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    Neck exercises for beginners

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    overthehill

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    Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by overthehill on Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:03 pm

    Hi all,

    its been fantastic getting input and checking into this forum. what a great resource.

    I have a student who is 16 years old, 120kg and has 2 years judo experience.

    i am very worried about him because he is unusually large for a high school student and so it seems everyone wants a chance to throw him.

    i was surprised to learn yesterday that his neck is so weak that he cannot properly do a bridge.
    this seems to be a combination of lack of flexibility and a weak neck.

    since he cant bridge, he cant participate in the normal warmups we do.

    what types of exercises should i be having him to?

    thanks in advance!
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    BillC

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    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by BillC on Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:34 pm

    overthehill wrote:Hi all,

    its been fantastic getting input and checking into this forum. what a great resource.

    I have a student who is 16 years old, 120kg and has 2 years judo experience.

    i am very worried about him because he is unusually large for a high school student and so it seems everyone wants a chance to throw him.

    i was surprised to learn yesterday that his neck is so weak that he cannot properly do a bridge.
    this seems to be a combination of lack of flexibility and a weak neck.

    since he cant bridge, he cant participate in the normal warmups we do.

    what types of exercises should i be having him to?

    thanks in advance!

    OK ... the serious answer first.  What do you mean by "bridge?"  Are you talking about when students put the top of their head on the mat ... either forwards or backwards ... and rock back and forth to make sure their C-spine is adequately compressed?  This is an exercise in futility at best, and often enough a recipe for cervical spinal injury and a painful old age.

    I worked with a trainer once who had no less than 13 different exercises for the neck as a prep for collision sports like judo.  None of them had the student rolling the top of their head around on the mat.

    After I broke my neck when I was 17 I took on neck exercise as recommended by the orthopod and the PT as my new religion.  I've taken a couple of refreshers sessions over the years.  I have a hard time buying shirts like a lot of judoka.

    This is one for which you want to seek some professional advice, not an internet search.  Not some guy that seems like he knows a lot medically but who you really do not know. Not a time to rely on Dr. Google or a YouTube video.  This is something best learned from a pro in person.

    But I might ask, how is his ukemi?  Can he fall backwards without banging the "control unit" on the tatami? Start there.


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    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

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    BillC

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    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by BillC on Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:41 pm

    OK ... a non-serious answer ... a blast from the past ... neck exercise included.



    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling

    overthehill

    Posts : 34
    Join date : 2014-04-07

    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by overthehill on Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:11 am

    BillC wrote:
    But I might ask, how is his ukemi?  Can he fall backwards without banging the "control unit" on the tatami?  Start there.

    by bridge i meant exactly as you described.

    ukemi not great. as youre probably familiar with, the japanese dont do a whole lot of individual instruction.
    this kid came onto the the judo team presumably because he is bigger than most japanese kids but had no prior training.

    however, since all but one or two members entered high school with years of judo practice, he has kind of slipped through the cracks regarding the basics.
    he's weak, uncoordinated and very heavy. i imagine it is just a matter of time before a serious injurt.
    i suppose the previous instructor wasnt all that concerned with the possibility of injury, or maybe im just a bit too sensitive.

    the students live in a dormitory, so going to a PT or something like that isnt really an option.

    are there really not exercises in judo besides the bridging exercises that would help to strengthen the neck?

    overthehill

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    Join date : 2014-04-07

    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by overthehill on Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:11 am

    BillC wrote:OK ... a non-serious answer ... a blast from the past ... neck exercise included.


    never gets old...
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    BillC

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    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by BillC on Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:33 pm

    overthehill wrote: by bridge i meant exactly as you described.

    ukemi not great. as youre probably familiar with, the japanese dont do a whole lot of individual instruction.
    this kid came onto the the judo team presumably because he is bigger than most japanese kids but had no prior training.

    however, since all but one or two members entered high school with years of judo practice, he has kind of slipped through the cracks regarding the basics.
    he's weak, uncoordinated and very heavy. i imagine it is just a matter of time before a serious injurt.
    i suppose the previous instructor wasnt all that concerned with the possibility of injury, or maybe im just a bit too sensitive.

    the students live in a dormitory, so going to a PT or something like that isnt really an option.

    are there really not exercises in judo besides the bridging exercises that would help to strengthen the neck?

