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Neck Muscle Redundancy

Part of a pendulum equipment

The neck musculoskeletal system is characterized by complex anatomy and apparent muscle redundancy. Being redundant in the cervical muscular system means there is more neck musculature than any of the directions in which independent motion can occur. This being so, it leads to individuals exhibiting large variation in neck muscle activation strategies for the same task.

Having large variable movement strategies is extremely important to function. An example is waking in the morning with a stiff neck which could be caused by a variety of factors: overuse, sleeping awkwardly, tension and more. Though neck muscles had been strained overnight and head movement difficult we are able to substitute movement with unaffected musculature and complete daily tasks.

Being able to substitute movement with unaffected fibers allows injured structures to recover, an important function of our cervical skeletal muscle system. As a trainer, trainee, coach, athlete it is necessary to always return the previously strained tissue back to normal, especially the muscles of the deep cervical spine as neural pathways can be altered and lingering atrophy may occur.

Pendulum Head and Neck Machine Cam

When exercising on the Pendulum 4 or 5 Way Head and Neck Machine use holes 12, 13, 14 or 15 on the cam for targeting the deep cervical flexors. To elicit the most effective training response alter the way you use your head to move the weight arm. With your normal face placement on the pad, instead of pushing the weight utilizing your entire head and neck, pull the face pad using your jawbone keeping the forehead and cheekbones firmly on the pad. You will immediately feel the flexors underneath your chin deep along the front of the neck.

Always include neck training as part of your exercise program when Getting and keeping Strong.


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