Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Training the Neck

I recently wrote a guest blog  for Gopher Sports  regarding Training the Neck musculature.  You can check it out here

Question:  What neck exercises do we program  for the neck musculature to address the concussion issue?
There might not be one best exercise of practice to prevent this. Not getting hit is the probably the best way to prevent getting concussions.  Our approach will probably have to be a global approach.  If I get drilled in the head by a guy twice my size, that moves twice as fast as me and I never see it coming, there is a pretty good chance I'm gonna have whiplash and get concussed.

Threads of discussions(amongst us and via the web) have popped up over that last year regarding concussions and specifically, How can we train the neck in the weight room to prevent concussions?  As we all know, there is way more awareness now a days than when we were getting our bell rung back in the day.  Say what we want to say about concussions, but we need to have this discussion so we're on the same page

Take a look at the Joint by Joint Approach by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook.  In simple terms, if you haven't read it, areas of the body alternate from stable to mobile.

Lumbar Spine-Stable
 and the Cervical Spine needs stability.

Well, what exercises can do this so we protect our kids?

Thoughts from the Experts:
1.  A well rounded strength and conditioning and nutrition program will help prevent concussions, ACL injuries and other injuries.

2.  "Packing the Neck" and creating stability seems to be the consensus from the top coaches and experts in the field. 

3.  Not getting hit is the best way to prevent getting concussions.

4.  Hydration is a aspect that seems to be forgotten when it comes to preventing concussions.  Making sure your athletes are always well hydrated keeps the protective layer or "cushion" that surrounds the brain full. This layer depletes when athletes dehydrate to make weight.
Exercises I program to address this issue:
-Loaded Carries (Farmer Carry, Suitcase Carry, Other Variations)
-Stability Ball Isometric Holds (No Movement)  Stable Neck
-Olympic Lift Variations
Missing Link:  I think hydration and nutrition are a missing link to the concussion epidemic.  I'd be curious if there was ever a way to look or ask the kids that did get concussed, what was their hydration and daily nutrition look like.

More discussion and dialog is needed.

Don't forget to check out my guest blog I did for Gopher Sports

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