This post was inspired after scrambles very own Matt Benyon asked me about neck training, very over due heres a few video’s I like and some rational behind good neck training.
Neck training often winds up being an after thought or a peripheral to squatting and dead-lifting. In contact sports however it may be as important as everything else.
A thick neck and cauliflower ears are often the hall marks of a top wrestler or grappler. Not only does it look gnarly but it also serves a functional purpose. Contact sports athletes need strong necks as “increasing athletes’ neck strength and reducing unanticipated impacts may decrease the risk of concussion associated with sport participation” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24488820 . Additionally a strong jaw and solid clench can also limit trauma having the ability to bite down or clench on a mouthpiece with force prior to a collision to also limit concussion. There is some evidence also that tired neck muscle can effect locomotion and coordination so having a stronger more fatigue resistant neck musculature may make a difference. For more on this I suggest you checkout Mike Gittlesons neck training article for the NCAA here.
I’ve listed below a few favourite neck exercises that are really easy to implement either with a band a partner or a med ball, no goofy head harnesses honest! We often perform our neck exercises at the end of sessions. It does stand to reason however that if you have had a serious neck injury in the past consult with a physio or doctor before trying this stuff out!
With a Partner
With a Band
With a Swiss Ball
This is an ongoing series of blog posts from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC, Cagewarriors and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK. Facebook