Sunday, August 23, 2009

Getting into fighting shape: Your neck

I’m working out a bit more to prepare for a coming CQC class, same one I took some months ago.
One of the things that became evident was the need to have a solid, strong neck.
When you train in a gym you do so under controlled circumstances where people have experience or the instructor supervising stops things before they get out of hand.
When you just fight someone without that safety net there’s a greater chance of injury. These classes mostly lack such safety nets and even though that’s great fighting training, you can of course get hurt.
An injured arm or leg is one thing, and injured neck is either a serious injury or even fatal, it’s a complicated spot.
All you need is one neck muscle getting hurt and it may leave limbs useless for months, since it will affect the nerves.
I had such a problem and it took months to get the right arm working properly. The muscles tighten up and apply pressure to the nerve. It’s no joke folks, very painful and still have little sensitivity in the tips of the fingers. It also demanded lots of chiropractic sessions.
Given the amount of neck chokes and punches to the head in these classes, it’s better to have a strong neck.
Because it’s such a complex spot to injure, take it easy, since the risk of injury while working out is considerable as well.
Good warm up and stretching is paramount.
Once you warmed up, start with a simple exercise, light pressure with manual resistance exercises in all directions.
Standing straight, place your hand in the side to work out and apply light pressure for a few seconds.
Again, take it easy and supervision under a qualified instructor is advised if you’re not familiar with this type of workout.
Going straight for a neck harness with weights or a neck bridge will almost guarantee an injury.
Here’s a website with some information.

Take care.



Anonymous said...


I'm fitpro on WT. A good way to build up neck muscles is by doing hang cleans with either a barbell or dumb bells, or doing hang snatches with the same. Not only will it strengthen your neck, traps, and rhomboids, it will help create explosive power, which is always a benefit in CQC.
Your blog is great. Keep up the good work!


Shambhala said...

OMG. This is too funny.

Not only do I agree with you, but is where I get a lot of ideas.

A strong neck is a major asset.

Joseph said...

You may not agree with me, FerFAL, but it is for some of these reasons that I think fight training needs to pull back at a certain point. To me, it is kinda pointless to wind up crippled in a practice session.

Joe said...

I had a similar neck injury. @ bulged disks with a pinched nerve that left my left arm curled up and useless. One thing that finally gave me a lot of relief was gentle neck traction. It consisted of a cloth harnes that went under the chin and behind the head, a length of cord, a pulley device to hang it from and a water bag for weight. one fills the bag with 1/2-1 gal of water, put the harness on and just sit there for 20-30 min a day. Over a couple of weeks it took the pressure off the nerves in my neck and the pain out of my arm and fingers. The key is slow and gentle traction to allow the muscles to relax and let the disks and vertebrae realign.

Bones said...

+1 for Joseph. Swimming is a terrific way to exercise the core muscles in your torso and neck. Little risk of injury and it loosens you up in the process. No back pain for 40+ yr old since I started swimming regularly.

People who push their limits too hard are injuries waiting to happen.

No pain, no gain is macho advertising B*llsh*t.