Get Strong

Start From Neutral

When training neck flexion start the exercise from neutral. In the neutral position the machine will be providing tension before the exercise begins. This means the lifter will have to push the face pad forward several inches and hold it with good posture before initiating the rep. Once in the fully flexed position of the repetition the lifter should always pause to recruit as much tissue as possible. While holding the movement paused in a fully contracted position all available fibers become active. 

neckgrip1.jpg

Below is Darl Bauer Assistant Director of Strength and Coaching of the West Virginia Mountaineers. Each athlete is in a neutral contracted position awaiting Coach Bauer's exercise initiation command. 

Neutral to Pause to Get Strong.

slide0119_image136.jpg

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training

The University Of South Florida

The University of South Florida adds Pendulum to Get Strong.

IMG_1109.jpg

 

IMG_1110.jpg

 

IMG_1111.jpg

 

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pit Shark, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Hip Press

The Blind Side

Research regarding neck training in athletics comes from many fields.  Whiplash is a common unwanted occurrence in sport. Whiplash refers to a series of neck injuries caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck, whereby the head and neck suddenly accelerate and are “whipped” back with deceleration. This action can cause damage to the supporting muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues in the neck and upper back. In athletics the term is often referred to as 'blind-sided', that is a hit on the athletic field while being vulnerable and unprotected. 

Neck injuries in athletics transpire, yet are slight compared with what occurs while we are moving daily through life.  The National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that there are 5.25 million traffic accidents in United States each year with 2.9 million suffering light or severe injuries. When you total up auto, sport, work, falls, etc. it is estimated there are at least 3 million new cases of whiplash per year - understandably much of the known research on neck trauma is unrelated to sport yet very applicable to it.

It is known in the automotive world of science that rear-end collisions typically cause more cervical spine damage than frontal or side collisions. An interesting 2015 study, "Analysis of Neck Muscles at a Simulated Rear-end Impact in Healthy Subjects."  found that "A high force capacity of anterior neck muscles has preventive value to reduce the consequences of whiplash accidents." Knowing this as a coach it makes perfect sense that by strengthening these muscle we can protect the athlete from the 'blind-side'.

Make sure neck training is an integral part of your sports program and is as important as any other exercise that you do........... for safety on and off the field of play.

D73A2327.jpg

Train the anterior neck muscles when Geting Strong.

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training

Up-To-Date

The following are a list of references on the importance of training the head, neck and jaw. Great information and great reasons to Get Strong.

IMG_5351.jpg

Sports Health. 2017 Mar/Apr;9(2):168-173. Epub 2016 Nov 15. Sex Differences in Anthropometrics and Heading Kinematics Among Division I Soccer Athletes. Bretzin, Mansell, Tierney, McDevitt.

Sports Med. 2016 Feb 9. [Epub ahead of print] Neck Muscular Strength, Training, Performance and Sport Injury Risk: A Review. Hrysomallis.

Am J Sports Med. 2014 Mar;42(3):566-76. Epub 2014 Jan 31. Effect of neck muscle strength and anticipatory cervical muscle activation on the kinematic response of the head to impulsive loads. Eckner JT1, Oh YK, Joshi MS, Richardson JK, Ashton-Miller JA.

Sports Med. 2016 May 3. [Epub ahead of print] Minimizing Head Acceleration in Soccer: A Review of the Literature. Caccese, Kaminski.

Am J Sports Med. 1979 Jul-Aug;7(4):231-3.Neck motion in the high school football player. Observations and suggestions for diminishing stresses on the neck. Pearl AJ, Mayer PW.

J Prim Prev. 2014 Neck strength: a protective factor reducing risk for concussion in high school sports. Collins CL, Fletcher EN, Fields SK, Kluchurosky L, Rohrkemper MK, Comstock RD, Cantu RC.

Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2014 Feb;26(1):33-40. Epub 2013 Oct 2.The relationship between impact force, neck strength, and neurocognitive performance in soccer heading in adolescent females. Gutierrez GM1, Conte C, Lightbourne K.

Sports Health. 2013 Jul;5(4):320-6. Neck strength imbalance correlates with increased head acceleration in soccer heading

Laryngorhinootologie. 2015 Jul 17. [Epub ahead of print] [Electromyographic Analysis of Neck Muscles at a Simulated Rear-end Impact in Healthy Subjects]. [Article in German] Raven , Volk GF, Stadler J, Graßme, Anders , Guntinas-Lichius.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print] Acute Lower Extremity Injury Rates Increase following Concussion in College Athletes. Lynall RC, Mauntel TC, Padua DA, Mihalik JP. 

Cortical hypoexcitability persists beyond the symptomatic phase of a concussion. Powers KC, Cinelli ME, Kalmar JM

Am J Sports Med. 2016 Mar;44(3):742-7.  Epub 2016 Jan 19. Concussion Increases Odds of Sustaining a Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Injury After Return to Play Among Collegiate Athletes.

Sean Gregory, Neck Strength Predicts Concussion Risk, Study Says Time Sports 02.21.2013.

Robert Nash, Angus Barnett, Sally Burrows, Warren Andrews, Brendyn Appleby, Can a specific neck strengthening routine reduce cervical spine injuries in a Men’s Professional Rugby union team? A retrospective analysis Journal of Sports Medicine  2013 12,542-550

Paul Steinbach Sports Injury Expert Dawn Comstock Talks Concussion Prevention Athletic Business; Apr 2013, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p11

Beeman SM, Kemper AR, Madigan ML, Duma SM Effects of bracing on human kinematics in low-speed frontal sled tests. Ann Biomed Eng. 2011 Dec;39(12):2998-3010

Bose D, Crandall JR., Influence of active muscle contribution on the injury response of restrained car occupants. Ann Adv Automot Med. 2008 Oct; 52:61-72.

Vaccaro AR, Klein GR, Ciccoti M, Pfaff WL, Moulton MJ, Hilibrand AJ Watkins Return to play criteria for the athlete with cervical spine injuries resulting in stinger and transient quadriplegia/paresis.Spine J. 2002 Sep-Oct;2(5):351-6.

Anita N. Vasavada, Barry W. Peterson, Scott L. Delp, Three-dimensional spatial tuning of neck muscle activation in humans Exp Brain Res (2002) 147:437–448.

Thomas J. Roberts and Emanuel Azizi The series-elastic shock absorber: tendons attenuate muscle power during eccentric actions, Journal of Applied Physiology August 1, 2010 vol. 109 no. 2 396-404.

Armstrong B, McNair P, Taylor D., Head and neck position sense. Sports Med. 2008; 38(2):101-17. 

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2017 Apr 13. Neck strength and self-reported neck dysfunction: what is the impact of a season of rugby union? Salmon, Sullivan, Handcock, Rehrer, Niven.

J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Mar 13. Can Neck Strength be Measured Using a Single Maximal Contraction in a Simulated Contact Position? Salmon, Handcock, John Sullivan, Reherer, Niven.

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Announcements, Muscular Strength

The Importance of Training the Head, Neck and Jaw

describe the imageMike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. The following is an article that he wrote for the NCAA on the "The Importance of Training the Head and Neck."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) – which is used interchangeably with the term concussion – as a complex pathophysiologic process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces secondary to direct or indirect forces to the head. A concussion or MTBI can be caused by a blow or a jolt to the head or body that disrupts the function of the brain.

There are methods for lowering the risk and reducing the number of sport-related concussions across America. Some of the factors are return to play, rules changes, the number of exposures, skill development, protective equipment and strength training to lower subconcussive forces. All of these considerations play a part in abatement of concussion. Exclusion of any one item affects the safety of the student-athlete. Each factor must be reviewed by the professional who, by using assiduity and diligence, can and will have a positive impact on risk.

