The lying weighted lateral neck flexion is an exercise which builds muscle and strength in the sternocleidomastoid (Neck) muscle. Now, it’s not the typical gym exercise and you likely won’t see anyone doing it but it does have a functional purpose. Having a strong neck is important for sports with high impact and having a muscular neck is also desired among many lifters.

But, beginners should start with little to no weight and practice proper form before training with added resistance as the neck is a sensitive area of the body. Otherwise, it’s a great functional exercise which can add strength and size to your neck.

In This Exercise:

  • Target Muscle GroupSternocleidomastoid
  • Type: Strength
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Equipment: Bench, head harness
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Exercise Instructions

  1. Lie sideways on a bench so that your head is hanging off.
  2. Then, secure the weighted harness to your head with the weights hanging down.
  3. Now, slowly lift your head laterally until you feel a slight stretch in your neck.
  4. Then, slowly lower your head until it’s parallel to the floor and aligned with the rest of your body.
  5. Complete desire number of reps and then turn to the other side and repeat the exercise.

Variations and tips:

  • You can also do the lying weighted lateral neck flexion using a weight plate (See the second video)
  • Beginners should start with little no weight before using a head harness with weights.
  • Do not bend your head below parallel.
  • Lift your head only enough to where you feel a slight stretch in your neck and no more. Lifting your head too high can cause discomfort and even neck injury.
  • The lying weighted lateral neck flexion targets the sternocleidomastoid muscle of the neck.

Watch: How to do the lying weighted lateral neck flexion using a plate