Tag Archives: CONCUSSION REDUCTION

NEW DATE FOR INDIANA CONCUSSION SUMMIT

THE HEAD, NECK AND SPINE INSTITUTE  was established for the dissemination of Science-Based information, that furthers advancement in CONCUSSION MITIGATION AND REDUCTION OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES. Our job is to Spread the vital Information to the audience that Needs this Knowledge the most.

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So with this in mind, we have made the decision to Post Pone The INDIANA CONCUSSION SUMMIT until February 26-27th 2016. We have many Football Coaches, Athletic Trainers and Neurologists that will miss the opportunity to obtain a Skill Set that is much-needed but difficult to obtain. Therefore, the November Summit will be Moved to February 2016. The Great News is this; THE PIT BARBELL CLUB has graciously allowed us to use this Great Venue in February. I look forward to meeting everyone attending. YOU will expand your knowledge base, this knowledge will allow you to PRUDENTLY AND PROPERLY PREPARE YOUR ATHLETES FOR THE CONTACT OF SPORT.

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THIS POSTPONEMENT WILL ALLOW US TO BRING This Critical KNOWLEDGE TO MORE PROFESSIONALS THUS DECREASING THE PROBABILITY OF ATHLETIC HEAD AND NECK INJURY.                   

SEE YOU AT THE PIT IN FEBRUARY! 

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Please go to concussionpreventionprotocol.com for updates and registration 

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COME TO EVANSVILLE INDIANA AND BECOME A HEAD AND NECK TRAINING SPECIALIST

The Next Concussion Summit will be held in Evansville Indiana at THE LEGENDARY PIT BARBELL CLUB.      

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The Two-day Conference/Clinic –HEAD AND NECK CERTIFICATION

FEBRUARY 26th, 2016     12 pm – 5 pm

FEBRUARY 27, 2016        8 am-   5 pm

Go to  concussionpreventionprotocol.com     Evansville Summit  Page  Register NOW!                                                                                                                                        

pit1jpgObtain the SKILL SET that allows you to Properly Prepare Your Athletes for the RIGORS of their SPORT!

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The Pit Barbell Club is the best equipped strength and fitness center in the Midwest, and has been in business longer than any other gym in the state of Indiana. The Pit has earned multiple state, national and world drug-free powerlifting championships

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The PIT is equipped as well as any facility I have seen. Their MOTTO alone tells me we are dealing with top-notch professionals.

The Centers of Disease Control estimates that there are 1.6 – 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occurring in the United States each year. Yet in actuality, no one really knows what the exact numbers are … since many concussions go unrecognizedand undetected? Suffice it to say — it’s an epidemic. Yet, whether a concussion is sports-related, recreational-related and/or trauma-related the severity of the injury and resulting cognitive impairment would in fact be reduced if the head, neck and surrounding cervical structures wereSTRONGER. In other words, if the morphological structure is thicker and/or stiffer, the preponderance of scientific research is conclusive … that is, potentially harmful concussive forces can be better dissipated/dampened more effectively if the individual’s cervical spine musculature is stronger – this is simple physics.

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          There is no area of the body that induces such beneficial physiological responses to an individual’s health and well-being as does training the musculature of the cervical spine. When you apply the laws of physics to kinetic energy dissipation of the neck … and the resulting preventative and “protective effect” on the cervical spine; as a coach, athletic trainer, strength professional and/or health care practitioner … who is charged with primary responsibility of PRUDENTLY PREPARING THE INDIVIDUAL for the rigors of the sport/task at hand, it would be foolish, neglectful and reckless (not to mention culpable) NOT to include a comprehensive head & neck strengthening program in the training prescriptions for athletes and non-athletes alike.