Preventative sports medicine is the hallmark of any strength and conditioning program. The first goal of a professional is to develop effective and practical ways to reduce the number of sports-related injuries.

IMG_5378.jpg 

In the 1970s, collegiate programs began introducing strength training into their athletic programs to enhance performance as well as reduce injuries. There was very little research on the subject of weight training and athletics and many misnomers about strength training in general. At the time, the majority felt strongly that the use of barbells and strength training devices would inhibit athleticism by bulking and stiffening the athlete. Women, in general, had a strong fear of becoming too muscular. Educators worked to dispel those fears and strength and conditioning programs are now commonplace throughout athletics. Though some wrongly conceived beliefs still linger today when it comes to training the musculature associated with the cervical spine.

The benefits of muscular development are far greater than initially purported since the inception of strength training into intercollegiate athletics. One of the important functions of strength training has become the development of the muscle and tendon as a unit. The muscle-tendon unit attenuates and dissipates force. Developing a strong musculoskeletal system is what is needed to protect joints and reduce injuries. This attenuation and dissipation of force is not exclusive to particular joints in the anatomical system.

Dawn Comstock, associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, collected data on 6,704 student-athletes in six sports: boys' and girls' soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Her results indicated that for every pound of improved neck strength, an individual reduces his or her concussion risk.

Dr. Comstock from her years of injury surveillance points out the primary mechanism for concussion injury is athlete-to-athlete contact. The researcher then asked, "Did the athlete see the blow coming?" And she found that for the athletes who saw the blow coming – those who had a chance to activate their neck muscles – experienced less severe concussion.

The attenuation and dissipation of force and bracing before impact by activating neck muscles can lower subconcussive trauma. This is a great reason for training the musculature that moves the neck and supports the head.

There are many more reasons for an athlete to train this region of the anatomy. ‘Where the head goes the body will follow’ is an athletic axiom that coaches teach. Stand straight, place your fingers lightly on the nape of your neck. Without moving your head quickly move your eyes left and right. You will feel the musculature in your neck begin to contract. The eyes are not connected to the neck muscles but the brain is preparing the body for movement. Like our limbs it is important to move the head quickly. Training the head and neck will enhance performance.

IMG_5359.jpg

The respiratory system’s process of inspiration and expiration involves much more than the diaphragm and the internal and external intercostal muscles. The scalene muscles in the neck are involved in almost every breath we take. The platysma and sternocleidomastoid are involved in heavy breathing. Injure or develop neck muscles and your body’s athleticism will be affected. 

Conventional wisdom suggests that strength training increases body mass index (BMI) in a positive way, but does it? BMI is a simplistic measure of body fat. It is calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by the square of one’s height in meters. The derived results can then be compared to a chart of normative data provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). BMI is useful for the overweight and obese, yet it does have limitations. BMI may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have muscular builds. The problem is this simple tool does not differentiate between fat mass and lean body mass. It has long been argued that heavily muscled, weight-trained athletes are healthy despite their BMI classification.

At issue is the athlete that increases muscle mass and vascularity significantly in all areas of the body but the neck region alters peripheral vascular resistance in an acute way. Peripheral resistance is a function of the internal vessel diameter, vessel length and blood viscosity. Having a large body and an undeveloped neck changes the force of the delivery system’s blood flow to the head.

The cervical spine’s associated musculature is regarded as an important proprioceptive organ for postural processes. The muscles are small with a high spindle density. You can think of this region as the hotbed of proprioception. Disturbances of gait can occur by interfering with, damaging, weakening or fatiguing the muscles of the head and neck. Training this region augments static as well as dynamic posture – our ability to balance.

The head and neck muscular system is a complex anatomical structure and has apparent muscle redundancy; that is, more head and neck muscle than degrees of freedom. It is been postulated that individuals exhibit a large variation of neck muscle activation strategies for accomplishing the same task intra individually, as well as between subjects. The health practitioner’s return-to-play protocol after a concussion, whiplash, nerve or muscle trauma must contain a measurable strength component to restore each muscle to normalcy, redressing this tendency to substitute by the injured athlete. 

