In a close combat sport like MMA, which heavily incorporated wrestling and jiujitsu, the neck is susceptible to injury. Wherever the neck goes, the body follows. Because of this, fighters often place a great deal of stress on their opponent’s neck by grappling to gain control of the situation. All of this pulling and pushing can stress the muscles and tendons in the neck. Injuries to the back of the neck can also cause head and spinal problems, so a strong neck is imperative to any fighter’s health.
Neck Strength Exercises
There are a few easy exercises that many athletes and professional fighters do to improve their neck strength and prevent injuries. Performing the following exercises, ten times each for three rounds, a couple times a week is essential to building neck strength.
- Resisted Neck Extension: Sit on the ground and place your hands behind your head with the neck in a relaxed position. Next, push your head backwards while your hands provide resistance. Return your head to the starting position and repeat.
- Resisted Neck Flexion: Sit on the ground with your hands on your forehead and your neck relaxed. Next, flex your neck so that your head pushes into your hands while they resist the movement. Return your head to the starting position and repeat.
- Resisted Neck Lateral Flexion: Start seated on the ground with your right hand on the right side of your head and your neck relaxed. Push your head into your hand while it provides resistance. Return to the starting position and repeat. Once completed for ten reps, switch to the left side and perform ten more reps.
These simple exercises not only help prevent injuries to the neck, but the head as well. A strong neck reduces the amount of energy transferred to the head during contact, which in turn helps prevent concussions.
Airrosti Treats Neck Pain
Airrosti specializes in treating neck pain and injuries associated with close combat fighting. UFC Champion, Johny Hendricks, counts on Airrosti to keep him in the gym and in the fight. You can watch his Airrosti story here.
During each treatment session, your Airrosti provider conducts a thorough assessment to pinpoint the underlying cause of the neck pain and track your recovery progress. Once the underlying cause is identified, your provider develops a custom treatment plan. By coupling myofascial release and at-home active rehab, on average our patients are pain free and back in the fight in three visits. During treatment, we also encourage our patients to stay active, so no training sessions are missed.
If you’ve been suffering from lingering neck pain, contact Airrosti to find a provider near you today.