Iron Neck 3.0 Review: Better Than 2.0?

November 7, 2022

The Iron Neck is my favorite neck training device on the market. It is the only device that makes my neck feel great after using it. Have you ever woken up and could barely look left or right? It turns out just sleeping can cause neck pain that lasts for days!

With a few isometrics and looking left and right with the Iron Neck, my neck feels brand spanking new. And I've tried all sorts of neck traction devices. None of them work as this does.

So, I'm going to run you through everything you need to know about the Iron Neck through my years of using the neck device.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Train the neck through a full 360° range of motion.
  • Alleviate any neck pain from training or sleeping.
  • Strengthen the neck isometrically, rotationally, and in various eccentric and concentric movements.
  • Made of high-quality materials that will last you a very long time. You won’t need to replace your Iron Neck due to wear and tear. I’ve had my older Iron Neck models for 5 years with no issues.

Cons

  • Can feel uncomfortable when first using it but you get used to it and the uncomfortableness subsides.
  • Much more expensive than other neck training apparatus.

Iron Neck 3.0 Rating

The Iron Neck 3.0 surpasses any other neck training device with it's versatility. Compared to the 2.0, the 3.0 is lighter, smaller, and runs much smoother than the 2.0. I highly recommend using the Iron Neck for developing neck strength, size, and improving mobility.

Overall Rating: 
4.5/5 stars

Quality

Versatility

cost

Iron Neck 3.0 Pro

Code "LBEB15" For A 15% Discount!

Iron Neck 3.0 Pro Review

Let me give you a quick rundown on the Iron Neck models. The new 3.0 has only 2 models: the 3.0 and the 3.0 Pro. The only difference is the 3.0 does not have a friction dial. This means you can’t increase the resistance during rotation.

Here's a visual of how the 3.0 and 3.0 Pro look side by side (bear in mind the 3.0 doesn't have a foam pad on it):

Iron Neck 3.0 vs 3.0 Pro

Then you have Iron Neck Generation 2.0, which are still on sale until approximately mid-2023. The Iron Neck 2.0 Starter is the most basic version. The only difference to other 2.0 models is that it does not have ANY friction dial, so rotational neck movements will only be resisted by the resistance band.

The Iron Neck 2.0 Varsity has a friction dial. But it is set to 20% of the friction of the Iron Neck Pro. So it is not adjustable. The Iron Neck 2.0 Pro has all of the bells and whistles.

So this will be a full review of the new Iron Neck 3.0 Pro. The model I own and would recommend for its versatility. This way, you know exactly what to expect when receiving your Iron Neck.

Unboxing The Iron Neck 3.0

Iron Neck 3.0 Pro Unboxing

The device itself is the first thing you see when unboxing the Iron Neck 3.0. Underneath is where all your accessories are organized. You’ll receive the following:

These make the Iron Neck unique to any other piece of neck training equipment. The overall design is a halo shape where the friction dial can move around a full 360°.
  • A resistance band (blue).
  • 2 different-sized foam pads (3rd is already attached to the Iron Neck).
  • 3 attachments for the resistance band. A loop for a rack or pole, a door or tree trunk strap, and a door attachment.
  • An Iron Neck skull cap to use for more comfort if necessary.

Features

These features make the Iron Neck unique to any other piece of neck training equipment. The overall design is a halo shape where the friction dial can move around a full 360°.

Iron Neck 3.0 Pro Friction Dial

This friction dial is like a brake. The tighter it is, the more rotational resistance you will have, placing an extra challenge on your neck muscles when performing exercises such as Left & Right.

I prefer keeping my friction dial on the lighter side and allowing most resistance to come through the elastic band.

Another unique feature is the air pump, which ensures the Iron Neck fits tight against your head.

Iron Neck 3.0 Air Pump

Once you’ve worn your Iron Neck a few times, you’ll know exactly how many pumps it takes to get to your correct setting. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t exceed 15 pumps as it may burst the air sack inside the device.

