Harness? 9 Steps

A neck harness can be a game-changer for your fitness routine, but only if you use it correctly. Here’s how to do it:

Use a Neck Harness

1. Warm Up

Don’t start your workout without warming up first. Dedicate 5-10 minutes to neck stretches, shoulder rolls, and mobility exercises in order to prepare your muscles for the resistance training you’re about to do.

2. Fasten the Harness

Your neck harness needs to be fastened securely, while the head strap should have a snug fit. If the fit is off, your stability will be compromised. Fasten all straps and closures tightly, but make sure it’s not so tight that it becomes uncomfortable. 

3. Posture

Keep proper posture throughout all exercises. Your spine should be aligned, shoulders relaxed, and you need to avoid any unnecessary movement in your upper body. 

4. Start Light

If you’re a beginner, start with light resistance and work your way to higher levels so your muscles have a chance to adapt. If you start with weight that you can manage, you’ll have more control over your movements and reduce the risk of overexertion. 

5. Controlled Movements

Control is essential. Don’t do any rapid and jerky motions, because they can strain your muscles and you can end up injured. Controlled movements will ensure that you’re targeting the right muscles throughout the entire exercise. 

6. Range of Motion

Pay attention to the range of motion in each exercise. Work through a comfortable range and avoid excessive movements.

7. Variety

Once you learn your way around using a neck harness, go out and get another one or two to add some variety into your training. Neck harnesses are usually affordable, and having diversity promotes comprehensive muscle development. 

8. Cool Down

Once your workout is done, dedicate 10 minutes to cooling down. Cooldowns are important because they prevent muscle stiffness and soreness, improve your flexibility, and promote recovery.  Do gentle neck stretches and mobility exercises to relax your muscles and support recovery. 

Neck Strengthening

9. Other Neck Strengthening Equipment 

A comprehensive routine needs variety not only in exercises but also in equipment. You can add an isometric neck machine to your gear arsenal that will provide resistance in multiple directions. Sit straight, position your head against the padded bar, and push against it without moving your head. 

There’s also weighted headgear that’s similar to a neck harness. All you need to do to use it is to attach weights and perform nodding and shaking head movements. 

A neck sling is another good option. It’s attached to a cable machine and allows you to do flexion, extension, and lateral movements against the resistance in a controlled and slow manner. Whatever you choose, make sure the resistance is manageable and there’s no strain. 

FAQ

Are Neck Harnesses Effective?

Yes, if you use them correctly, neck harnesses are very effective for strengthening neck muscles, improving stability, and preventing injury. They target the areas we often neglect during workouts, and they improve the overall health of your neck.

What Gym Equipment Is Best for the Neck?

The best neck exercise equipment are neck harnesses, resistance bands, and head straps. They allow you to do targeted exercises that strengthen the neck muscles and improve stability.

Is the Neck Flex Safe?

There’s no arguing that it’s popular, but its safety depends on whether you use it properly and adhere to guidelines. It would be preferable to speak to a medical professional or fitness expert before you include it in your fitness routine. 

How Much Weight Should I Use on a Neck Harness?

The amount of weight depends on your fitness level. Beginners usually start with 5 to 10 pounds and work your way up, experienced athletes can go for 10 to 20 pounds, and advanced ones can start with more than 20 pounds. The weight needs to be challenging but still allow you to do controlled movements without causing strain. 

Conclusion

A neck harness can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Make sure you use it correctly, start with a lighter load, and listen to your body while you work out. If you feel pain or extreme discomfort, take a break and readjust the harness or simply take some of the weight off. 

No exercise can be effective if the tool you’re using is underwhelming. To prevent that from happening, choose the best neck harness for weight training – IRON NECK Alpha Harness. It’s made in the USA, comes in two sizes, has a reasonable price, and you can use both bands and plates with it. 

Now we want to hear what you think! Are you familiar with neck harnesses or have you mistaken this for an article reviewing Medieval torture devices? If you use a neck harness, what exercises do you like to do with it? Have you seen any results from using it? Do you have one to recommend?

Leave anything that comes to mind because we want to hear all of it!

Necking out!

References:

  1. Hyoung-Kil Park, Min-Kyung Jung, Eunkyung Park, Chang-Young Lee, Yong-Seok Jee, Denny Eun, Jun-Youl Cha, Jaehyun Yoo "The Effect of Warm-Ups with Stretching on the Isokinetic Moments of Collegiate Men," Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation 14, no. 1 (2018): 78-82.
  2. Guy Gosselin, Hamid Rassoulian, Ian Brown "Effects of Neck Extensor Muscles Fatigue on Balance," Clinical Biomechanics 19, no. 5 (2004): 473-479.
  3. “The Importance of Neck Strength,” UPMC HealthBeat, https://share.upmc.com/2017/09/infographic-neck-strength/ (accessed January 12, 2024).
  4. Julia M. Hush, Chris G. Maher, Kathryn M. Refshauge, "Risk Factors for Neck Pain in Office Workers: A Prospective Study," BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 7, no. 81 (2006).
  5. Stacey Carter “Why It's Important to Cool Down after Exercise, According to the Science,” LiveScience, https://www.livescience.com/why-its-important-to-cool-down-after-exercise-according-to-the-science (accessed January 12, 2024).

Why Trust Our Reviews? Our product reviews are meticulously curated by a team of seasoned athletes, certified coaches, and sports nutrition experts, boasting more than 20 years of collective coaching experience. In our mission to promote Olympic weightlifting and strength training, we engage in comprehensive testing and evaluation of weightlifting products and supplements, making certain that only the utmost quality items meet our rigorous criteria.

We take a hands-on approach, procuring and personally testing these products in gym settings, affording us genuine insights into their performance. Our credibility stems from the expertise of experienced athletes, supported by authentic photos and videos, offering you dependable assessments tailored to athletes of all skill levels.

Jason Li

Author: Jason Li

Personal Coach | Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist

Jason is an NYC personal training expert and National level Olympic Weightlifting Coach with over 10 years of experience training everyday clients to high levels of performance. He has trained everyone from youth (13 years old and under) to masters (60+ years old) to regional and national rankings for powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Short distance (up to 200m) sprinting, discus & hammer throwing.


Sergii Putsov

Reviewed by: Sergii Putsov

PhD in Sport Science, Olympic weightlifting, Strength & Conditioning coach and fitness expert

Sergii Putsov is a professional weightlifter with over 20 years of experience and multiple national medals. He was a member of the National weightlifting team, competing in the 94 kg weight class. Sergii holds a master’s degree in Olympic & Professional Sport Training and a Ph.D. in Sport Science. After his athletic career, Sergii transitioned into coaching and is now responsible for designing training programs, writing blog articles, providing live commentary for international weightlifting competitions, and hosting sport and fitness seminars worldwide.

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