In April of 2018 the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation published “Feasibility and Effect of Cervical Resistance Training on Head Kinematics in Youth Athletes: A Pilot Study.” Their goal was to see if there was potential for utilizing neck strengthening exercise to reduce youth athletes’ risk for sport-related concussion by increasing neck girth and strength.
It has already been determined that neck girth and strength is associated with a lower risk of sport-related concussions. Having a stronger and/or larger neck mitigates head acceleration and dissipates force. The findings were published in the Journal of Pediatric Exercise Science several years ago – “The relationship between impact force, neck strength and neurocognitive performance in soccer heading in adolescent females.” – and in Sports Health, “Sex Differences in Anthropometrics and Heading Kinematics Among Division I Soccer Athletes.”
Knowing neck girth and neck strength are factors that may limit head impact kinematics, it only makes sense that neck exercises are included in workout programs for all participants. The neck is part of our muscular system and should not be excluded from exercise regimes.
Administering an exercise program requires it to be safe and effective, in other words -well thought out. One of the best programs in the United States is administered by the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ. Read the following blog to get insight into putting together a program that trains the entire system to increase performance and protect the athlete.