One of the problems with the older Iron Neck 2.0 Pro was the sizing being one size fits all. So those with smaller heads couldn’t quite get it tight enough even after 15 pumps.

I’ve had athletes use the older model. While some can fit it perfectly, others find it painful or just plain uncomfortable.

The new models take care of this problem with their new fitted foam padding and improved design.

Iron Neck 3.0 Pads

Quality

Iron Necks can take a beating. The usual bumps and wear and tear from a gym are no match for the hard, durable plastic these are made of.

They were initially made of metal, but they were far too heavy, so the move to plastic was born. But no need to worry.

It’s not flimsy plastic material that will break over time. These are solid and can bump into heavy objects, and be dent free (trust me, I’ve bumped my older Iron Neck a fair share).

The inside padding doesn’t wear down, and the Velcro straps don’t fray.

I’ve had my older Iron Neck since 2018, and even with frequent use, none of the straps or padding show any wear and tear. The same build quality has carried over to the Iron Neck 3.0.

Comfort

The Iron Neck Skull Cap (or beanie) that comes with the Iron Neck can dramatically improve the comfort of the device on your head. For me, I can use the Iron Neck without the skull cap, and it sits very comfortably.

Those with long hair will want to use a skull cap, as putting the Iron Neck on can pull your hair. If you are sharing between multiple people, then a skull cap for each person may be necessary, so you don’t sweat over each other.

The adjustable top strap means you can fit it to any forehead height. It is color-coded, so you can note down which bar and color your setting is so it’s the same every time.

Iron Neck 3.0 Velcro Strap Open
Iron Neck 3.0 Velcro Strap Closed

There is also a helmet-like chin strap to keep your Iron Neck secure on your head when you perform movements facing away from the resistance band.

Without the chin strap, it can feel like the resistance band will pull the Iron Neck off your head, like when the wind blows your hat off on a boat.

However, the chin strap prevents this easily, and if you fit the Iron Neck right, you won’t even need to use it.

Iron Neck 3.0 Chin Strap

Get 15% OFF any Iron Neck order with the code "LBEB15"

How Does The Iron Neck 3.0 Compare With 2.0?

Here’s a quick list of the main differences between the 3.0 and 2.0:

  • The Iron Neck 3.0 is 20% smaller.
  • The 3.0 is 33% lighter than the 2.0 (the difference is notable).
  • The 3.0 has an internal track which is smoother when rotating vs. the 2.0.
  • The 3.0 has a better and easier fit than the 2.0.

It’s hard to visualize how the Iron Neck device can be 20% smaller. So here is a comparison picture below.

Iron Neck 2.0 vs 3.0

The main area where the device saves space is the internal vs. external track. It is far less bulky, and the inflation pad at the back isn’t as wide. Because of this smaller design, the Iron Neck 3.0 is much lighter. It makes performing exercises more comfortable without feeling like you have heavy machinery on your head.

Finally, the 3.0 fits better than the previous 2.0 models. Before the interchangeable foam pads, I would have to pump the pad 10-12 times to get a tight fit. I can perform half the number of pumps with the foam pad and have a tight fit.

It also doesn’t move out of place when doing rotational neck exercises like the 360° spin. The 2.0 had a habit of moving off-center slightly, and you’d have to correct it. The 3.0 stays in place when doing a range of odd exercises like Figure 8s and left & rights.

Overall, the Iron Neck 3.0 is a worthwhile upgrade from the 2.0. While the 2.0 generation is much cheaper due to being phased out, it’s worth opting for a smoother, more comfortable experience with the Iron Neck 3.0 in my experience.

Frequently Asked Iron Neck Questions

How Does The Iron Neck Work?

The Iron Neck provides linear resistance through an elastic band that attaches directly to the device and rotational resistance through a friction dial.

You can train every muscle in your neck with this one piece of equipment.

