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Train The Entire System

In April of 2018 the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation published "Feasibility and Effect of Cervical Resistance Training on Head Kinematics in Youth Athletes: A Pilot Study."  Their goal was to see if there was potential for utilizing neck strengthening exercise to reduce youth athletes' risk for sport-related concussion by increasing neck girth and strength.  

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It has already been determined that neck girth and strength is associated with a lower risk of sport-related concussions. Having a stronger and/or larger neck mitigates head acceleration and dissipates force. The findings were published in the Journal of Pediatric Exercise Science several years ago - "The relationship between impact force, neck strength and neurocognitive performance in soccer heading in adolescent females." - and in Sports Health, "Sex Differences in Anthropometrics and Heading Kinematics Among Division I Soccer Athletes."

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Knowing neck girth and neck strength are factors that may limit head impact kinematics, it only makes sense that neck exercises are included in workout programs for all participants. The neck is part of our muscular system and should not be excluded from exercise regimes.

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Administering an exercise program requires it to be safe and effective, in other words -well thought out. One of the best programs in the United States is administered by the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ.  Read the following blog to get insight into putting together a program that trains the entire system to increase performance and protect the athlete. 

http://info.rogersathletic.com/get-strong/bid/102205/Neck-Develop-Progressions-From-6th-Grade-To-12th

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

Discover Strength

One of the best Clinics you can attend to obtain the latest scientific research on muscular development is held each year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The clinic is put on by Discover Strength. Attendees learn how to strength train effectively in the least amount of time, through presentations and demonstrations. There are morning workouts and additional information for those who run or want to learn learn how to run a fitness business.  

Discover Strength brings a team of Personal Trainers holding certification from the American College of Sports Medicine with degrees in Exercise Science focused on exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor learning, and nutrition. http://www.discoverstrength.com/

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Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Clinics, Pendulum Squat Pro, Pendulum Vertical Chest Press

Seton Hall

Seton Hall University - South Orange, New Jersey

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Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum Shoulder/Incline, Pendulum 3 Way Row, Pendulum Squat Pro, Pendulum Vertical Chest Press, Pendulum Grip Cart

Maximize Range Of Motion - Neck Extension

The trapezius muscle is complex and is involved in many functions, posturally it is a counterbalance against the forward flexion of the head, due to the head's slight anterior center of gravity in relation to it's axis. The trapezius elevates the pectoral girdle, rotates the scapula upwards, retracts the scapula, depresses the shoulders - it is involved in side flexion of the neck, axial rotation of the upper thoracic spine and extension.

For safety, when we are startled, we quickly shrug elevating our shoulders using our traps to safeguard our head by not allowing the occiput to be thrust backwards. This movement is natural and reflexive. Training on a neck machine we unconsciously elevate our shoulders as a protective mechanism restricting the normal range of motion of neck extension. To maximize neck strength hold the handle in front of the Pendulum 4 or 5 Way Neck machine's seat pad or hold on to the bottom of the seat pad which depresses the traps. Keeping the shoulders down during neck extension strength will grow quickly.......use good form to Get Strong.

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 The Pendulum 5 Way Neck Machine

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

Helmet Load

Advanced combat helmets, night vision goggles, forward head posture from carrying heavy loads, G forces when flying, all effect neck muscle strain and over time can promote neck pain. These activities leave military veterans with more cervical complaints than the normal population. It is extremely important that neck strengthening protocols are included in exercise regimes for military personnel and neck strengthening a life long pursuit. 

To improve neck muscle strength and endurance there is no better exercise device than the Pendulum 4 and 5 Way Head and Neck Machines.

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Reduce Helmet Load and it's Effect by Increasing Neck Strength.

 

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

Notre Dame Athletics

Notre Dame upgrades their Strength Training Facility

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Pendulum 5 Way Head and Neck Machines

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Pendulum Combo Lat Pulldowns 

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Pendulum Hip Presses and Pendulum Seated Squats
 
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Pendulum 3 Way Rows

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

Technology Age And Coaching

The semispinalis capitis is a posterior neck muscle with a long moment arm that functions as a main head and neck extensor. Acting unilaterally the semispinalis capitis rotates the neck to the opposite side. When we sit at our laptop computer or gaze at our cell phones there is lower activity in this muscle due to forward head posture. Over time as this flexed position persists we lose power and thickness in this important extensor and rotator. 

