5 Minutes

Time to Get Your Neck Big

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Dan Rileywas the Head Strength Coach at Penn State University.  He was also the Head Strength Coach at the Washington Redskins, the Houston Texans, and at West Point.  While with the Redskins, Riley served as an integral part of three Super Bowl and four NFC Championships.  While at Penn State they competed for the National Championship in the Sugar Bowl.

describe the imageDan Riley had a simple, yet extremely effective approach to neck training. Connected to each neck machine he secured a 60 second timer with a bell. The athlete began each exercise by hitting the start button.

The athletes goal was 12 perfect repetitions in 60 seconds.  Each repetition was done with a pause at the top and was performed maintaining muscular tension as well as addressing  speed and momentum (no bouncing or throwing weight).  12 repetitions each done in 5 seconds was the lifters rule.

riley1Dan would admonish the athlete for not performing repetitions perfectly.  Incorrect form means not activating all the available muscle fibers.  “Which muscle fibers in your neck are most important to protect you on Sunday?“, Coach Riley would ask.  The players learned to respond “All of them.”

When the reps were exactly correct, meaning the time was achieved, the weight and reps would be recorded and then the weight raised for the next workout.  The same concept and form was used in four directions on the 4 way neck machine, plus a shrugging exercise.  Every single rep, every single workout was coached.

You will be surprised how difficult this is and how strong the athlete becomes.  A bigger stronger neck dissipates force and lowers the subconcussive forces… so Get those necks Strong.


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