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Nick Tumminello is the owner of Performance University – Hybrid Strength Training & Conditioning in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He trains the trainers, and athletes internationally. Check out Coach Nick’s Products, Seminar Schedule, Mentorship Programs and very popular Fitness Blog at www.NickTumminello.com
Everyone knows the benefits of strength training like: -‐ Improved force output (aka strength) -‐ Increased bone density -‐ Increased connective tissue strength (tendon’s, ligaments, etc.) One of the most overlooked and under strengthened areas of the body is the neck. Technically, since your neck muscles surround your cervical spine, the neck muscles are important core muscles. In other words, a strong neck contributes to a stronger and more stable core! Having a strong neck is crucial for high-‐impact athletes like Boxers, Kick-‐ Boxers, MMA Fighters, Football & Rugby players etc. for several reasons: -‐ Better ability to deal with impact from strikes, tackles, etc. -‐ Increased neck size (from building stronger neck muscles) will create a wider cylinder, which is then less likely to become jarred. -‐ Better ability for fighters to protect their jaw by contributing to the ability to keep their shoulders elevated and hands up in boxer guard.
Each of these three exercises covers a different aspect of your neck (back.-‐ Faster head movement to see what’s coming at you or to react. Perform each of the following drills 3x per week. front. for the sets and reps I’ve provided and you’ll quickly develop a wider. In this article. (Stronger neck muscles will help you move your head faster than weak muscles) -‐ Less chance of a neck related injury -‐ More resistant to fatigue. side and rotation) to ensure you develop full-‐spectrum neck strength. stronger and a more injury-‐ proof neck! 2 Copyright 2011 by Nick Tumminello. Performance U – Hybrid Strength Training & Conditioning . which can help better maintain optimal posture and body positioning. I’ve provided you 3 of my top Neck strengthening drills we use with our high-‐impact athletes from fighters to football players.
which I’ve named the “Gittleson shoulder shrug” after legendary strength coach Mike Gittleson. Allow a slight stretch at the bottom of each rep.a. This is my favorite shoulder shrug variation. With your other hand. To perform the Gittleson shrug. Shrug the dumbbell with your working side.Seated Single Arm Dumbbell Shrugs (a. I’ve found this single arm version to be more effective at strengthening the lateral neck muscles and traps. . who showed it to me. Gittelson Shrugs) Although it takes a little more time to perform that the typical two arm shrug. take a firm grip on the bench just behind you to stabilize yourself. straddle a flat bench holding a heavy dumbbell in one hand. Coach Gittleson is one of the world’s leading experts on the hot-‐button issue of concussion prevention and neck strength in sports. and bring your ear towards your shoulder at the top of the motion.k.
Performance U – Hybrid Strength Training & Conditioning .START START (Side View) 4 Copyright 2011 by Nick Tumminello.
-‐ Lower the weight slowly until you feel a mild stretch. -‐ Pause at the top of each shrug for 1-‐2 seconds. Click here to learn more about the Gittleson Shrug. -‐ Perform 1-‐3 sets of 10-‐20 reps using the heaviest dumbbell you can handle while maintaining the optimal shown/ described above. keeping your chest up and spine in it’s natural curves. .FINISH Coaching Tips on the Gittleson Shrug -‐ Stay tall. -‐ Grab the bench/chair just behind your hip.
Performance U – Hybrid Strength Training & Conditioning . This is one of the best exercises I know for building clinch specific neck strength. Start Middle Finish 6 Copyright 2011 by Nick Tumminello.Rooney Neck & Thoracic Extension with Super Band I learned this exercise from MMA Strength Coach Martin Rooney – hence the name of the exercise.
drive your chin towards the back of your neck to create a straight neck posture. . -‐ Hold the band tightly with your hands throughout the exercise. -‐ At the top of each rep. It should not be uncomfortable. -‐ Perform 1-‐3 sets of 10-‐20 reps using a light to medium resistance band. Coaching Tips on the Rooney Neck Extension w/ Band -‐ Place the band just above your ears.
Weighted Neck Rocking with Fitness Ball This is a neck exercise I developed to build up the muscles in the front of the neck. This exercise also strengthens the rotators of the neck. Performance U – Hybrid Strength Training & Conditioning . Start Finish 8 Copyright 2011 by Nick Tumminello. which help you keep your chin tucked to protect you jaw. which help you to resist your opponent’s attempts to push your head/ face away in clinching situations.
leading with your neck. -‐ Lean your hips toward the wall to create muscle tension in your neck and abdominals. Hold for a 1-‐2 sec count before rocking across to the other side of the ball. . -‐ Perform 1-‐3 sets of 8-‐15 reps on each side. which allows you to feel stable. -‐ Slowly rock your entire body. to one side of the ball without allowing your head to rotate. Start (side view) Finish (side view) Coaching Tips on Weighted Neck Rocking w/ Fitness Ball -‐ Place your forehead on the ball in a position.
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