The question of training the neck came up on one of the forums recently so I decided to put up a little something here to address it. First let me say that I am a fan of neck training. I recommend it to all of my athletes. As a matter of fact I encourage all of my clients to do some form of neck training, unless of course they have some sort of pre-existing condition that would preclude them from doing so.
I highly recommend neck training to all combat athletes. Along with the obvious combat sports such as Boxing, Wrestling, and MMA, I also include other high contact sports such as Rugby, American or Australian rules football, Lacrosse, and Ice Hockey on my combat sports list.
If you are already doing some form of neck training and are happy with the results, keep up the good work. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to strengthen your neck, give the following routine a try.
PAU for NOW
Neck Routine: Begin with one set of Shrugs with enough weight to fatigue within 60 seconds. Do one set of 60 seconds pushing head into a small stability ball in all four directions. Finish with a final 60 second set of shrugs. Alternate methods not shown include but are not limited to, using a neck harness attached to cables or resistance bands, as well as manual resistance either solo or using a partner.
(An alternate method for neck extension is also shown in the video below). Using this method you would bridge, forcing the neck back into the stability ball with muscular force aided by gravity.
1. Shrugs: Barbell / Dumbbell / Cable
2. Neck Flexion
3. Neck Extension
4. Lateral Neck Flexion (right and left)
5. Shrugs: Barbell / Dumbbell / Cable