Check Up from the Neck Up
Insights and perspectives on injury prevention, rehabilitation, health and fitness
What are we trying to accomplish by warming up the neck or another body part before competition, practice or even work? Injury prevention and improved sports performance.
Importance of Warm-Up
It is important that a warm-up include components of both game related skills and specific movements that the athlete will perform. A warm-up should include transitional movements, full ranges of motion, and light resistance to raise the muscle temperature which decreases the viscosity of the muscle. This in turn reduces muscle and joint soreness and stiffness which leads to greater ROM (range of motion) and provides protection against violent blows and sudden movements.
The neck is the most amazing “joint” in the human body.
The neck muscles not only hold the skull in place protecting a very fragile brain, they also flex, extend and rotate in myriad directions. This allows us to turn our senses of sight and hearing in the direction required to perform at high levels in sports, work and everyday life. A proper neck warm up should be functional. It should take the neck “joint” through all the ranges of motion and patterns it must face on the field, court, or ice.