Why Is My Neck So Thick? (Fat Neck Vs. Muscular Neck)

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There could be different reasons behind having a thick neck, such as fatty deposits, muscle build-up, or health issues. If your neck feels soft to touch and you have chin rolls, you could have a fatty neck. It can be resolved by focussing on exercising and keeping a healthy diet. A thick neck could also signify health issues like sleep apnea, Cushing Syndrome, high cholesterol, or diabetes. People also get a thick neck as they age or due to genetics. A muscular neck feels stronger and is a good sign as it protects you from serious neck injuries, stress, and strained muscles. A thick neck with good strength gives you more endurance, so your neck can sustain a good posture for longer and avoid fatigue and muscle stress.

Some people might consider having a thick neck their defining feature and be proud of how it looks with the rest of their body. But others might not like how wide their neck looks with their body proportion and might want a slimmer-looking neck.

Whatever your preferences are, a thick neck could result from either fat deposit around your neck, in which case you can try exercising to get a more slim neck. On the other hand, it could be muscular, which is more beneficial than you think.

A thick neck can be quite attractive and even positively affect your body. It’s important to know if what makes your neck thick is the fat or the muscles. Let’s dive into it!

Do you have a fat neck?

If you want to find out whether you have neck fat or not, then try touching it and see if it feels softer. The softer and lose it feels to grab, the more you can be sure it’s a fat deposit making your neck look thick.

Having excess neck fat can result in a lot of health issues and risks. It could directly impact your airways in the throat, increasing the risk of sleep apnea.

With neck fat, you can also notice a double or triple chin appearing, making it more evident that you need to lose fat around your neck.

This fat is known as submental fat. But genetics and aging can also cause more fat around your neck.

A fatty neck could also be associated with high cholesterol or diabetes and other health conditions depending on other signs and symptoms. 

Do you have a muscular neck?

A muscular neck can feel firm and tight when touching it, which is quite different from having a fatty one.

A fit man is stretching after doing some neck exercises

The reason why your neck is thick is that you’ve muscle build-up in this area. This could result from a healthy lifestyle where you exercise while having a balanced diet. 

It can be attractive to have a thick neck if it’s in proportion with your height, weight, and body composition. If you like to live a healthy lifestyle and remain fit by exercising, then having a thick neck is an expected outcome.

But having a thick neck is also good for the surrounding muscles, such as the trapezius and deltoids.

In fact, having a wide neck can lower your risk of injury, stress, and general neck pain.

The neck is an integral part of our body as our head rests on it, and it comes in use more than you know.

Benefits of a thick neck

It might not seem like a big deal, but having a neck that’s thick in circumference and is built up of solid muscles can be more beneficial than you might think.

If you love playing football or any other sport, having a strong neck is even more necessary. Professional players often suffer from neck injuries because their neck muscles might not be so strengthened. 

A thicker neck has better strength and stability to avoid serious neck injuries

Sometimes people suffer headaches due to neck pain or vice versa. If you notice one side of your neck is more stiff and painful to touch, you might suffer from more frequent headaches. 

Plus, the most common issue amongst office workers is the long sitting hours leading to a stiff neck or pain in neck muscles due to straining them. 

A thick neck with good strength can minimize these issues and give you more endurance to sustain a good posture and avoid fatigue, tightness, and pain.

Why is neck exercising important?

A man is sitting on a mat at the gym doing neck stretches to strengthen his neck muscles

Different exercises can strengthen your neck muscles, such as:

  • Neck flexion
  • Neck lateral flexion
  • Neck extension
  • Neck rotation
  • Shoulder blade squeeze
  • Dumbbell shrugs

These exercises are needed to help release the built-up tension in your neck and shoulder areas from long sitting hours in front of the computer and avoid serious neck injury. 

Even stretching exercises can help prevent an injury and help your neck muscles relax, which you can do for 20 minutes daily. This helps build endurance in your neck muscles.

Though exercising neck muscles is vital, it’s also essential to know when to stop to avoid overworking them. 

Taking breaks in between working is often recommended because you don’t realize how bad your posture gets while working and how it affects your neck and spine.

Pay attention to how long you work, the way you sit, use your mobile, or commute from and to work. 

One common mistake for neck issues is people don’t realize their computer screen height should be set at eye level. If it’s not, you’re constantly looking down or up from your chair, quickly straining your neck. 

We don’t always sit straight; bad posture can lead to strained muscles, worn joints, and nerve compression. So can overexercising, so you should definitely do exercises under professional guidance. 


Why is my neck thick, but I’m skinny?

If your neck doesn’t feel right in proportion to the rest of your body, you might have neck fat. Sometimes we gain weight on specific body parts even though the rest of the body remains skinny.

In this case, notice if your neck feels softer to touch rather than tight. If you also have chin rolls, you need to lose fat around your neck. 

But it could be due to genetics, aging, bad posture, or other medical condition. Sometimes it’s an indication of an underlying condition, so do check for other signs or symptoms. 

How can I reduce my neck thickness?

If you have to loose skin around your neck, it could be that your neck has fat deposits.

The best way to slim down your neck is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a combination of exercising and a balanced diet.

Various neck exercises focus on building neck muscles that can help you get the neck you want in proportion to the rest of your body. 

How do I deal with neck strain from sitting too much?

When you’re working sitting down all day long, you can forget to take breaks in between and have a bad posture by slouching down, which directly affects your neck muscles, backbone, arms, and even legs.

It can create a tremendous amount of stress in these areas. That’s why it’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle where you can build strength in your neck muscles and other body parts by exercising daily, which builds up your endurance.

Apart from exercising, you must also remember to take breaks, maintain a good posture while sitting and sleeping, stay hydrated, and maintain good computer eye level.

How can I get rid of a double chin?

If you wish to get rid of a double chin, you can try neck exercises and maintain a healthy diet that’s calorie deficient.

While specific exercises focus on neck and chin areas, a full-body workout also helps reduce fat from all parts of your body.

Having a double chin is not always a sign of being fat or obese, as even some skinny people might have a double chin. But if you wish to lose it, ensure you do it healthily. 

What is Cushing syndrome?

Sometimes a reason for having a fatty neck could be because of a health issue such as Cushing syndrome. 

It occurs due to abnormally high levels of the hormone cortisol, and one of the common symptoms is weight gain, specifically in the midsection, the face, and between shoulders and the upper back.

Women suffer more from this syndrome and may develop extra facial, body hair, or irregular menstruation. Since it’s due to the hormone cortisol, the increased production of this hormone could result from various causes.

The treatment also involves bringing down this hormone, and it depends on the cause behind its increased production.

To summarise

While a thick neck does look attractive, there’s a vast difference between having a neck that’s thick due to muscles and a neck that looks thick due to fatty deposits. 

If your neck feels thicker in proportion to the rest of your body, then it could be the latter that can be resolved by keeping a healthy lifestyle. But a thick neck with solid muscles is attractive and has practical benefits such as keeping you from having severe neck injuries, muscle strain, and stress.

Sometimes we focus on specific body parts and fixate on how it looks so different while that might not be the case. If your neck looks good with your body proportion and you have no medical condition, you shouldn’t worry too much!

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Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.

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