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Who Should Attend 

  • Exercise physiologists
  • Strength Coaches                                                      
  • Sport Coaches
  • Athletic trainers
  • Personal trainers
  • Physical therapists
  • Physical therapist assistants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Occupational therapy assistants
  • Physical educators
  • Chiropractors
  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Registered dieticians
  • Recreational enthusiasts
  • Parents
  • Athletes
  • Recreational Enthusiasts

Head & Neck Training Specialist Certification

 Protecting the Brain & Spine … before the Damage is Done
  • Define the problem and pathophysiology traumatic brain & spine injury
  • Describe contemporary strategies for preventing and managing traumatic brain injury
  • Discuss the results and implications of PROJECT NECK
  • Develop proper exercise guidelines for clients of all ages as well as for special medical populations
  • Demonstrate and execute the Head & Neck Strengthening Protocol
  • Determine coaching strategies to motivate, educate and maximize athlete/client compliance

SEE YOU AT THE PIT IN EVANSVILLE INDIANA !!

http://www.concussionpreventionprotocol.com

Making The Case For Training The Neck

 Making The Case For Training The Neck

By Dr. Ralph Cornwell, JR.,PhD. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In a tradition that dates back centuries, physicians take the Hippocratic Oath before they practice medicine. In the original interpretation of the oath, a doctor would swear to “prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.”

This code of moral conduct offers up valuable lessons to strength coaches and athletic trainers who work with the “patient” in their world: the athlete.

Strength coaches are charged primarily with the duty of preparing athletes for the rigors of their chosen sport. Referring back to the Hippocratic Oath, one could argue that increasing the performance of an athlete should become the second priority for strength coaches because a great athlete standing on the sidelines injured does no one any good.

The top priority for strength coaches instead should be a training regimen targeted first at protecting their athletes from harm as their “patients” are tuned for competition. Strength coaches who help athletes achieve their goals while maintaining their overall good health ensure that these athletes are prepared for any and all possibilities they may face in competition. And just as amazingly, those coaches who have shifted their priorities have realized that performance is not diminished but rather enhanced by a more completely trained athlete.

Of course, it goes without saying that the chance of injury is always a possibility during sports competitions. Simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause an injury despite the best of precautions. Strength-training professionals, however, who take their cue from that vital part of the Hippocratic Oath, can step to the forefront to strengthen any perceived weak links in the human chain.

If strength coaches look first to protect their athletes from potential harm and prepare properly and diligently the most vulnerable region of athletes’ bodies, one could also argue then that the number of serious sports injuries could be reduced or minimized.

And what would be the most vulnerable region of the body that if traumatized could lead to a serious, possibly life-threatening injury? Without question, it is the neck region (cervical spine).

The neck supports the head, which encases the hierarchy of human beings’ functions, the brain. The trapezius–either of the two large muscles that run from the base of the back of the skull to the middle of the back–makes it possible for persons to raise their heads and shoulders. In essence, all these muscles act as the foundation support the driving force at the top of the body—back to the brain. If the foundation is strong, then the head is better supported and the brain better protected.

Given the critical role these muscles play, one would think the neck and trapezius would be at the top of strength coaches’ regimens for their athletes. But maybe not. For instance, in a recent survey of over 200 college and university strength coaches that asked about their neck/trapezius training regimens, the results revealed this muscle region as low or no priority. This could be explained by the fact that many coaches are simply unaware of the importance of training the neck and the trapezius muscles on which the neck relies to dissipate forces.
Survey questions ranged from “does your weight room have a neck machine” and “do you do any direct stimulation to strengthen the neck” to simply “how important is training the neck in your program.” The results overwhelmingly pointed back to little emphasis and interest. If strength coaches knew of the vital role the neck plays in sports performance, as well as the importance of increasing neck strength, then these results may have been very different.

7′ 1 Andrey from Russia doing a shrug…by his Senior year he could bench 300 lbs and squat over 500

Muscle regions other than the neck/trapezius area were emphasized in most strength-training programs. Does this sound familiar when examining many of the nation’s strength training programs: bench press for the upper body; squats and leg presses for the lower body; and some abdominal and lower back work. This is a complete regimen, as many would suggest, if the strength coach’s only priority is the performance of the athlete rather than protection of that individual.

