Check Up from the Neck Up
Insights and perspectives on injury prevention, rehabilitation, health and fitness
Syracuse’s Athletic Training Department reported a 35% decrease in neck injuries during the 2013 football season. Why did neck injuries drop 35%? William Hicks, Assistant Athletic Director For Athletic Performance, credits the 7 Iron Necks the players have been training with since the summer. Syracuse has already dramatically dropped the number of concussions since using the Iron Neck but this new figure shows how well neck musculature, flexibility and range of motion are improved with the neck training device
The Iron Neck puts the head and neck in every possible position it can be in out on the field, in the gym under load and tension. This makes the athlete ready to dissipate the force of the damaging blows encountered during play.
This makes perfect sense. We strengthen the knee joint to protect the knee from injury. We strengthen the shoulder joint to protect it from injury, we strengthen the ankle joint to protect it from injury, and we strengthen the core to protect it from injury.
We MUST strengthen the neck to protect our athletes. If the neck breaks, the player is either paralyzed or dies. If the head is concussed repeatedly the player will develop mental problems – the worst being Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. Do not let a football player onto the field with a weak neck – the results could be catastrophic.
These new statistics further show the efficacy of The Iron Neck. Functional training is what we must achieve in the weight room; this improves an athlete’s performance because it translates to the field, to the positions each athlete plays. A strength coach does not protect the knee joint by doing leg extensions and leg curls. That is not functional training. A strength coach builds a strong knee joint with a variety of exercises which simulate the stress the joint will go through on the field. The neck is no different. We must train the neck functionally. Neck training must be dynamic and it must be job #1.