Posted On:7/08/2010 2:35pm
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.
“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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
"The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
Posted On:7/08/2010 3:00pm
Style: Muay Thai & BJJ
Great read, thanks!
Originally Posted by Sifu Rudy Abel
"Just what makes a pure grappler think he can survive with an experienced striker. Especially if that striker isn't following any particular rule set and is well aware of what the grapplers strategies are".
Keeping you safe from Mongolians
Posted On:7/08/2010 3:12pm
Style: Sanda/Taijiquan *Hiatus*
How do neck strengthening plz?
...has all your Jing.
Posted On:7/08/2010 3:32pm
Style: Judo, baby! Yeah!
I'm sure Omega has done a video on this very subject. I'll try and root it out.
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Posted On:7/08/2010 3:46pm
Style: In transition
I think there's another neck strengthening thread already.
Well, not exactly, but there was plenty of neck strengthening talk in there, if I recall.
Toughening up a glass jaw - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
In my own training, there's neck strengthening exercises for warm-up. I'm not sure of the effectiveness of such an exercise, but it's simply tensing of the neck muscles while slowly moving your chin up and down.
Supposedly it's to create a quick defense to a choke, such as quickly tensing to resist the pressure on the windpipe and add to the amount of time to react. I'm not sold on it, but the exercise does make my neck a little bit bigger.
I'd love to see more exercises posted up, as well.
Posted On:7/08/2010 4:04pm
Ok, not what I thought it was, but it does include an exercise for strengthening the neck.
YouTube- Blocking with face
Last edited by JingMerchant!; 7/08/2010 4:09pm at .
Reason: Why won't this embed...?
Posted On:7/08/2010 11:06pm
Seconding the request for a neck conditioning series.
Posted On:7/08/2010 11:11pm
Style: Muay Thai
Posted On:7/09/2010 12:31am
Style: Limalama, Judo & BJJ
I've done a lot of the Thai Boxing clinch work and damned if that wont give you a pretty strong neck! A strong neck is definitly an asset but it also has to be a mobile neck. Being able to move your neck when things go wrong is just as important if not more so than just having a strong neck, I know its saved my bacon a few times. I would also say a mobile neck makes a better shock absorber than a strong one, easier to put more force into a stationary target than a mobile one. So be sure to add some mobility work into that neck training ;)
Also a note on bridging on the head. Do be careful. Its a useful grappling technique but it can be a dangerous option for conditioning and its an easy way to hurt yourself if you try to move to fast in it to early.
Posted On:7/09/2010 2:29am
For neck strength I've been doing the following:
wrestlers bridges - Go up into the (no hands, have a look in the below video, the one I'm talking about here is progression #6, but without the rocking) bridge and hold position for 30 seconds. Rest for a minute. Repeat 3 times. As this gets easier increase the time. Do this twice a week.
During warm up for sambo we do progrssion #4 from the following video at 1:05. We also roll our heads from side to side from the same position:
YouTube- Basic wrestlers bridge progressions
"Chance favours only the prepared mind."
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