But actually by training the neck and trapezius muscles, strength coaches can enhance both protection and performance of their athletes. A stronger neck increases the strength of an athlete, who then functions as a complete working unit. For example, consider that the trapezius muscles run from the base of the back of the skull all the way to thoracic vertebrae 12. Overlooking such a critical and major muscle group certainly would not enhance an athlete’s overall performance.

By neglecting the neck/trapezius area in training regimens, what could that lead to in the lives of athletes? While orthopedic surgeons can repair many soft-tissue and bone-related injuries that can allow athletes to compete again, the neck and cervical spine, however, are not areas of the body where successful surgical outcomes are likely, even with the advances in modern medicine.

If an athlete is fortunate enough not to sustain a catastrophic neck injury, there is still the very real danger of a brain concussion. For example, the Centers for Disease Control recently reported that approximately 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually in the United States. (A concussion is an immediate and transient impairment in the brain’s ability to function properly.)

Concussions are not only a significant finding among professional and collegiate athletes, but they are occurring more often than necessary among younger players. For example, high-school football players suffer concussions more often than their collegiate and professional counterparts. Additionally, concussions are not gender specific. Studies have revealed that female athletes suffer concussions more often and with less impact than male athletes.

Moreover, researchers today are discovering that subconcussive forces over time can have a cumulative effect on athletes and can be just as debilitating as those who have suffered full concussions. Recent studies on brain trauma suggest that repetitive blows to the head over time—subconcussive forces—might cause a form of dementia known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative brain disease.

Consider, for example, the medical condition known as “dementia pugilistica.” Once thought to afflict only boxers, dementia pugilistica is now at the forefront of brain research being done at several major universities. Subconcussive injuries are particularly dangerous because an athlete may not show any symptoms after receiving such blows—not until much later.

The problem with bruises to the brain is that they cannot be seen like the ugly, black and blue torn hamstring. But these hurtful injuries to the brain do exist, and with alarming frequency among a variety of athletes. To minimize these injuries, let’s revisit again the neck/trapezius area and how these muscles play a critical role.

Neck muscles act as springs and shock absorbers; bigger, stronger necks can better absorb with less deformation. Recalling the laws of physics, consider the neck as a cylinder. The larger the circumference of the cylinder, the more load it can support without buckling.
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As training the neck area increases strength there, the soft tissue thickens and the neck becomes stiffer. Using physics again to explain the necessity for stiffness, view the neck as a coiled spring. The thicker the coils of the spring, the greater the stiffness ratio. A smaller, less stiff spring is easier to compress from an axial-loading standpoint. A stiffer spring—“stronger neck”—deflects greater frontal or side impact forces.

All variables being equal, if a given cylinder increases its diameter by two inches—say from six inches to eight inches–the deformation decreases 43 percent. Common sense, simple logic or even strong speculation would suggest that a bigger, stronger neck would give an athlete a better chance of avoiding serious injury when having to absorb impact forces during collisions.

And female athletes should not avoid training the neck area, as many think they will get a “fat neck” from such conditioning. Biologically, females do not achieve the hypertrophy that males do, but they can benefit greatly from the strength gained in this region of the body.

Training the neck area in four directions—flexion, extention, and left and right lateral flexion—followed by a shoulder shrug exercise offers the most effective direct stimulus to this region of the body. Neck machines are great devices to help with this training, but if strength coaches cannot afford these machines, they should educate themselves on the protocol of manual neck resistance, along with a barbell or dumbbell shrug.

Relating back to the original premise, if strength coaches truly believe their first priority is to protect the athlete and prevent injury and that the neck and cervical spine are at risk during competition, why would they not train this region of athletes’ bodies religiously? If strength coaches train all the agonist and antagonist muscle groups but neglect the neck and trapezius area are they truly preparing their athletes effectively for the rigors of their sport? Well-informed strength and conditioning professionals would see the logic in this premise and would want to help their athletes in any way they could.