How The Iron Neck Has Changed

As with all products, they undergo upgrades and changes as the manufacturers find better ways to build their product. The Iron Neck is no different.

The new 3.0 model has been created to be smaller, lighter, more comfortable, and smoother than the 2.0 models. That hasn’t reduced the build quality. The Iron Neck 3.0 is sturdy as ever.

As you may see in the picture above, the differences are notable.

How To Use The Iron Neck At Home

You will receive all three attachments for your Iron Neck 3.0 that I use in the video. Each one serves a specific purpose which you can see in action in the above video I made.

The only downside is that the hinges on your door will dictate the height your door belt will sit. Your top hinge may be too high if you are a shorter individual.

I prefer using the door belt outdoors on larger tree trunks, as you can adjust the height wherever you want.

Obviously, your door is the best indoor option

 if you don’t have an outdoor area or live in a cold climate. The door belt has a very large circumference, so if you have other large, sturdy objects, they can also be used as anchors.

The door anchor is the other option for using your door as an anchor. This anchor allows you to choose the height making it more versatile when your door hinges are too high.

The clinch anchor is the last attachment, a simple loop you can use around your power rack. They can also work if you have other solid beams, such as stair railings.

Is The Iron Neck Safe?

The Iron Neck is perfectly safe for all populations. Because it can be scaled back to such light loads, even those with necks more susceptible to an injury can benefit.

Using lighter bands and no friction on the dial, you’ve created an easy base from which you can gradually increase the resistance as you feel more comfortable.

Why Is The Iron Neck So Expensive?

This is one of the most voiced complaints regarding the Iron Neck. Especially since other neck training devices, such as neck harnesses, run for under $100.

But you’re not paying for a strap to put around your head while nodding up and down.

You’re paying for a one-of-a-kind device that allows you to train your neck in ranges of motion you’d never be able to do with any other device.

An elastic strength band will not let you do what the Iron Neck does.

Further, the Iron Neck replaces every neck training machine and device you can find on the market. An expensive 4-way neck machine is mostly a waste of space and money. In contrast, a neck harness only allows you to train one movement.

Is The Iron Neck Worth It?

Without a doubt, the Iron Neck is worth the money. It is a must-have piece of training equipment if you are involved in any combat, collision, or contact sport.

Even if you are not involved in any of these sports, having a strong neck can potentially save your life if you are in a bad car accident or anything that causes heavy whiplash.

Finally, for those who suffer neck pain or spend a lot of time at their desk, the Iron Neck can alleviate stiffness and pain and potentially reduce the negatives associated with poor seated posture.

It is the only neck training device that has done this for me—relieving neck pain while simultaneously improving my neck mobility.

My Favorite Uses For The Iron Neck

My personal favorite Iron Neck exercise is the Left & Right.

I like to perform these facing away from the resistance band to train the front of the neck, which is often neglected.

By the end of three sets, I can turn my chin easily to my shoulder, and the relief of stiffness I feel in my neck is awesome.

My second favorite exercise is the 360° spin.

If I am struggling with any neck pain, this is my go-to as the isometric contraction has a "numbing" effect on pain, and it seems to literally fix any nagging pain.

How Often To Use The Iron Neck

You can use the Iron Neck every day if you so please. It doubles as excellent neck mobility training and makes your head and neck feel fantastic. Especially after a long day's work sitting at a desk. If you don't use it every day, it makes a great tool during a warm-up before lifting or at the end of a training session for accessory movements.

Summary

While this Iron Neck review focuses on the Iron Neck 3.0 Pro, the 3.0 model only differs by not having a friction dial. For more versatility, go with the Iron Neck 3.0 Pro. You won't be disappointed. Plus, you can save 15% using my code below!

Iron Neck 3.0 Pro

Code "LBEB15" For A 15% Discount!

About the Author

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your training.

Want More Great Content?

Check Out These Articles