DIY Neck Harness

While several options exist for neck training, a weighted harness is considered by many to be an integral component. Working with a heavy harness is one of the most effective ways to strengthen the neck. Unfortunately, many commercial harnesses cannot hold considerable amounts of weight. I’ve seen one fighter break three harnesses in less than a year. I’ve heard similar stories from others within my message board.

One of the only quality models that I’ve seen comes from IronMind. It is well made but costs close to $80. If you are looking for a less expensive option, you may wish to consider the homemade model below. It isn’t perfect, but it is strong and easy to construct.

neck harness tutorial 1

To build the harness, I began by connecting a piece of chain with a quick-link connector (to form a circle that is slightly larger than my head). It is important that the chain loop is larger than the head as you’ll be adding pipe insulation around the chain.

Next, I tied a short lashing strap to opposing links on the chain. The lashing straps hang from the chain to hold the weight plates. I also used a short piece of lashing strap as a head strap on the top of the harness. Once the lashing straps were in place, I wrapped pipe insulation around the chain. I made small slits in the insulation for the lashing straps to fit through. I then wrapped duct tape around the pipe insulation.

Below, you can see how the lashing straps feed out of the harness.

neck harness tutorial 2

When cutting the lashing straps, I cut one side longer so the spring clip and quick-link connector could connect off center. This gives me enough room to feed the straps through multiple weight plates.

neck harness tutorial 3

When using the harness, I opted to place a small automobile polishing cloth over my head. The soft material provides a more comfortable fit. It feels much better than duct tape.

I tested the harness with 90 pounds and it felt comfortable all around my head.  There wasn’t any discomfort.


The materials for this project only cost me a few dollars. I already own a considerable amount of chain so I simply cut off a small piece to wrap around my head. I purchased the lashing straps at Harbor Freight for $3.99. The only other materials were the spring clip, quick-link connector, and a small piece of pipe insulation. I had all three on hand. If you were to purchase these materials new, I’m guessing the price tag would be in the $10 to $15 range.

To summarize the project, I’m not claiming that this is the best DIY option. Yes, it may look a little odd, but it only took a few minutes to build and is stronger than anything I’ll ever need.

For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below:

Homemade Exercise Equipment Archives


  1. If I were to just stumble across this picture on the internet I would ask myself, what is that Arabian guy doing with 90lbs attached to his head? Good stuff

  2. Ive just made one using an old martial arts belt, is very strong and material is wide and quite comfortable. Cheers Ross for the inspiration.

  3. I find it simpler to use Wrestler Bridging. I just tense the neck muscles for a count to 8 several sets and I am done. ;-P

  4. Nice Ross no wonder you have a thick neck 90lbs thats a nice amount of weight. My neck harness broke. I am glad that I found out it was broken before I strapped on the weight.


  5. Thanks Ross. I am going to build one of these. I was going to build the bulgarian bag too. Nice weekend projects. 90 lbs is serious weight! Wish I could do 45!

  6. Good stuff Ross. I imagine you could also attach/loop/hook a resistance band onto the homemade harness and tie the band to a pole (like on your squat rack) for doing neck exercises. No worries about weights then. Basically a homemade version of this:
    I’m sure it’d be cheaper to build than what they’re asking.

    Resistance bands with backpedaling, so why not neck?

    Just an idea.

  7. Hey Ross just tried this one and is excellent (actually my brother built it and i used it haha)
    Thanks man.

  8. I use a dipping belt for neck extensions.Dipping belts are pretty strong.

    Lie face down on a weight bench and put the belt over the back of the head with a dumbbell attacked to it.Use a short range of motion(for prevention of disc bulging out,which is no luxuoury).
    I got rid of the chain that came with it ,and put two pieces of strong nylon rope at each side of the belt,so it can be hooked over the ends of the dumbbell(or handle if you will depending on what dumbbell you use).

    For neck flexion I put a weight plate (plus towel in between) on the forehead and go from straight alignment with the back spine to a little off the bench with the head.Short range of motion here also.

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