Strength coaches need to find 30 minutes twice a week to train the neck and trapezius area. With effective time management and efficiencies, strength and conditioning program could meet this objective. In setting up a strength training facility, would it not make sense also that for every station, say, for squatting, there would also be a station for protecting the brain and turning the head?

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As these questions tumble forth, again the Hippocratic Oath comes back into play—“to prescribe regimens for the good of my patients.” Maybe the essence of that document created long ago can have relevance in more ways than one to strength coaches everywhere today

THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD NOT ATTEND THE CONCUSSION SUMMIT

THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD NOT COME THE CONCUSSION SUMMIT

If you need to hear more information about concussion awareness-Don’t Come

If you believe all we can do about the concussion epidemic is JUST Manage the Problem-Don’t Come
If you have been told helmets are the answer and believe it –Don’t Come

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MORE Reasons why you should NOT attend the Concussion Summit:

1. To learn about even more strategies that promotes concussion AWARENESS.
2. To learn “heads up” techniques that still precipitates sub/concussive forces to the brain.
3. If you are convinced that the NFL, NIH and the federal government has the concussion epidemic under control.
4. If you are looking for some gimmick that will insulate your players from sub/concussive forces to the brain. duh
5. If you would rather be REACTIVE rather than PROACTIVE in addressing ways to mitigate this potentially life changing/threatening issue.

6. If you have NO regard to your players safety. It’s only a ding after all.

i gv up7. If you have NO regard to protecting the integrity and values of sport.

If you can stand on the sidelines and just allow athletes to became injured-.this Summit is not for you!

HARD DECISIONS

HARD DECISIONS

Life has many turning points. Each turning point involves a choice. While they may be difficult choosing, can be a catalyst for personal growth.

describe the imageRalph Cornwell is a PhD. in health promotion/human performance at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to pursuing his Doctoral Degree he was a collegiate strength coach.

He has developed a protocol for strength training the musculature that protects the cervical spine.

There is no doubt there is a tremendous amount of pressure to win in athletics. People want to be associated with a winner. Alumni, students attending school or fans want their team to be successful.

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If the coach does not win his job is at risk. Obviously, coaches are concerned with performance. With pressure, a coach may make an uncharacteristic decision.

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I know it may be difficult in such a competitive environment, but decisions must be based on what is best for the athletes who play the game. First and foremost, a coach must be an advocate for the athletes off the field and insure they are physically prepared for competition on the field.

As a young strength coach I came to a crossroad in my career. We like every other staff and team had pressure to win. In the off-season the head football coach examined all aspects of the entire program and looked for ways to improve performance.

The coaches choice for performance enhancement was surprising. I was told to remove the training for the head and neck region of all athletes on the football team and substitute the neck exercises with movements that he felt improved athleticism. He felt that the head and neck training was unneeded and I was to begin to do things that benefited performance.

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My staff and I had a meeting that same day and I explained the situation. We voted as a staff to continue training the athletes  musculature of the cervical spine.  This was vital to their health and safety on the field.

The coach was angry that I did not heed his wishes. I was given an ultimatum. Stop training the head and neck region of the athletes or face termination. I had a muti-year contract that paid well. I was blessed with a great staff to work with.  How could I leave such a great situation?sniip1

I went home that night and discussed this decision I had to make with my wife. She simply said, “Do what you know is right”.

I resigned the next morning after informing my staff about my decision. Over the next few weeks my entire staff also resigned.

This incident has turned into a positive and a career change. It has led me into extensive study in the methodology of training the musculature that protects the cervical spine and brain. I, over the next several years will be able to share nationally my findings: which will include not only protection of the athlete through head and neck training, but…. and I must add Increased Athletic Performance. I now have my doctoral degree and research the Head and Neck. Do the right thing PROTECT YOUR ATHLETES. Follow my research @ concussionpreventionprotocol.com

Head and Neck Isolator – The Vantage Research Team

The Vantage Research Team Utilizes  the Head and Neck Isolator Machine.

