One of the most important aspects of a properly designed strength program is factoring in movements needed to help the athlete protect themselves. Injuries will occur in sports, but if we can devise a plan the prepares the athletes’ body properly, we may be able to reduce the risk of certain injuries from becoming season ending.
The most important area to protect on the athlete’s body is the head. Concussions and Cervical Spine injuries are alarming in several sports and have been known to end athlete’s careers. By developing a REINFORCEMENT plan to protect the head, we are giving our athletes a chance to protect themselves with proper training as well as proper fundamentals of their chosen sport.
We must develop training plans that strengthen the muscular structures that help Reinforce proper posture of the athlete. It has been noted that neck extensor muscles indirectly improve whole body strength by improving postural alignment. Direct Neck, Trapezius, and Posterior Shoulder Complex training will aid in strengthening the athletes’ ability to reinforce proper body alignment and support the head.
Training for head support cannot be overlooked in programming and should be placed in the front end of any training session. We recommend it being a part of the Pre Activity Preparation Program because of the high level of importance in athlete protection.
Our training recommendations for Reinforcement are: 1-2 movements for the Neck, 1 movement for the Trapezius, and 1 movement for the Posterior Shoulder Complex per training session. Each strength training session of the week will have a Reinforcement Medley for Head Support. A medley is, rotating through the movements prescribed in a circuit fashion for 2-3 sets for repetitions between 6-25 depending on movement. Unique movements should be prescribed for each individual session.
A Basic Reinforcement Medley would be prescribed as follows:
Medley #1 2 Rounds
1 -. Posture Neck x6 3 count pause at Mid-Point
Concentric Phase - Working Tilt with Extension to Iso Hold
Eccentric Phase – Working Nod
2 – Seated Kettlebell Shrug x20 1 count pause at Mid-Point
Concentric Phase – Scapula Elevation
Eccentric Phase – Scapula Depression
3 – 45 Degree Prone “T” Raise x15 1 count pause at Mid-Point
Concentric Phase – Prone Horizontal ABDuction
Eccentric Phase – Prone Horizontal ADDuction
As a bonus to this week’s blog and 60 Second Strength Coach, we will be hosting an Instagram Live Discussion on HEAD SUPPORT on Thursday, May 21st at 3pm EST on the Dynamic Fitness and Strength Instagram Page. During this 15-30-minute program, we will go over HEAD SUPPORT programming and demonstrate our basic Reinforcement medley.