    Yeah, and in that situation using him as an example in the context you describe is going to ... well ...



    So OK, pull out the anatomy book and do the best you can.  Stuff we do traditionally in judo?

    1.  Proper crunches without supporting the head ... touch the side of the head Mickey Mouse style tuck the chin, roll up the torso.

    2.  While standing, extend arms straight out from the shoulders, make small circles forwards and back.

    3.  Still standing, reach straight forward from the shoulder, extend arms as is grabbing the opponent, pull back.

    4.  The usual for every practice, lay flat on back, raise the head, slap the mat with both hands until neck is exhausted.

    5.  Pushups ... editorial note, if they are not already contaminated by bad habits, avoid using pushups as punishment.  As many as the student can do maintaining form.  Increase over time.

    6.  Judo pushups.  As many as the student can do maintaining form.  Increase over time.

    7.  Backwards judo pushups.  As many as the student can do maintaining form.  Increase over time.

    8.  Ebi ... with good form ... head off the mat.  Backwards ebi ... with good form ... head off the mat.

    9.  Mat pulls ... with good form ... head off the mat ... feet wide ... as if holding with yokoshihogatame.  Same thing in reverse ... push backwards down the mat ... head up and off the mat.

    10.  Slow stretches.  Chin up, chin down.  Tilt left, tilt right.  Look left, look right.  Add tension with the arms after some time.  Problem with this is that the usual amount ... maybe ten half-hearted reps per practice ... is woefully insignificant.   Fifteen sincere repetitions, three times a day, for six weeks ... will start to show some noticeable difference.

    Perhaps you can give the student some inducement, motivate him realistically and privately.  To me ... the neck is the most obvious mark of the serious judoka.  Look at even retired judoka ... like the lovely Yamaguchi Kaori and her exquisite cervical form.



    When I was about 40, a Hitachi exec visited our small company.  He went out with a private dinner with our president, and at that dinner my president noted that I had been assigned to the account.  "He's familiar with Japanese people and manners" JS explained, "he can eat with chopsticks, he even does judo."

    "Yes, I guessed that" okyakusan said in all seriousness. "He has a thick neck."  It occurs to me now to wonder if he was referring to the judo or the use of chopsticks ...  Shocked 

    Please pass my best regards and encouragement to your student.


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling
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    BillC

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    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by BillC on Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:32 pm

    OTH ... please keep us up to date on this kid's progress. There is a real movie-cliche, tear-jerker ending here I am sure.

    Good luck to the team!


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling
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    Stacey

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    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by Stacey on Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:15 am

    I would make sure he's medically clear to participate first and foremost. A lot of serious medical conditions can make a kid's neck weak including scoliosis. If he's never been examined for that, and seems to have all the warning signs that he's going to have a major neck injury, he needs to be cleared by a doctor who can say that the problem is just a matter of flexibility and strength training, and the flexibility and strength issues are not just a symptom of a much more serious condition.

    People are still bridging for warm-up? ouch.

    overthehill

    Posts : 34
    Join date : 2014-04-07

    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by overthehill on Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:57 pm

    BillC wrote:OTH ... please keep us up to date on this kid's progress.  There is a real movie-cliche, tear-jerker ending here I am sure.

    Good luck to the team!

    thanks billc for the kind words.
    hoping this ending isnt anything like full metal jacket!

    will keep you posted, though there is not much to report.

    as you might be aware, lots of important tournaments coming up in japan at the end of may.

    this year's inter-high tournament will be a the nippon budokan and i would LOVE to have a chance to sit in the coach's seat for one of my students.
    i got 2 kids with a chance....

    our friend with the weak neck not being one of them.

    for now im just keeping an eye on him.
    i don't think its anything more than him being very heavy and not having been exposed to much physical activity.
    however, i'm going to talk to someone with more experience than i and see if the school can help him get some medical advice.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Neck exercises for beginners

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:32 am

    As Stacey said, +1.

    Alternatively, you could always consider the "Iron Neck Exercises", shown here from 04'20" till 05':32", in which case, I am sure will read about you in the News ...




    Note that the common sense in my post is limited to the first line. You will already have noticed that none of the people in the clip are ... "unusually large"; on the contrary.


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