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                                                          Tilt 6                        A Special Group and Special Machine explore methods of lowering concussive forces

Get The Knowledge To Prepare YOUR Athletes for Competition

Get The Knowledge To Prepare YOUR Athletes for Competition

Head & Neck Training Specialist Certification

Head & Neck Training Specialist Certification

Preparing and Protecting Your Athletes During Competition

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Strengthening the head, neck and surrounding cervical structures is the ONLY organic contingency within our control to prepare individuals to withstand potentially injurious forces.

PRIORITY ONE
The most important goal of the strength and conditioning professional is to PRUDENTLY PREPARE the individuals for the rigors of the task. As such, given the catastrophic consequences of a cervical spine and traumatic brain injury, the strengthening of the head, neck and surrounding muscular structures of the cervical spine MUST be considered PRIORITY ONE in the prescription and design of exercise routines. ONE Day Concussion Reduction Methodology Seminar – Learn the skills and knowledge to prepare and protect your athletes from concussive and sub concussive forces. Evidence based, proactive, hands-on instruction taught by experienced professionals and expert practitioners. NSCA Approved CEU’s.

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Mark Asanovich, M.A.                                                             Dr. Ralph Cornwell, Jr

Date: Friday, April 10th, 2015   Doors Open at 8am. Summit Begins 8:30am

Where: Minnetonka High School:

Presentations will be in the The Forum

Demonstrations will be in the Pagel Center Weight Room (on the Minnetonka High School Campus)

Every coach says, “they care about the health of their athletes”. Here is your chance to prove it while improving your skills as a coach.

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Become a Certified as a Head and Neck Training Specialist!

For more information visit us at http://www.concussionpreventionprotocol.com

The muscles of the head and neck

Evidence Based Protocol – Concussion Summit

When You attend the Concussion Summit what will you leave with?

neck_dvdYou will know how to properly strength train the muscles of the head and neck. The Protocol you will be taught is the Only Evidence-Based, clinically tested method proven to lower concussion rates, reduce likelihood of spinal injury,and simply create an athlete better prepared for contact. The Protocol can be performed manuallyhands on or with the Head and Neck Isolator machine.

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This certification will give you the skills to better Protect and Prepare Your Athletes for Competition.

1tonka 2Date: Friday, April 10th, 2015   Doors Open at 8am. Summit Begins 8:30am
Where: Minnetonka High School:
Presentations will be in the The Forum
Demonstrations will be in the Pagel Center Weight Room (on the Minnetonka High School Campus)

Every coach says, “they care about the health of their athletes”. Here is your chance to prove it while improving your skills as a coach.

Become a Certified as a Head and Neck Training Specialist!

Strengthening The Neck Protects Your Athletes

New research offers evidence-based protocol,which may be a step in reducing concussions

By Ralph Cornwell, Ph.D. and Mark Asanovich, MS,
Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Va.

As strength and conditioning professionals, you are charged with the duty of first and foremost protecting the health of your athletes. Protection first and performance second is the priority. The well being of the individuals who have entrusted their health to our care hangs in the balance and to do this, training the head, neck and surrounding muscular structures of the cervical spine, whether athlete or non-athlete, must be your top priority.

By training the head, neck and trapezius muscles, strength coaches enhance both the protection and performance of their athletes. A stronger neck increases the strength of an athlete, who then functions at a higher level of work. For example, consider that the trapezius muscles run from the base of the posterior skull to the thoracic vertebrae twelve. By neglecting the head, neck and upper back muscles in training regimens, it predisposes the athletes to injury. While orthopedic surgeons can repair many soft-tissue and bone-related injuries, which then allows athletes to compete again, the head and cervical spine, however, are not areas of the body where successful surgical outcomes are likely, even with the advances in modern medicine.

Proactive Method Needed To Stop Concussions

There are many concussion-management programs emerging across the United States. Sadly, most programs only address what to do after the athlete has concussed, rather than implement preventive sports medicine measures prior to the episode.

