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Neck Strength And Concussions

Recently, Dawn Comstock, associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, presented some important findings in a pilot study of the strength of athletics and injury. The data collection took place during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years. Athletic trainers collected measurements of head circumference, neck circumference, neck length, and four measurements of neck strength. The strength measurements were extension, flexion, and right and left lateral flexion of 6,704 athletes nationwide. The three sports chosen to examine were boys’ and girls’ soccer, lacrosse and basketball. Measurements were taken before the start of the season and during the season. The athletic trainers reported injury data which included the incidence of concussion for each athlete.

Princeton University Neck Machine

Princeton University Pendulum 4 Way Neck Machines

After adjusting for gender and sport, overall neck strength remained a statistically significant predictor of concussion. For every one pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion fell by 5%.

 “We focus so much on how to properly diagnose concussions,” Comstock says. “That’s obviously important, but preventing concussions is a much better outcome. We’re not saying that you won’t get a concussion if your neck is stronger. But the data shows that neck strengthening has strong potential as a key concussion prevention tool.” 

It is important to Get Strong.


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The Pendulum 5 Way Neck/Shrug


Closed And Open Chain

Open kinetic chain exercises of the lower limb are movements, where the distal segment is unloaded and free to move. The opposite is true of closed kinetic chain exercises, whereby  there is enough resistance to prohibit free motion.

Closed kinetic chain exercises are movements such as squats, Pendulum Squat Pro, leg presses and lunges, while open chain exercises are actions like leg curls, leg extensions and the Pendulum Reverse Glute Ham.

The kinetic chain can be understood as interrelated joints and body parts working with one another during motion. This creates a chain of events that affects the movement of neighboring joints and segments.

The advantage of open chain movements is that they tend to be better at isolating muscle and often are selected for specific rehabilitation and used to accentuate performance. While closed chain movements in general would be classified as more functional and closely approximating movements that are used in sport and daily life.

Pendulum Reverse Glute Ham Machine

Open Chain Reverse Glute Ham

Pendulum Power Squat Pro

Closed Chain Pendulum Power Squat Pro

Pendulum Power Squat Pro XT

Closed Chain Pendulum Power Squat Pro XT

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2-for-2 Method

Some trainers, coaches and athletes use what is called the 2-for-2 Method for increasing training load. The rule is if the trainee can perform two or more repetitions over one’s ‘repetition goal’ in the last set of an exercise, for two consecutive workouts, the weight is added for that particular exercise the next training session.

Bench Rep