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.
Three largest muscle groups that rotate the head
We must realize that the three largest neck muscle groups are responsible for head rotation. Working together they take the head through the six degrees of freedom or motion that functional training emphasizes. We cannot stretch or contract these diagonal muscle groups fully unless we include rotating of the head.
A Wide Receivers Neck
If we do not warm-up a wide receiver's neck properly, what will happen when he turns his neck far to his right and looks high back over his shoulder to locate the ball flying towards him and is hit hard with a body blow as he attempts to catch the ball? Can he withstand that blow with his head in such a vulnerable position?
Extreme Force on Fighter Pilot's Necks
The United States Air Force’s Air Force Research Laboratory and the School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright Paterson AFB studied all the neck strengthening devices on the market. They needed a device that could solve the severe neck problems their fighter pilots have from pulling high G-Forces while their head and neck is in every possible position looking out of the canopy for enemy fighter craft. F-16 squadrons travel around the world with The Iron Neck and not only strength train with it but warm-up with it on the flight decks before pulling 4 Gs at takeoff. Some of the best wrestlers in the world use The Iron Neck to warm up before matches. College football teams are using it to warm-up before practice. Why? It is a functional warm-up.
The Iron Neck is only one way to warm up the neck functional
Functional warm-ups are a must for the neck and can go a long way in reducing concussion risk as well as protecting the spinal cord from injury. There is no other device, machine or product on the market that functionally warms up the neck as effectively as the Iron Neck.
Watch this basic workout video to see how The Iron Neck can warm-up your neck: