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Importance of Neck Strength

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Youthballee
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I was talking to a bunch of parents of college players (University of Buffalo) before their conference championship game in Detroit last fall.

A few of them talked about the importance of building neck strength, particularly to mitigate concussions. Thought being, a stronger neck means potentially less whipping actions of the head itself upon impact. Please note I said mitigate concussions, not prevent or eliminate.

Anyone have thoughts on this? It think there's a lot of upside to a stronger neck area, and I think the concussion mitigation makes some sense.

What can kids do to strengthen neck? My son is 15, headed into 10th grade JV ball. He's working out three days a week with the training staff at his school, getting stronger, getting faster, getting thicker. But from what he tells me, there's no neck strength work.   


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J. Potter (seabass)
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I haven't seen any evidence that proves neck strength makes a difference in concussion prevention. I'm not saying it doesn't but there is no evidence that it does.

Some will say that direct neck work is good...some say it's bad. The neck get's a lot of indirect work in many lifts anyway. I'm not even sure how you would test/measure neck strength in any practical manner. I know one kid is stronger than another in every other lift imaginable because we can load and test those lifts.

That said, we do some direct neck work at at our school...not a lot but some.

Anecdotally-I have 2 boys of my own and we have a real gym at our house where they train frequently. I have had them doing some direct neck work for the last 2 years. They are only 14 months apart in age. They are both in HS and been on the exact same program for about the same time. One of them has a normal looking neck and the other's looks like a Silver-back Gorilla. Both are the same height and within 10-12 pounds in weight.

I can't tell you who has the stronger neck between the 2. I can tell who appears to be stronger but I can't say one is stronger than the other.


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CoachBrian
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A lot of high schools in my area are starting to talk about the importance of neck strength in minimizing risk of concussion.


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Dimson
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I have seen plenty of mma fights and talked to enough fighters for you to tell me neck strength isn't important and can't help in limiting concussions. If you have a strong base, it is harder for the brain to rattle around in your skull. Also, a good mouth guard helps a lot too.


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J. Potter (seabass)
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I have seen plenty of mma fights and talked to enough fighters for you to tell me neck strength isn't important and can't help in limiting concussions. If you have a strong base, it is harder for the brain to rattle around in your skull. Also, a good mouth guard helps a lot too.

I hear ya....and we do direct neck work. I'm just saying there isn't any evidence to prove that it helps prevent concussions. Last season, we actually had a spike in concussions throughout our program. I saw most of them and aside from 1 or 2...most of them were unavoidable by the person receiving the blow.


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yoshi football
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I haven't seen any evidence that proves neck strength makes a difference in concussion prevention.

Easy find of information.  You try search engine google?
https://www.google.com/search?q=neck+strength+concussion+reduction&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1


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Bob Goodman
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I haven't seen any evidence that proves neck strength makes a difference in concussion prevention.

Not only that, but it would seem to violate laws of physics if it did by the means it supposedly does.  Unless you're strengthening muscles that are so weak that when you get hit, your head swings like a bell clapper against hard stops on your shoulders, back, and chest, muscle action in keeping your head straight could only make the acceleration of your brain against your skull even sharper rather than absorbing some by spreading the impulse out over more time.

Nevertheless, I promote neck muscle strengthening for two reasons: to protect against spinal neck injury, and to indirectly prevent head injury by making it easier for the player to get the head out of the way of contact.  Bulling one's neck to keep one's head up requires endurance once you've been doing it a while, and if the muscles are stronger the effort doesn't feel like as much.


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Vince148
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I haven't seen any evidence that proves neck strength makes a difference in concussion prevention. I'm not saying it doesn't but there is no evidence that it does.

That's not true at all. I attended a NSCA seminar a while ago where the strength dept. at EMU was conducting research into neck mass and reduction of head injuries.

Here is a video of their neck training at that time.

Here is the powerpoint presentation


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J. Potter (seabass)
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That's not true at all. I attended a NSCA seminar a while ago where the strength dept. at EMU was conducting research into neck mass and reduction of head injuries.

Here is a video of their neck training at that time.

Here is the powerpoint presentation

Conducting research is a search for proof....if there was proof then there would be no more need to research.


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yoshi football
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Conducting research is a search for proof....if there was proof then there would be no more need to research.

AND reach new conclusions.


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J. Potter (seabass)
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Maybe they will...maybe they won't. Bob's physics argument is hard to dispute.

I'm a proponent of strengthening the neck...in the grand scheme of things a neck injury could have much longer lasting effects than a concussion. If that's all we get from strengthening the neck then that seems worth it to me.


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yoshi football
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Spyder89
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https://www.google.com/search?q=correlation+between+neck+strength+and+concussions&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

The funny thing about these articles is not a single one out of the top 5 that I clicked, said that there's clear evidence.  They use words such as "may reduce" and "proposed."

The fact of the matter is that there's not enough data to say one way or another.  And not a single one of us has the proof one way or another.

In my belief, the artice when you click that link that talks about neck STIFFNESS made a lot of sense and seems more logical to me.

- Ray


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yoshi football
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I don't know.  Why is everyone so quick to shit upon research that may save the sport?  In the United States you are looking at the end of youth football.  The clock is ticking.

Be proactive or say goodbye.  If it is not neck strengthening then what can be done to save it?

One more try.  Here is one more article among the hundreds out there:

http://www.rcsi.ie/files/facultyofsportsexercise/20180306101023_PAPER%203%20-%20collins2014%20neck%20str.pdf


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Spyder89
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I don't know.  Why is everyone so quick to shit upon research that may save the sport?  In the United States you are looking at the end of youth football.  The clock is ticking.

Be proactive or say goodbye.  If it is not neck strengthening then what can be done to save it?

One more try.  Here is one more article among the hundreds out there:

http://www.rcsi.ie/files/facultyofsportsexercise/20180306101023_PAPER%203%20-%20collins2014%20neck%20str.pdf

I wasn't shitting on anything.  I was just saying that there was no definitive proof that it helps...which, there is not.  I actually sided with you in trying to think of what would help...which I think could be neck stiffness, which could easily be mistaken as strength.  I'm not a doctor, nor scientist...but it just makes sense to me.

The problem with this particular study...it wasn't done with football players, it was done with sports that aren't quite players slamming into each other repeatedly with pads...so data could clearly be different.

I don't think there's a single person in here that doesn't believe that it might help...we are just stating that it's only a possibility and not fact.

- Ray


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