If you watched the Daytona 500 this weekend, you saw Danica Patrick slamming her car into the wall late in the race. The In-car camera replay of Danica's head during the crash shows just how much force her head was subjected to, yet she walked away uninjured.
NASCAR has come a long way to help lessen and prevent head injuries for their drivers through use of technology such as the HANS (Head And Neck Support). Due the force involved in crashes, the neck and shoulder muscles aren't strong enough to slow the head down or absorb the force of in an impact.
With 15 years of expertise in head, neck, and shoulder strength training I've looked at what's the best way the athlete can strengthen these areas to lessen or prevent injuries. As an athlete you want to look to train all aspects of the neck and shoulders that support the head. There are 7 areas of the neck and shoulders that need strengthening. The stronger these muscles, the better the chance of preventing injuries.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when doing neck and shoulder workout:
- Prioritizing the neck strengthening exercises first in your workout.
- Train these muscles 3x's a week.
- As with all exercise, you want to be careful not to jerk of move the weights explosively.