Following a recent post about neck training, I’ve had several people ask about the harness pictured within the entry (see below).
The neck harness that I use is homemade. As for the design, it is similar to the harness that I discussed a few years ago (see here). Over the past five or six years, I’ve made approximately 8 harnesses. During that time, I’ve made a few modifications to the design. I will discuss those changes below.
Before discussing my homemade harness, it’s worth noting that quality harnesses have become more reasonably priced in recent years. When I made my first harness, the only quality commercial option sold for around $80. The less expensive models were prone to break with insignificant loads. I once had a fighter break three harnesses in less than one year.
Fortunately, I am starting to see more durable harnesses priced closer to $40 or $50. I still opt for the homemade harness however based on how many athletes I’ve had use them. I’d much rather make one for a few dollars than purchase several $40 to $50 models.
As for the basic design, I still use chain and pipe insulation. I start with a piece of chain that connects to itself with a quick-link connector. The resulting chain loop that forms is what will eventually go around the head. When creating this loop, it is important that it is made slightly larger than your head. These harnesses are not adjustable. If you cut the chain too short, it will not fit once pipe insulation is wrapped around it. I’d rather have a harness that is slightly too big than one that is too small. An over-sized harness can still be used if you wear a hooded sweatshirt and/or winter hat.
After creating the chain loop, I tie rope to opposing links on the chain. The rope on each side will eventually connect to another piece of chain which will be used to secure weight. I also attach a short piece of lashing strap to the top of the harness. It serves as a head strap to prevent the harness from sliding down the head when in use.
Once the rope and straps are in place, I wrap pipe insulation around the chain. I make small slits in the insulation for the rope and head strap. I then wrap duct tape around the pipe insulation.
I then connect chain to each end of the rope. The two pieces of chain connect with a spring clip. All knots and connections are then wrapped with several layers of duct tape. The result is a strong harness that can hold some serious weight.
When using the harness, I either place a towel atop my head or wear a hooded sweatshirt and/or winter hat. The extra layer serves two purposes. It not only provides extra comfort, it also allows for a more snug fit with the harness.
As for training options, I typically use the harness in conjunction with other neck exercises such as the resistance band movements that I demonstrated previously.
Lastly, whenever discussing neck strength and its significance, there is no greater example than that of George Chuvalo. Chuvalo had 93 professional fights as a heavyweight and was never knocked down. He went up against legends such as George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and more.
In the video below, Chuvalo discusses his iron chin.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin