This is one of the best articles featured in the Weekly Training Article; I wanted to hit this topic last off-season, but ran out of time. It amazes me how many football players do not train their necks since a strong neck is vital for football performance. Not only will a strong neck reduce the likelihood of concussions and other injuries and increase your hitting power, in certain unfortunate circumstances a strong neck could actually save your life. Not to mention, it just looks cool to have a big neck and is a sign of strength and good health that can even be observed by others when wearing a suit and tie.
I personally train my neck once per week during the same workout that I focus on shoulders; I do them right after shrugs. I go with 3 superset of flexor and extensor exercises (see article for terminology). Unfortunately, my gym does not have a 4-way neck machine, which is a great tool for neck training, so I use a head strap to train extensors by tying a dumbbell to the chain. For flexors I use the same technique as described in the article. I stay in the 8-10 rep range for these to keep the weight reasonable and do 3 supersets of extensor then flexor exercises.
I haven't done any of the training with elastic bands that the author of the article recommends, but I am going to give it a shot. If anyone has done this, please post something about it with this article.
As a bonus this article also throws in some information about how Olympic style lifting works your traps; good stuff. Lastly there is some information on stretching as well.
See the full Article in the training forum:
-Aaron Beineke, Defensive Coordinator/DL Coach
"Hardest Working Coach in Semi Pro Football"
You could just use your hand and put pressure against the opposite side of what ever side of your neck you are working on. In case you don't have access to a machine.