In our next training phase you will see our coaches implementing neck training. Neck muscles are a vital part of head stability and movement.
The Muscles of the neck help aid in movements of the neck and head, and stability of the head, (Thank you SLC Strength team for that ground breaking information!). The take away from this is the neck muscles help aid in stability of the head during falls, and direct impact of the head (3,4). This is especially important because, many concussions do not happen with direct impact, many concussions come from just falling or a whiplash like effect. When the head moves in violent manner, such as whiplash, the brain will also move violently in the skull, causing the brain to hit the interior of the skull or shake enough to cause damage. So in theory, the stronger the muscles of the neck are, the more control you have of your head during impacts (1,3,4). Basically what this boils down to is if your muscles are not very strong in the neck, you are at much higher likelihood of suffering a concussion when falling and/or receiving direct head impacts (1,3,4)
Again, why is this important? The majority of our member base participates in other activities outside of the gym including running, climbing, biking, skiing, snowboarding. All of these sports have high rates of falls and concussions.
Head injury and concussions have been studied heavily in football, rugby, soccer and waterpolo. Through research, we have seen that training the neck directly lessens the likelihood of suffering a concussion and if a concussion does take place the severity is less, even when there was direct head impact (1,2,3,4). Strength & conditioning is not only thinking about body composition, we are thinking about building the foundation of your body, to participate and compete in any activity you want to, including prep for the stressors of any given activity which can include falls, and direct impacts.
3-Fisher, J. P., Asanovich, M., Cornwell, R., & Steele, J. (2016). A neck strengthening protocol in adolescent males and females for athletic injury prevention. Journal of trainology, 5(1), 13-17.
4-Le Flao, E., Pichardo, A. W., Ganpatt, S., & Oranchuk, D. J. (2021). An Accessible, 16-Week Neck Strength Training Program Improves Head Kinematics Following Chest Perturbation in Young Soccer Athletes. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 30(8), 1158-1165.