The rate of concussion has increased steadily over the past two decades. This trend likely is caused by improvement in the detection of concussion, but also may reflect an increase in the true number of concussive impacts occurring. As athletes get bigger, stronger and faster, it is logical to figure forces associated with their collisions also increase in magnitude. It is important to realize there is currently no effective headgear to prevent concussions; therefore, as the number of forceful collisions increases, the number of concussions would be expected to increase.

Concussions have become a national epidemic. Millions of dollars have been spent to fund studies over the last 15 years. The research continues but the number of concussions in athletics increases each year. Something proactive needs to be done.

Project Neck

My research, combined with input from some of the greatest minds in strength and conditioning, has resulted in Project Neck, which produced an evidence-based protocol to protect your athletes.

Project Neck is the first and only research study to conclusively demonstrate through mathematical models that as strength increases in the head and neck muscles, kinetic energy from concussive and sub-concussive impacts can be better dissipated.

Female Study Results

MOST IMPROVEMENT
+45 LB Increase in Head and Neck Extension

LEAST IMPROVEMENT
+35 LB Increase in Extension

+45 LB Increase in Head and Neck Flexion

+35 LB Increase in Flexion

+185 LB Increase in Parallel Grip Row

+140 LB Increase in Parallel Row

+150 LB Increase in Bilateral Shrug

+80 LB Increase in Bilateral Shrug

+140 LB Increase in Levator Scapula

+80 LB Increase in Levator Scapula

The most improved results are listed immediately next to the least improved for comparison and to make a very important point. As unbelievable as the most improved results are…the least improved results are quite remarkable as well. If the outcomes attained by the least improved subjects are achieved in most training venues, the preventative influence this could have on cervical spine injury and concussive pathologies is highly significant and could make a prolific impact on the incidence and severity of cervical spine and concussion pathologies.
NOTE: All female subjects were measured for upper and lower neck circumferences. There were no increases with the exception of one who increased lower neck circumference 1/32 of an inch. Proper head and neck strengthening does not result in the development of masculine physical features in females.

The mathematical equivalent to the structure of the neck is a cylinder. As such, if there is an increase in circumference (as is the case with hypertrophy in most males) or stiffness (as is the case with strength increase without a compensatory increase in hypertrophy, as is the case with most females), the cylinder better dissipates kinetic forces, which results in less deformation (or movement) of the neck. Consequently, if there is less movement of the neck, there is less movement of the head, which ultimately results in less movement of the brain.

The focus here is to break down the research data of Project Neck—The Female Study. The research study was conducted at The Elon University Neurosciences Laboratory located in North Carolina. Healthy females ranging in age from 18 to 24 were selected as tests participants. The study lasted eight weeks in duration. The subjects came from various fitness and activity levels. The females trained twice a week compared to their male counterparts in the Male Study (still being measured) and had similar statistical outcomes.

A dynamic progressive resistance training protocol was designed to specifically target the muscles reducing forces to the head. These include the anterior and posterior capital muscles of the head and upper cervical spine, and the muscles that surround the cervical spine and the surrounding musculature of the upper and mid-back.

The head and neck are two separate segments working together as one and should be trained as such. This study is the first research to examine what occurs if the deep capital muscles of the head are trained separately from the superficial muscles of the neck. The research also includes exercises for the upper back and the highest and lowest fibers of the trapezius.

The purpose of the research study is two-fold—increase neck cylinder size of the human neck and increase muscle strength and stiffness in the muscles of the head, neck and upper back.

There were four specific scientific questions posed.

1. Will the increase in surface area due to neck cylinder size gain (hypertrophy) lower concussive and subconcussive forces?

2. Will strength increases affectively alter muscle stiffness, thus lowing deformation of head and neck cylinder segment during impact?

3. Will anatomical and morphological changes produced in the test subjects result in a more effective kinetic energy dissipater?

4. With statistical data collected, can a mathematical model demonstrate that forces (concussive and subconcussive) be significantly lowered as a result of the research protocol?

