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Concussions and the Weight Room

What is a concussion?

The CDC states, “A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.”

Why Do we train the neck and it’s movements in the weight room?

There have been millions of dollars dedicated to what causes concussions, the equipment to help prevent concussions, and the education and research behind what causes them. But there have been very little effort into techniques, because it isn’t going to earn money, that will help limit these relationships between neck strength and concussions. So, lets answer this question that many have…Is there a relationship between neck strength and concussion? YES!

Journal of Primary Prevention states, “High correlation between neck strength and concussions”. 

Although it is a small drop in comparison to the research of the causes and the test done to assess concussions in athletes there still is sufficient evidence that suggest a correlation between neck strength and concussions. So since there is a relationship between neck strength and concussions it makes sense to train it.

How Do We Training Neck Strength in the Weight Room?

We usually start including neck exercises 8 weeks before practice begins. This gives us 2 weeks for isometric phase, 2 weeks for the eccentric phase, 2 weeks for the concentric phase, 2 weeks for the speed phase. We train the necks at least 3 times a week or how ever many days we are in the weight room. These neck exercises are broken up into 6 ranges of motion and 4 different movements.

6 Ranges of Motion

  • Chin/Chest and Chin/Sky (train both directions)
  • Ear/Shoulder and Opposite Ear/Opposite Shoulder (train both directions)
  • Chin/shoulder and Chin to Opposite Shoulder (training both directions)

4 Different Speeds of Motion

  1. Isometric Phase- 1st 2 weeks of phase of training
  2. Eccentric Phase- 2nd 2 weeks of phase of training
  3. Concentric Phase- 3rd 2 weeks of the phase of training.
  4. Speed Phase- 4th 2 weeks of phase of training

 

Other Resources

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/05/24/concussions-fought-neck.html

STOP Sports Injuries | Sports Injury Prevention

http://changingthegameproject.com/

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