It has been surmised by trainers and strength coaches that strengthening the neck and activating the neck muscles to brace for impact reduce an athlete's risk of concussion during a collision by attenuating the head's kinematic response after impact. As recent as 2014 research studies substantiated this.
In the 2014 Journal of Primary Prevention , Neck strength: a protective factor reducing risk for concussion in high school sports, researchers found that after adjusting for gender and sport overall neck strength remained a significant predictor of concussions concluding"for every one pound increase in neck strength odds of concussion decreased by 5%."
In the March 2014 American Journal of Sports Medicine the study, Effect of neck muscle strength and anticipatory cervical muscle activation on the kinematic response of the head to impulsive loads, concluded "Neck strength and impact anticipation are 2 potentially modifiable risk factors for concussion. Interventions aimed at increasing athletes neck strength and reducing unanticipated impacts may decrease the risk of concussion associated with sport participation."
Developing head and neck strength attends to a 'modifiable risk factor' to help protect an athlete in sport. Mike Joseph and his staff at the University of West Virginia run a comprehensive head and neck strengthening program. Not only does the program protect the student athlete, but increases their overall strength and athletic performance.
Assistant Director of Strength and Coditioning Darl Bauer coaching neck training
Training neck extension on the Pendulum 4-Way Neck Machines
The results are impressive, ten days after this athletes neck measured 20.5" it measured 20.75".
Protect your athletes by Getting them Strong.