Head and neck muscles can be thought of as two distinct muscular units, the musculature that moves the head and the muscles that move the cervical spine. Each unit must be trained to maximize development and ongoing strength values collected. This aids in overall muscular fitness and post injury assessment in returning a student-athlete to their appropriate functional movement 

Injuries to the mouth, face and jaw are part of sport. Having a strong jaw helps in bracing, clenching against a mouth guard, and resisting the pull of the chin strap in helmets. Injured masseter muscles, strained temporalis, pterygoids, digastrics all must be rehabilitated and strengthened when damaged.

Villanova_Jaw_Strength.jpg

To help lower subconcussive forces, protect the student-athlete returning to play, maximize performance and fitness, strength training of the head, neck and jaw must be inclusive when designing exercise programs. 

Topics: Head/Neck/Trap/Shop, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training

The Fighting Irish

The University of Notre Dame upgrades their weight room with a wide variety of Pendulum Strength Training Machines.


20170403_125003_resized.jpeg

 

20170403_125712_resized.jpeg

They are Getting Strong in South Bend

Topics: Pendulum Seated Squat, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum 3 Way Row, Pendulum Combo Lat Pull

Don't Miss This Strength And Conditioning Clinic

10TH ANNUAL MSU STRENGTH & CONDITIONING CLINIC

790011FC-4B1F-46F6-BF23-B90AA2A37A13-728-00000104A48C116C_tmp-2.png

  • WHEN: Friday, Feb 10th 2017- FREE SESSION from 6-9pm.
  • Saturday, February 11th 2017-Registration & Check-in @ 7:15-8:00am. Clinic will run approximately until 3:00pm.
  • WHERE: Clara Bell Smith Academic Center (adjacent to the Duffy Daugherty Building).
  • COST: $95 Pre-registered by Feb. 10th (includes video links to all presentations & a Spartan Strength T-Shirt).
  • $30 Pre-registered Students (must present valid Student ID at check-in)

8C25728F-3220-4263-9FDF-AF05D0FAC0EB-728-0000010680780278_tmp.png

  • CLINIC SPEAKERS:
  • Ted Lambrinides (Clinic Emcee-Director of Sports Science, Athletic Strength & Power
  • Allan Johnson (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach-East Tennessee State University)
  • Jason Novak (Strength & Conditioning Coach-Central Michigan University)
  • Tim Wakeham (Director of Strength & Conditioning Olympic Sports-Michigan State University)
  • Rick Court (Assistant AD for Football Sports Performance-University of Maryland).
  • Lorenzo Guess (Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach-Football Michigan State University)
  • Shaun Tahrebandi (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach-Warren (MI) Mott HS)

454E98CB-72DB-44B5-80A4-D96B80F50B9A-728-0000010DE3F99C5F_tmp.png

Topics: Pendulum Seated Squat, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Clinics, Announcements, Pendulum Rack System, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum Squat Pro, Pendulum Power Stack