Forward head posture is not only a cause of muscular weakness but is associated with headaches, carpel tunnel syndrome, balance, neck range of motion, shoulder pain, chronic nonspecific neck pain and more.  It is estimated the average person checks their cell phone 35-75 per day and this does not include other electronic device use, which can mean from 2 to 5 hours per day we are in a 'text neck' position. To counteract this atrophy of tissue a neck extension movement should be commonplace in all exercise programs.

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Neck Extension on the Pendulum 5 Way Head and Neck Machine

 

 

 

 

 

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

Exercising The Neck

Having neck exercises as part of any workout routine is an important component of a fitness program. Push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, squats, lunges, planks are commonplace in any free-body routine but without inclusion of neck training overall development is incomplete.

An effective addition to a workout regime is to lay supine with the upper arm at a right angle to the side, the forearms parrallel to the neck and head as if making a goal post. The back of the hands must remain on the floor during the entire movement, this coaching point keeps the traps from assisting the head and neck during motion.

The exercise begins by raising the head off the floor and holding the movement for a determined count. The head then is moved to full flexion, held contracted and returned parrallel or slightly off the floor. It is recommended to hold each movement for 30 seconds at the beginning of and the top of each repetition to get the most out of the exercise. 

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

The Bulk Of The Deep Neck Flexors

The longus colli muscle, based upon it's comparative size, forms the bulk of the deep flexor muscles of the neck. Often those who sustain neck injuries receive trauma to these fibers. The issue becomes rehabilitation for the reduction of future problems.  Incorporating this tissue as a regular part of your exercise regime is an important consideration in program design.

Consistently include deep neck flexor work on the Pendulum 4 and 5 Way Neck Machines by utilizing the last four holes on the 'neck cam', that is, either the 12th 13th, 14th or the 15th position. The movement is accomplished by placing your face on the pad as one would normally do.  Once situated, the cervical muscles are contracted by beginning the exercise leading with the chin. By initiating the motion with the lower jaw the lifter will immediately feel the targeted flexor group. A terrific way to Get Strong.

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 The Pendulum Neck Machine with the Face Pad in the #12 Setting 

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  The Pendulum Neck Machine with the Face Pad in the #15 Setting

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck

The Most Important Exercise

In March of 2014, The American Journal of Sports Medicine published, Effect of neck muscle strength and anticipatory cervical muscle activation on the kinematic response of the head to impulsive loads, they concluded "Interventions aimed at increasing athletes' neck strength and reducing unanticipated impacts may decrease the risk of concussion associated with sport participation."  This has important meaning for male and female athletes across the age spectrum for them to achieve greater neck strength and always improve their skill. By doing so they will be more accomplished in the anticipation of bracing for impact (anticipatory cervical muscle activation) and can reduce the magnitude of the head's subconcussive and concussive forces if incidences do occur.

A concussion (MTB, mild traumatic brain injury) and a variety of head and neck injuries are occurrences and risks associated with many of the sports that we play.  On October 1st, 2017, The Journal of Biomedical Engineering published, The Role of Neck Muscle Activities on the Risk of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in American Football. Knowing neck strength is an effective preventative strategy in reducing sports related concussions, researchers wanted to examine the 'why' strength changed the head's kinematic response? They looked at four different muscle activation strategies - no muscle response, a reactive muscle response, a pre-activation response, and response due to stronger muscle strength to compare the effects of neck muscles on the risk of sustaining a concussion. "Simulation results indicated that active responses of neck muscles could effectively reduce the risk of brain injury." Increased neck strength can decrease the time to compress the neck and guard against the traumatic effects of injury. This study reaffirmed the aforementioned 2014 research.

As it turns, performance aside, this is why we strength train, to build our musculature to protect us as best we can during competition. Without question the number one and most important area of our body to train are the muscles of the head and neck. And if we are to look at training for performance -- remember as an athlete or coach, 'Where the head goes the body will follow', decreasing response time of neck muscles allows the body to move faster. Having quick responsive musculature throughout the system and a comparatively slower head and neck musculature is counterintuitive. 

Make head and neck training a priority to keep athletes safe and Get Strong.

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 The Pendulum 5 Way Head and Neck Machine

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