Women and Neck Training
Ralph Cornwell is a Ph.D. candidate in health promotion/human performance at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to pursuing his Doctoral Degree he was a collegiate strength coach.
According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2007, female high school athletes suffered almost 40 percent more concussions than males did. It estimated that female players suffer about 29,000 concussions annually with boys suffering 21,000.
A new study to be published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that in high school soccer, girls sustained this type of head trauma 68 percent more often than boys. Female concussion rates in high school basketball were almost three times higher then boys and the girls took longer to return to play.
When there is an Epidemic in The United States we don’t just inoculate one section of the population we give the antidote to all that need it. In light of research and just common sense our female athletes need to be protected.
Because of physiological differences, women do not have to worry about getting ‘huge’ necks, but they can become very strong. The physics of kinetic energy dissipation applies to females as well as men. The female athlete can protect herself by strengthening the musculature around the cervical spine.
There are women athletes that do train their necks.
Their training is not dissimilar then the men who train theirs. They train the flexor, extensors and trapezius muscles that allow for increased neck stiffness and high performance moves on the playing field.
Meagan is a ballerina and is very strong from head to toe.
I asked Meagan why she trained her neck. She simply said, “Ballerinas get put in awkward positions as they perform. If your dance partner drops you while you are being pressed over his head, I want a strong neck.”
Title IX has afforded woman wonderful opportunities in sport. We must continue to protect their Civil Rights, as well as, protect them as they participate through the teaching of proper strength training techniques.