Sunday, September 18, 2011

Live and Learn: A Training Lesson

Last Tuesday, I sustained a Grade I concussion when I slipped on a sweat spot playing basketball. Like most head injuries, I also experienced a lot of neck pain due to the whiplash when my head struck the court. The injury, which has forced me to put my own training sessions on hold for the moment, got me thinking about preventing further issues with my neck/head/cervical spine.

I began doing some researching, specifically through one of my favorite publications, "Training & Conditioning" Magazine. In a recent issue, former Xavier University Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Rich Jacobs discussed research suggesting that strengthening the neck muscles may help to reduce an individual's risk of concussion. The following is a quote from Coach Jacobs:
"...having strong neck muscles may reduce the subconcussive forces that occur as a result of hitting the floor or taking an elbow to the head. Having strong neck muscles will help to dissipate the force. To address this issue, we have our players do manual resistance neck work. For example, they do manual resistance exercises and trapezius pulls or shrugs. This usually occurs on Mondays and Wednesdays of our workweek to spread out the accompanying soreness."

I'm certainly going to take Coach Jacobs' words to hear and apply some changes to improve my training program.

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