So you’ve discovered the Iron Neck. Perhaps through the Joe Rogan podcast, or by searching how you can strengthen your neck, or by trying to figure out how you can get rid of your pesky neck pain.
With three models to choose from, you’re not asking yourself, “which Iron Neck should I buy?”
I’ve personally been to the Iron Neck factory in Austin, Texas and I am in regular communication with the staff. In doing so, I have information about each model that other publishers or YouTubers may not have.
I also own my own Iron Neck Pro model which I absolutely love which has helped me get rid of my neck pain after hard BJJ sessions or from even just sleeping funny.
With three Iron Neck models to choose from, you may not be sure which one is best suited for you. So here I am to break down which model best suits your current situation.
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Iron Neck Model Summary
Iron Neck Starter – Best for those working with physical therapy clients who need neck rehab or low-level neck strength.
Iron Neck Varsity – Best for those working with large groups of athletes or clients. Saves time of setup and provides constant friction.
Iron Neck Pro – Best for individual athletes or individuals looking to improve neck strength, posture, or pain. It provides the most room for progression and variation.
The Rehab Specialist
Being a professional physiotherapist or rehab specialist means you’re dealing with clients from all walks of life. And I’m sure a small percentage of those who want treatment for some sort of neck pain.
Whether that’s caused by long term poor posture, an accident, or a sporting injury, the Iron Neck is a great solution for appropriate neck strengthening.
In this situation, the Iron Neck Starter Bundle (link to product page) is your best option. It’s the cheapest of the three models because it does not provide any friction when turning your head. No friction dial means the resistance band will move freely around the Iron Neck halo.
Rather, all of the resistance is loaded through the resistance band. The original bundle comes with a 25 lb resistance band which is the maximum tension that can be applied when fully stretched.
If you are working with the elderly or clients with more fragile necks, then I would recommend creating your own bundle by clicking the link in the description on the page (link here) and adding a lighter resistance band of 10 lbs to give you even more loading variation.
For rehabbing the athlete, the original Starter bundle is perfect and will provide enough resistance to rehab neck injuries related to contact, collision, and combat sports.
The Sport Coach With A Team Of Athletes
Sports like rugby, American Football, Ice hockey, combat sports, and even soccer require a degree of neck strength to reduce the risk of concussion.
In fact, overall neck strength is the greatest predictor of concussion in athletes. Further, increasing neck strength by one pound is enough to decrease the potential of concussion injury by 5% .
With rudimentary equipment, it’s impossible to train the neck through a 360° range motion. The Iron Neck Starter Bundle won’t provide the necessary resistance an athlete needs to strengthen their neck for competition.
Instead, opt for the Iron Neck Varsity Bundle (link to product page). The Varisty model has a friction dial so there can be resistance during turns and rotations. However, the friction cannot be changed.
Why is this advantageous? Because if you’re dealing with a bunch of athletes in one session, it is very time-consuming to try to set each Iron Neck to the correct friction for the exercise you’ve prescribed. Not to mention athletes can quickly and easily increase or decrease the friction using you dial with the Pro model.
The Varsity model has preset the friction dial to 20% of the Pro model which provides easily enough friction for most athletes.
I would however advise you to create your own bundle by clicking on the link in the description on the page (link here) to add an extra resistance band of 35 lbs.
The Individual Athlete
The Iron Neck is the perfect tool to have at home as an athlete. Especially those that compete or train in contact, collision, and combat sports.
As an individual, you will derive the greatest benefits from the Iron Neck Pro Bundle (link to product page). It provides you with the most variability in loading so you can consistently make progress with your neck training.
The other two models don’t provide you with any means of progression other than increasing the resistance of the band.
The Iron Neck Pro has an adjustable friction dial. This means any rotations or 360° spins you perform can not only have tension from a resistance band, but also rotational resistance.
In contact, collision, and combat sports, concussions rarely happen in a straight forward and back motion of the head. Rather it is usually a twisting of the head or a violent lateral movement of the head.
The friction dial allows you to add resistance to those specific movements where the use of bands, neck harnesses, and plates just won’t allow you to.
In my personal experience, I would advise creating your own bundle (link here) and using the 35 lb and/or 50 lb resistance band.
I have the 50 lb resistance band with my Iron Neck Pro and while you will probably never max out the resistance on the band, it provides a lot of resistance at shorter lengths so provides you with a lot of room for growth.
The 50 lb resistance band is awesome when performing protractions and retractions as you generally need heavy resistance for this exercise.
My two favorite exercises are the 360° spins and left & rights. By dialing up the friction dial, these exercises can be made much more difficult than what could be made when trying to use a band only.
You can also see my full Iron Neck review breaking down all of the features and pros and cons of the Iron neck.
I’ve done some funky experiments too combining the Iron Neck and the 1080 Quantum to provide crazy eccentric overload.
Whether this was a good idea or not, I don’t know! But playing around with new ideas is how we push the boundaries of training.
1. Collins, C. L., Fletcher, E. N., Fields, S. K., Kluchurosky, L., Rohrkemper, M. K., Comstock, R. D., & Cantu, R. C. (2014). Neck strength: a protective factor reducing risk for concussion in high school sports. The journal of primary prevention, 35(5), 309-319.