Why Training The Neck Is Important For Football

Posted by Matt Jackson on Nov 28, 2017 11:55:42 AM
In any sport there is a chance for trauma to the brain, especially in football. The chances for a high school team that has forty athletes playing in a ten-game season are that at least 4 of 40 athletes will end up obtaining a concussion during the season Emmett, ( 2015).  A concussion is defined as

A complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain, typically induced by trauma to the brain. It can be caused either by a direct blow to the head, or an indirect blow to the body, causing neurological impairments that may resolve spontaneously. (Sports Concussions institute, 2012).

A study that was conducted by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2003 found that athletes that suffered a concussion on average take five to seven days for the cognitive functions in the brain to return to normal. Now think about this, that means that the athlete would have to miss a week of practice and miss the Friday night game. Now think if this athlete is your starting quarterback. How would this affect the team. Do not get me wrong here concussions happen and we as coaches cannot always protect them. But we can at less give our athletes a better chance to reduces their risk of obtaining a concussion. One may be asking how we might do this and one answer is by training the neck.

Neck Application

I recommend doing neck exercise as part of your warm-up or as your auxiliary lifts, but coach it as its one of your Main Lifts.

Neck Machine

2x10 Neck Flexion (Sagittal)

2x10 Neck Extension (Sagittal)

2x10 Neck Left Tilt (Frontal)

2x10 Neck Right Tilt (Frontal)

 

Manual Resistance with A Partner

neck.jpg

Manual resistance is a form of exercise that requires no equipment at all.

Two people are necessary to perform manual resistance

      2x10 Neck Flexion (Sagittal)

  • Have a partner place hands, against the Front part of the neck and have them apply resistance. The athlete will then perform 10 reps

     2x10 Neck Extension (Sagittal)

  • Have a partner place hands, against the Back part of the neck and have them apply resistance. The athlete will then perform 10 reps

     2x10 Neck Left Tilt (Frontal)

  • Have a partner place hands, against the Left side of the head and have them apply resistance. The athlete will then perform 10 reps

      2x10 Neck Right Tilt (Frontal)

  • Have a partner place hands, against the Right side of the head and have them apply resistance. The athlete will then perform 10 reps

 

You could also use a towel or bands to have added pressure. Also, adding exercises like Shrugs and Upright Rows will help with strengthening the neck as well.

In consultation training the neck is not fun nor is it a flashy, but it is something that should be considered when you aredoing the  programming for your athletes. With this rate of concussion in sports I believe training the neck is a must in football. Just by adding neck exercise to your program you will greatly reduce your athletes risk of getting a serious head injury.


 

Topics: Build Strength, Neck

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