Exercise Protocol

All exercise protocols were conducted and supervised at Elon University Sports Performance Laboratory. A starting weight was determined by the amount of weight a participant safety could use while performing the protocol for 12 repetitions in good form.

The test subjects performed six head and neck movements on a four-way neck and shrug machine: front flexion, extension, lateral flexion (both right and left), the “nod” (10 degrees of head flexion, which is the movement resembling a person nodding “yes”) and the “tilt” (25 degrees of flexion with the jaw is jutted outward and head is gently tilted back).

The 35-degree range of motion represents the movement of the head not involving the neck with the exception of the atlas and axis vertbrea. By isolating the muscles of the head, this allows for the strengthening of the capital muscles of the head.

This is followed by a seated bilateral shrug, also performed on the neck machine to intervate the lower trapezius muscles. A unilateral shrug is then performed on the same machine to intervate the upper trapezius. The Levator Scapula Shoulder Elevaton Shrug (LSSES) is a movement to innervate the upper trapezius and the muscles surrounding and involved in scapular retraction. The LSSES is accomplished by placing a standard olympic bar on the posterior of the neck, at the nape or appoximately at cervical vertebrae seven. The subject then performs scapular retraction. The retraction of the scapula allows the bar to rise vertically at that point as the trapezius shrugs vertically. This allows the subject to train upper trapezius and other muscles without the limiting the factor of grip strength.

Next, seated rows are performed on the iso-lateral row using a parallel grip. This movement allows for the innervation of the large muscles of the back (i.e. latissimus dorsi, rhomboids major and minor with contribution of the posterior deltoid). A scapular shrug is performed on the iso-lateral row to involve the muscles of the upper back, posterior deltoid and the rhomboids involved in scapular retraction. The scapular shrug movement requires the particpant to keep the arms straight as they use a parallel grip, so the scapula is retracted. It is the retraction and contraction of the upper-back muscles that successfully moves the weight loaded onto the row.

The retraction and pull is accomplished by using a supinated grip on the other horizontial handles. With straight arms and retraction of the scapula, the lifter then flexes elbows 90 degrees appoximately eight to 12 inches allowing for maximum intervation of the middle trapezius and fibers to the lowest fibers terminateing at thoracic vertebrea 12 musculature. The repetition range is 12 repetitions or until a repetition cannot be performed with good form. Neck circumference measurements are taken at the beginning of each training session. There was a 15-second rest period between sets.

Conclusion & Discussion

The results of this study demonstrate that females can increase head and neck strength safely and with significant gains. The female neck during this study showed a very minimal increase in circumference while strength level increases were substantial (the control group showed zero change in strength and neck circumference size).

The females did not exhibit the hypertrophy of their male counterparts, in comparison with a previous study by this author (the men’s study); the strength gains obtained will add stiffness to the muscle trained both passively and actively.

This researcher hypothesizes that the strength/stiffness increase will lower both concussive and sub-concussive forces. It is intuitive that a stronger athlete will be a better-protected athlete and less susceptible to injury. If the body is to be prepared for competition, strengthening and protection of the head and neck should certainly be of the highest priority. The results of force reduction and stiffness increases are computed using mathematical probabilities based on the large strength gains of the test participants.

On another note, the University of Memphis football strength staff initiated a simple neck strengthening program and reduced concussions by 50 percent. The leading neurologist and concussion researcher in the United Sates, Dr. Robert Cantu, now believes making the neck stronger may be the only proactive means to lowering concussion rates in competitive athletics. This research currently provides the only evidence-based, sports medicine approach to training the capital muscles of the head and the cervical muscles of the neck.
– See more at: http://www.coachad.com/pages/Issue-to-Internet-August-2012-Strengthening-The-Neck-Protects-Your-Athletes.php#sthash.8AKpp9Mn.dpuf

Project Neck I The Female Study

The Ralph Cornwell Files– Female Neck Training

Project Neck I– Female Neck Training

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Ralph Cornwell earned his Ph.D.  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.

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.”