Thread: Fitness Series: Neck
1/26/2005 2:38pm, #1
Fitness Series: Neck
The first thread of this series.
Please note: I am not a physical trainer. Consult with an expert before engaging in any physical activity.
Your neck is unarguably one of the most critical parts of your body to maintain good health with. The only injury that brought down the late Christopher "Superman" Reeve and Bullshido's own PeedeeShaolin down was a broken neck injury. If hurting it bad enough can bring down these two, you know that you need to pay attention.
A number of factors go into neck health. Your daily activities, ergonomics, sleeping behavior, all of these play a role in how well or how badly your neck is affected. While some sources of neck pain and stiffness can be anything from a slipped disc to a pinched nerve, we're going to focus more on muscular development and injury prevention in an athletic context.
A number of devices can be purchased specifically to strengthen the neck, and some gyms (especially school gyms that cater to football teams) have machines that also target the neck. These typically involve placing your face in a padded gap and leaning your head against resistance to strengthen the area.
However, there are also a number of non-weighted exercises than can help provide strength and stability to the area. These websites contain some of these:
One common exercise in wrestling and grappling is the "Bridge." This works the neck while strengthening it. Please note that this exercise requires a base of strength and fitness, and should be learned with a professional before using it on your own to prevent injury. This can be seen at the third link (rossboxing.com) above.
Feel free to contribute any other information or perspective you feel is worthwhile.
1/26/2005 2:52pm, #2
At judo, we do neck exercices, but they are ... unexplainable. I was trying to explain to Piz, but had to show him. Maybe he can do a better job of explaining what I did.
I imagine that you could also use the stretchy pilates/yoga-thingee bands for resistance for what we do.
1/26/2005 2:54pm, #3
1/26/2005 3:06pm, #4
In Judo, we used to do a ton of neck excercises, laying on your back, head lifts, on your side, same thing, on your back, same thing, just extensions. We also did neck bridges.Originally Posted by Sifu Rudy Abel
1/26/2005 3:11pm, #5
Never used any equipment for the neck exercise, bridges and stuff always seemed enough.
The only thing I would warn anyone against is doing the bridge or any other ground work that involves putting weight on your neck and compression of the vertebra, is to NOT do, or be VERY careful doing, any rotational moviment with the neck under pressure.
1/26/2005 3:25pm, #6
Drilling holes through a motorcycle helmet to put a bar through is a bad idea.
(WHO WILL GET THE REFERENCE FIRST?!?!?)
1/26/2005 3:46pm, #7
Back bridges are my favorites overall:
Front bridges are also good, you can also try them side to side but like Ronin said, be careful with rotating:
Neck isometrics are also great. Just put your hands on either the sides, front, or back of your head and push against it as hard as you can. A partner can help you with this and provide even more resistance:
Neck crunches are another good one. Simply lay on your back (or on a flat bench with your head hanging over) and simply raise your head up and back or side to side without it touching the floor and using nothing else to support it.
I'm also a big neck harness fan, but even if you don't have one of those, simply do the neck crunches and hold a little weight to whichever way you're bending. Simple but it works.SON OF ODIN
My Punching with Power article
1/26/2005 4:19pm, #8
1/26/2005 6:05pm, #9
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1/26/2005 6:35pm, #10
I'd rather worth with a weighted machine for that, than do bridges. Unfortunately non fb playing students can't use the hightech gym with olympic weights, weird machines and even 40 yards of indoor grass to do sprints on.