A well-trained neck is important in many types of martial arts. For example, wrestling. There a lot of focus is placed on neck training. A strong neck will help the wrestler to stand on the wrestling bridge. Also in Muay Thai, a strong neck will help you fight well in a clinch. But how can neck training help in boxing?
In general, a well-trained neck in boxing, as in other martial arts, reduces the force of a knockout punch. After it, the head is not thrown back too much and the negative influence on the brain is reduced. As a result of this head support, an athlete avoids or reduces a knockout possibility. In addition, it is good for everyone to train their neck muscles. It reduces the risk of neck pains, injuries and improves blood circulation.
To understand the benefits of a strong neck, it’s worth analyzing a little bit the consequences of getting hit in the head. Also to show which exercises should be used for neck training and which are better not to do.
This is very important because wrong training can lead to injury and serious health consequences.
Knockout is known to occur because of a sudden head displacement. This causes the brain to hit the walls of the skull, after which comes the nasty knockout effect. In other words, put, the head is a gyroscopic ball (a ball inside a ball), every time there is a strong impact on the outer ball, the inner one will shake.
By reducing the head displacement, we reduce the risk of getting knocked out. This can be achieved by strengthening the neck muscles. It will prevent the head from making a sudden uncontrolled movement. By the way, with neck training, we will reduce not only the knockout effect from the punch but also some other issues with the cervical spine.
It is known that the brain controls the whole body. Any signal sent by the head to the body must go through the neck. If something is wrong with it, it can negatively affect what the brain is trying to “tell” the body.
According to academic researchers, the number of patients with neck pain complaints has increased dramatically over the past two decades. It is now the second most common problem among musculoskeletal disorders. To not get into the number of such patients, it is necessary to strengthen the cervical spine.
Even though the spine is divided into three parts, it works as a whole system. If one of the elements is not working properly, the other parts try to compensate for the damage through changes in their functionality.
In other words, if there is a spine cervical curvature, it will come out in the lumbar and thoracic spine.
Exercise can help avoid all types of spine curvature.
Do Strong Necks Prevent Knockouts
In general, of course, a well-trained and well-pumped neck will not give 100% protection against a knockout. Because with a powerful punch, it triggers a defense system in our body. It knocks a person out to protect our brain from more damage. But what can be said for sure is that a strong neck will reduce the risk of a total knockout.
In addition, increasing stability after a knockout will help to train the vestibular system. This workout is also very important for boxers and should be done in every training. It will help you to get used to continuing fighting after a hard punch to the head.
How Do Boxers Strengthen Their Neck
There are many different exercises that boxers use to train their necks. Some exercises are done with the help of a hand or resistance band. It is also possible to train the neck by using the weight of the whole body. And, of course, boxers use various weight machines to train their necks.
Recently, this is the most controversial and criticized type of exercise for strengthening the cervical spine. The sports community is divided into two parts – those who care for and those who are against this technique. I had a bad experience with neck training while standing on a wrestling bridge.
After a couple of weeks of neck training with this exercise, I felt pain in my cervical spine. This pain lasted for a couple of months. I think that this exercise is very injury and because of it, I do not recommend it to anyone. Also, many alternative exercises help you get a strong neck without the wrestling bridge.
Exercise Using Your Hands
The Complete Neck Muscle Workout includes six exercises. It can be used as a basic workout or as a warm-up. Each exercise should be performed in three sets, with 10-20 reps in each set:
1. Use the base of your thumb to press down on your chin from below. Overcoming the hands’ resistance, push your head to your chest. Then, with the help of your hands, overcoming the resistance of the neck, pull the head back. Repeat this 10-20 times. What is good about this exercise is that over time you can adjust the pressure on the muscles from light to strong.
2. Hands interlocked behind the back of the head. Overcoming the resistance of the hands, deflect the head backward with the help of the neck muscles. Then, with the hands overcoming the resistance of the neck, tilt the head forward until the chin touches the chest.
3. Lean your right hand against your right cheek. Then bend your neck to the right, overcoming the resistance of your hand. Then tilt your head to the left with your right hand, overcoming the resistance of your neck.
4. Do the same with your left hand for the left side of the neck.
5. Press your right palm against your right cheek. With the effort of your neck muscles, overcoming the resistance of your hand, turn your head to the right. Then from this position, with the effort of your hand, overcoming the resistance of your neck, turn your head to the left to the start position.
6. Do the same in the opposite direction with your left hand.
Before starting this exercise, it is recommended to do a neck warm-up, which includes rotating the head, tilting, and turning the head. It helps to prepare the neck muscles for the workout and to prevent various injuries. It is also recommended to warm up the trapezius muscles with shoulder rotations.
Exercise With A Towel
The towel should be rolled up several times, thrown behind the head, and placed on the back of the head. Create resistance with your hands, pulling the towel down perpendicular to the axis. Raise your head, overcoming the pressure created by your hands. In this way, the neck muscles are trained.
Exercises With Weights
It is not necessary to have a bench and belt to perform this exercise. It can be replaced by any weight placed at the side of the head in the ear area. Take a horizontal position, put a weight plate on your head and start lifting your head.
If you have a partner, the exercise can be performed much more effectively.
The weight plate can be replaced by the force of the friend’s hands, which will be placed on your forehead. You also need to overcome the resistance created by him. If you don’t have a partner, you can use a weight plate placed on your forehead. The main thing is not to start working with large weights. Increase the weight gradually.
In summary, it is important to add that before any neck workout, with a healthy neck or, even more importantly, with existing neck problems, you should first get a doctor’s consultation. Good luck with your neck workouts.