Chad Smith is a Head Strength Coach and a part of the High Intensity Team of the Hard Pressed Strength Training Facility in downtown Chicago. Chad takes a moment to explain how to train the head, neck and traps.
There are the 8 essential movements every athlete needs to be doing to get the muscles that hold the skull or occiput in place and help dissipate the potential concussive forces:
NECK PROTRUSION IS FULL RANGE NECK EXTENSION
NECK FLEXION – VERY IMPORTANT FOR POSTURE AND SEGMENTAL MOBILITY AND STABILITY OF THE CERVICAL SPINE
NECK EXTENSION – AIDS IN BRACING
LATERAL NECK FLEXION – GREAT FOR THE SCALENE MUSCLES
HEAD FLEXION – WORKS HIGH UP UNDER THE JAW
HEAD EXTENSION – STRENGTHENS THE SUBOCCIPITALS AT THE BASE OF THE SKULL
SINGLE ARM SHRUG – ISOLATES THE MUSCLES OF THE UPPER TRAP
TWO ARM SHRUG – GREAT FOR THE MIDDLE TRAPEZIUS
These 8 movements, at a minimum are the foundation of Head and Neck training. The utilization of a neck machine is recommended for maximizing the strength in this area. To get any muscle strong you need to overload with weight. Many train the neck soley with bands or only utilize manual resistance. Consider the question when you strength train do you train your arms or legs solely in this manner, so why is the neck any different? When you are in Chicago stop by Hard Pressed we would love to Get your entire body Strong.