10TH ANNUAL MSU STRENGTH & CONDITIONING CLINIC

Spartan Strength & Conditioning Clinic 

 MSU Football
 
10TH ANNUAL MSU STRENGTH & CONDITIONING CLINIC
  • WHEN: Friday, Feb 10th 2017- FREE SESSION from 6-9pm.
  • Saturday, February 11th 2017-Registration & Check-in @ 7:15-8:00am. Clinic will run approximately until 3:00pm.
  • WHERE: Clara Bell Smith Academic Center (adjacent to the Duffy Daugherty Building).
  • COST: $95 Pre-registered by Feb. 10th (includes video links to all presentations & a Spartan Strength T-Shirt).
  • $30 Pre-registered Students (must present valid Student ID at check-in)
  • CLINIC SPEAKERS:
  • Ted Lambrinides (Clinic Emcee-Director of Sports Science, Athletic Strength & Power
  • Allan Johnson (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach-East Tennessee State University)
  • Jason Novak (Strength & Conditioning Coach-Central Michigan University)
  • Tim Wakeham (Director of Strength & Conditioning Olympic Sports-Michigan State University)
  • Rick Court (Assistant AD for Football Sports Performance-University of Maryland).
  • Lorenzo Guess (Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach-Football Michigan State University)
  • Shaun Tahrebandi (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach-Warren (MI) Mott HS)

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Clinics, Announcements, Pendulum Rack System

Manual Labor

It is well understood that muscular strength and functional abilities can be enhanced significantly without the use of barbells or machines by utilizing manual or partner training techniques. The inclusion and coaching of Manual Resistance training should be an integral part of all athletic programs. 

describe the image

The benefits of Manual Training are far reaching:

Manual training teaches an athlete how to get the most out of each repetition and how to reach and what it feels like to accomplish momentary muscular failure. 

Manual training affords for a hands on evaluation, by a coach, of an athletes effort in performing each movement.  

Manual resistance does not require equipment allowing athletes to perform resistive exercises that a facility may have limited equipment or tools for.

Athletes are able to strength train under varied circumstances; i.e., when there is no weight room available or a the satellite facility has inadequate resources. 

Large numbers of athletes can be trained at one time.

Important Manual Resistance Considerations:

  • When training manually all athletes must understand the rules of performing each repetition properly.
  • The athlete should not only be capable of performing an exercise but have the ability to teach, as well as administer the exercise to others. 
  • Once an athlete understands how to execute manual resistance it demands the same effort and motivation as if trying to improve on a bench, squat, clean or any other strength training exercise.
  • When training manually to progressively overload it requires a strength measurement to track progress.  Taking a circumference, body composition and other physiological variables allows the coach and athlete to monitor results.
  • Remember when training the head and neck manually athletes should have clean hands especially during flu season.
  • The rules of Manual Resistance must be reviewed regularly!                                 IMG 9694edited

Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure. 

Training the Neck Manually

The absolute best tools for strength training the muscular that lowers subconcussive forces are the Pendulum 4-Way and 5-Way Head and Neck Machines.  Manual resistance can be used to augment these exercises or when an athlete is away from the facility. The 4 and 5-Way Head and Neck Machines should be priorities in all athletic strength training rooms. 

After a concussion or a head and neck injury you need strength values for return-to-play. The athletic trainer and physician use strength levels of the shoulder and knees for return-to-play but without a neck machine and previously recorded results one can only guess about the levels needed to resume activity safely. 

Neck Stength Women

 Training on the Pendulum Head and Neck Machine.

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Success, Manual Resistance

Small And Powerful

The multifidis muscle starts at the sacral bone at the base of the spine and extends upward to the second cervical vertebra. The multifidis takes pressure off the discs and it's strength adds stability to the vertebral column. Though small it is the most powerful muscle that supports the region. 

Studies show that the size of the multifidis and the risk for head and neck injuries are associated in contact sports. Once a neck injury occurs there is a rapid degeneration of the cervical multifidis and MRI's show a fatty infiltration into the tissue. The muscle must be kept thick and strong along the entire spine and rehabilitated like any other region of the body post injury.

If you contract your shoulder muscles dynamically or isometrically there is an increase in thickness of the multifidis which serves to protect the head and neck. The muscle will thicken regardless of force direction to the shoulder or arm. This is a wonderful way our body safeguards us from excessive trauma - when an appendage is hit the cervical spine stiffens.

Take advantage of this small, but powerful muscle and make sure all athletes train and rehabilitate the multifidis....... Get Strong

Image result for neck training west virginia football darl bauer

West Virginia Strength Coach Darl Bauer Neck Training Athletes

 

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training