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How big or small is a 15 inch neck?

Learn how big a 15 inch neck really is, according to science.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 21st May 2022
A man measuring his 15 inch neck

If you want to know whether a 15 inch neck is big, small, or just a normal neck circumference, then this size guide is for you. Using scientific research and real-life case studies, I set out to discover just how big a 15" neck really is and what it takes to build one.

Related Neck Guides:

Is a 15 inch neck big or not?

A man showing that his 15 inch neck is big

Is a 15 inch neck big or not? No, a 15 inch neck is not big for a man; it's an average measurement for a healthy person of a normal body weight.

This assertion is supported by relevant research. A 2020 study examined various anthropometric measurements in young Spanish adults and found that, in males, a 15 in neck was the normal size. [1]

For women, on the other hand, a 15" neck is definitely big and is likely a sign that you're overweight or have very developed neck muscles.

The reality is that most men can build a 15 inch neck without direct training and even without doing any resistance training whatsoever. The neck is definitely one of the body parts that experiences the biggest gains in circumference when your overall body mass increases.

How about a 15.5 inch neck?

A man showing his 15.5 inch neck

So, is a 15.5 inch neck big? Again, a 15.5 inch neck isn't big; it's slightly larger than average for general population males. If you lift weights, then a 15.5 inch neck is a normal size and neither big nor small.

Of course, if you have a 15.5 inch neck that mainly consists of muscle, then it'll naturally look much better than a 15.5" neck that's carrying a lot of fat tissue.

Indeed, some research shows that prediabetic males have a 15 inch neck while also having an overweight BMI. [2] As such, it's unlikely that these study participants had muscular necks. Rather, their neck size was due to their excess body weight.

So if you can build a lean 15.5 in neck, then you can definitely say that you have a muscular neck—well-developed, even. It just won't look absolutely huge, that's all.

What does a 15 inch neck look like?

A man showing what a 15 inch neck looks like

As mentioned above, the appearance of a 15 inch neck mainly depends on your body fat level. A lean 15 in neck will look bigger and more muscular than a fat 15" neck. This goes for just about any part.

In terms of size, a 15 inch neck will look quite average. But if you can build a 15 in neck while staying relatively lean, then you might have more neck muscle than most people.

As a visual reference point, the photo above is of a neck that measures around 15.5 inches in circumference. At this size, your neck can definitely look muscular and quite well-developed, but it definitely won't turn heads in the gym.

What does it take to get a 15 inch neck?

A man doing some neck exercises

Honestly? Not a lot. When you consider the fact that plenty of sedentary people have relatively lean 15 inch necks, you realize that a 15" neck really isn't that big. Now, I'm not saying that a 15" neck is small because it certainly isn't.

However, you definitely don't need to follow a specific training program to get a 15 in neck as a man. If you just do basic strength training exercises a few times a week, then you should be able to develop a 15 inch neck no problem (unless you have a really small bone structure and/or a very low body fat level).

On the other hand, it's much rarer for a woman to have a 15 inch neck circumference. Men naturally have thicker necks than women, but if a woman trains her neck directly (maybe she's a combat athlete) or does a lot of heavy compound lifts, then it's conceivable that she could get a lean 15" neck.

Of course, if you currently have a skinny neck and want to sculpt a 15 inch neck as quickly as possible, then direct neck training is the way to go. I recommend doing 2-3 sets of neck curls (flexions) and 2-3 sets of neck extensions once or twice per week with really strict form.

It doesn't take much to get amazing results from your neck training efforts, and you definitely don't want to overdo things if you're new to the game, so be sure to start off slow and steady.

The verdict on having a 15" neck

A man training his small 15 inch neck with weights

Having a 15" neck is completely normal. Some people can get a 15 inch neck by doing nothing, whereas others with naturally skinnier genetics might have to get in the gym and do neck or trap training to get a lean 15 in neck.

Either way, as a man, a 15 inch neck is neither big nor small and is definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

If you're a woman with a 15 inch neck who hasn't built a 15 inch neck size via resistance training, then your neck circumference could be an indicator that you're overweight.

References

  1. Téllez, M. J. A., Acosta, F. M., Sanchez-Delgado, G., Martinez-Tellez, B., Muñoz-Hernández, V., Martinez-Avila, W. D., Henriksson, P., & Ruiz, J. R. (2020). Association of Neck Circumference with Anthropometric Indicators and Body Composition Measured by DXA in Young Spanish Adults. Nutrients, 12(2), 514. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020514
  2. Anothaisintawee, T., Sansanayudh, N., Thamakaison, S., Lertrattananon, D., & Thakkinstian, A. (2019). Neck Circumference as an Anthropometric Indicator of Central Obesity in Patients with Prediabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study. BioMed Research International, 2019, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/4808541
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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