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Is a 14 inch neck big? What does a 14" neck look like?

Is a 14 inch neck big, small, or just right? (for men and for women)
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 21st May 2022
A woman getting her 14 inch neck measured

A 14 inch neck is a very average neck circumference for a man and slightly bigger than normal for a woman. Obviously, as a highly visible body part, the neck is an area that many people are concerned about.

With this in mind, the following guide offers proven tips to both grow and shrink your 14" neck. Just keep in mind that it will likely take a couple of months at least to see noticeable results. So don't be measuring your neck every day!

How Does Your Neck Stack Up?

Is a 14 inch neck small for a man?

A skinny man looking at his 14 inch neck in the mirror

Is a 14 inch neck small for a man? No, a 14 inch neck isn't especially small for a man; it's perhaps ever so slightly smaller than average for a general population male.

For someone who lifts weights, on the other hand, a 14" neck is 1-2 inches smaller than average, based on my extensive observations. This is because heavy compound exercises place quite a big stretch on the sternocleidomastoid, which is the muscle on the front of your neck.

So if you lift weights and still only have a 14 in neck, that could be a sign that you're neglecting your compound lifts in favor of machine-based movements and isolation exercises.

Of course, as you'll see later, direct neck training is the fastest and best way to grow your neck. So don't think that you're doomed to a 14 inch neck just because your deadlifts and rows don't seem to be growing that particular area of your body.

Is a 14 inch neck big for a woman?

A woman showing that her 14 inch neck isn't that big

Yes, a 14 inch neck is a bit bigger than average for a woman. More specifically, I'd say that a 14" neck is on the high end of the normal range for a healthy female.

It seems that women of a higher body weight tend to have thicker necks. This makes sense because when you gain weight, all of your circumference measurements tend to get bigger and that most definitely includes your neck measurement.

Some women have genetically big necks and don't weigh all that much. If this is the case for you, then there's not an awful lot that you can do other than to avoid exercises that work your neck to a large degree. More on this in a minute.

How big is a 14.5 inch neck?

A man showing his 14.5 inch neck

For a man, a 14.5 inch neck is very much an average size. If you take a man of a regular build and body fat that doesn't train his neck directly, then there's a good chance that his neck will measure somewhere around the 14.5 inch mark.

For a woman, on the other hand, a 14.5 inch neck is definitely a bit bigger than normal and could be an indication that you're overweight.

Of course, we all have our stubborn body parts and more well-developed muscle groups, so having a 14.5 inch neck isn't a guarantee of anything; it's merely a useful indicator for gauging your body mass and, in some circumstances, your health status.

Having a larger neck is useful for protecting against concussions, which is one reason why many athletes do neck strengthening exercises even if they don't really care about the aesthetic benefits of having a thick neck. [1]

How to grow your 14" neck

A man doing some neck exercises

As mentioned, the neck is a highly visible body part and is likely one of the first muscle groups that people notice when they look at you. It's also believed that having a thick neck will make you look more masculine, hence why a lot of guys really want to thicken up their necks.

So what's the best way to go about building your neck?

The internet is full of bad neck training advice, most of which appears to stem from the belief that the neck isn't a muscle.

Listen. The neck is a muscle just like your biceps and hamstrings are muscles. It responds to tension and grows fast initially if it's relatively untrained ("newbie gains" occur on a per muscle group basis).

Start with your basic neck curls and neck extensions. Do 3-5 sets of 20 reps on each exercise once or twice per week. Then, after 6 months or a year, add in some side neck raises if you feel that your training would benefit from more volume.

There's nothing magical about growing your 14 inch neck. The only special consideration is your form; if there's one muscle group where strict lifting technique is of the utmost importance, it's the neck.

How to shrink your 14 inch neck

Close up of a woman's fourteen inch neck

It's certainly interesting that people want to both grow and shrink their neck muscles! I suppose we all have our own vision of what the perfect neck looks like.

Anyway, it's my observation that, in women, neck size tends to be a function of body weight. So if you weigh 160 lbs and drop down to a lean 125 lbs, then it's likely that you'll lose a substantial amount of neck size, which may help to make you less insecure about your neck.

But just remember that a 14 inch neck isn't that big to begin with. Most people don't look at the neck in the same way that they look at other muscles. As such, the average person simply won't be able to tell the difference between a 13 inch and a 14 inch neck, for example.

Additionally, if you want to shrink your 14" neck, make sure to avoid exercises that put significant amounts of tension on the neck. So instead of doing deadlifts, you could do leg curls for your hamstrings and machine rows for your upper back.

The verdict on having a 14 in neck

Close up of a person's 14 in neck

There are so many people in the world who have a 14 inch neck. You probably see loads of 14 inch necks every day without even realizing it. As such, you shouldn't feel that you're in any way abnormal or inadequate just because you have a 14" neck because it really is nothing to worry about.

If you do want to build your neck and decide to do specific neck exercises, make sure to be extra strict with your form because you really don't want to injure your neck. [2]

Of course, developing a strong neck can also help to protect against injuries, which is especially helpful if you play contact sports or have a history of car crashes (neck training protects against concussions).

References

  1. Hrysomallis, C. (2016). Neck Muscular Strength, Training, Performance and Sport Injury Risk: A Review. Sports Medicine, 46(8), 1111–1124. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0490-4
  2. Neck Injuries in Sports: What You Should Know. (2010, September 9). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/neck-injuries
James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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