Why you, as a combat athlete, should have a strong neck.
I've been thinking about making a thread on this for a while, as too many guys I've trained with have been unable to even bridge off their head, let alone fight in a Thai clinch.
There are various reasons why combat athletes absolutely need a strong neck. The first and most obvious, especially in sports involving grappling, is protection from injury.
this link: http://www.onthemat.com/articles/Whe...1_30_2007.html
explains some of the most common neck injuries that occur as a result of mma training.
I myself have experienced neck injuries from MMA training, in fact I'm suffering from one now where I fucked up a no gi judo throw and essentially spiked both me and my partner on our heads, lucky for him my head hit the ground first. The doctor's opinion was pretty straight forward:
“Hey Doc, I got trapped in a nasty guillotine choke and now my neck hurts, but I’ve also got this burning sensation going down my left arm. What does that mean?” Or “Hey Doc, someone got me in a neck crank and I heard something pop. It hurts a lot when I look over the right shoulder. Do I need x-rays?”
A lot of MMA and grappling athletes come to the office with similar complaints. Fortunately, most neck injuries that occur from training and competition are minor and usually self limiting. The most common injuries to the neck we see are sprains and strains. Sprains are injuries to the ligaments (connective tissues that hold the bones together) while strains are injuries to the muscles.
1) I'm an idiot (I agreed with this one)
2) my neck is just sprained
3) it would have been a **** load worse if I didn't have a strong neck.
as MMA is such a versatile sport, and contains so many opportunities to get injured, strengthening your body, particularly the really important bits, to aid them in resisting injury is common sense no?
Another reason for needing a strong neck in MMA is essentially the technical advantage you gain from it. Obviously the difference isn't ground breaking but the fact is guys with strong necks can essentially use it in their wrestling, particularly clinching, as another way of controlling their opponent. Also, ever noticed why a **** ton of skinny ass muay thai fighters tend to have kinda big necks for their size? A strong neck does give a definite advantage in the Thai clinch.
Personally, I've also found that bridging off your head instead of your shoulders provides you with a little extra height which might make the difference in escaping mount or side control.
The last reason, and this one is a bit dubious, is the possible 'shock absorber' affect that a strong neck can have in regards to receiving punches.
This article: http://rossboxing.com/thegym/thegym15.htm on Rossboxing gives a reasonable argument as to the benefits of a strong neck in striking sports, as well as an effective training regimen that I have been following for over a year.
Now I can't vouch for or deny this principle, as I've never been one to wobble from a good shot. However, I have experienced first hand the benefits of a strong neck in grappling and Muay Thai.
Although difficult to prove, it appears that a strong neck will help absorb the impact of the incoming punch. A strong neck will prevent the rapid acceleration of the brain following impact. We have all seen a bout where one boxer’s head is violently snapped back following impact. By strengthening the muscles of the neck, a fighter can prevent this occurrence. A strong and balanced musculature has always been one of the best ways to prevent injury.
Unfortunately, the neck is often neglected in most training routines. I have rarely seen fighters take the time to strengthen their neck. When pondering whether a strong neck prevents a knockout, I ask you to consider Evander Holyfield. Evander has always been considered a small Heavyweight. He began his career as a Cruiserweight after fighting in the Olympics at 178 pounds. Despite his size, Evander Holyfield has been able to withstand the punishment inflicted from men much larger in size. If you observe the neck of Evander Holyfield, you will realize why he can sustain such punishment. Evander’s neck is rippled with muscle.
comments are welcome, as are opinions and arguments on the necessity of a strong neck in combat sports and its neglect in most training regimens.