In the Journal of Clinical Sports Medicine it was reported that the risk of a collegiate wrestler sustaining some type of neck injury to be 20% for a first injury during the first year of practice and about 50% for subsequent years.
While practicing and competing, strong cervical extensor muscles maintain the appropriate spinal curve in an arched position, which is deemed 'head position' by coaches. The wrestlers opponent applies powerful stressors to the neck and spine to disrupt his adversaries balance and to gain leverage and position.
Head and neck strength is of the utmost importance as wrestlers must manage their acquired grappling posture to be successful. Sustaining balance and stance during combative movements involves intensive isometric contraction of cervical muscles and often tremendous stresses on tendons, as well as the ligamentous structures.
Their is sound evidence that there is a relationship between cervical pain and cervical muscle strength. A weakness of the anterior and posterior head and neck muscles contributes to pain persistence and the occurrence of chronic neck pain which inturn causes muscle atrophy. Neck strength training has been shown to improve neck pain and is an asset in return-to-play with athletes.
Having a solid head and neck training program not only protects the athlete from injury, aids in a speedy recovery and is extremely important in establishing form and leverage in wrestling. A great reason to Get Strong.
Penn State 2016 NCAA National Wrestling Champs - Pendulum 4 Way Neck Machine