The Unexpected                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

High School coaches have unique issues in regards to their athletes. Most high schools only have their participants for a short period prior to the up and coming fall season. Doug Scott is the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Pingry School in Martinsville, New Jersey.   His training is well thought out and purposeful.  Doug explains how in only two weeks significant changes in the musculature of young athletes can be made. 

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The start of football practice in August always represents a “wild card” for many high school coaches. Since athletes participate in a variety of summer activities it is hard to know exactly how well they prepared themselves for the season.  It is important to have a plan in place for when the team arrives.

In light of recent scientific research and the growing concern of concussions in football it is important that each player becomes very strong in the muscles of the head and neck region. Given the fact that many high school athletes have underdeveloped neck muscles, especially if they did not have access to training over the summer, and the fact that the neck muscles respond very quickly once exposed to progressive exercise a two-week intensive neck program can show remarkable gains in size and strength.  After this period it is important to continue training but the volume and intensity may need to be adjusted.

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2-week start of season neck workout

Workout 1
Neck Machine Forward Flexion x 12-15 reps
Neck Machine Backward Extension x 12-15 reps
Neck Machine Right Side x 12-15
Neck Machine Left Side x 12-15

Band Protrusion (chin lift) x 20 reps
Band Forward Flexion (chin tuck) x 20 reps

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Shrugs 1 arm x 12-15
Shrugs 2 arm x 12-15

Workout 2
Neck Machine Forward x 8-10 (4 pin)
Neck Machine Forward x 8-10 (8 pin)
Neck Machine Forward x 8-10 (12 pin) “nod” movement
• the goal is to move as quick as possible between sets*
Neck Backward Extension x 8-10 (2 pin)
Neck Backward Extension x 8-10 (4 pin)
Neck Backward Extension x 8-10 (6 pin) “tilt” movement
• the goal is to move as quick as possible between sets

Manual Resistance Forward x 12 reps
Manual Resistance Backward x 12 reps
“Kelso Shrug” x 12-15
Seated Row x 8-10

After performing this routine every other day and rotating between the two workouts you can expect an increase in strength and size of the neck region giving the athlete a good starting point for the season.

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