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Old 06-13-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
Patrick Donnelly
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Default Potential Neck Conditioning - Sandbag Head Supports (& Jogging?)

So, I was doing some walking/jogging up a hill (15m up over 250m, barefoot, on the street) today with a 105lb sandbag. After a little while I tried doing it with the sandbag overhead in both arms. Turns out it's pretty hard to hold it up there. So, I dropped it down, behind my head, and it landed sort of high on my shoulders. That's when I got the idea of holding it on my head, rather than overhead. The sandbag molded to fit my head pretty nicely, and I also used my hands to hold it in place. I did about a quarter of the way up the hill this way, jogging, took a slight break, and did the whole way down jogging. Definitely challenging.

This isn't something I'd do very often (if ever - I'm not a wrestler) since it seems like a rather high-impact exercise, but it might be something worth considering. Maybe a static version with a heavier bag for duration holds would be more appropriate, and not using the hands for balance so the neck has more of a job to do in the horizontal plane. It's just an oddball idea that rolled out so I thought I might as well pass it along and see if anyone here has input on the idea.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:42 PM   #2
Blair Lowe
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People seemed to have found it an easy way to carry things overhead before.

Holding the weight static on your head would be similar to wrestler head bridges and headstands except the inversion which takes some getting used to ( you prob don't have that prob ).
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
Patrick Donnelly
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Hm, yeah, the headstand seems to be a similar idea. Running with the sandbag on your noggin will obviously have a bit more impact though, since it's not static, and static sandbag holds would provide you with two additional things: 1. the potential to go really heavy, 2. a stability challenge (if you go hands-free... I don't think a hands-free headstand is possible for most people).
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:13 AM   #4
Gant Grimes
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There is a difference between training the neck muscles and acclimating yourself to spinal compression. I don't care for the latter.

Re: headstands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDdkFkMUsMA
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Unless one has very good posture, the cervical spine doesn't like compression. Most weight trainers have a pretty significant forward head posture, which already loads the c-spine more than it is designed for. Add ballistic compressive loading to this, expect degenerative changes sooner rather than later.

Train the neck for isometric strength, IMO, much like the lower back. C-spine is very much like the lumbar, better to train for stability than mobility, best to minimize compressive loading and shear (especially ballistic). If I wanted to add neck strength training to my regimen, I'd likely just get the Everlast (?) head weight and wear it during sets of my gymnastics-type isometric holds (ie. front/back levers, etc.).
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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Garrett, would you mind explaining the head forward posture and how it misloads the spine?


Gant, that video was awesome.
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