Contrary to popular thinking in athletics, traditional neck muscle resistance training may not protect athletes from head injuries.
Force Application Trial Set-up. Photo Courtesy of Ryan T. Tierney, PhD, Temple University.
For eight weeks, kinesiologists at Temple University worked with male and female Division I intercollegiate soccer players to see if a resistance training program would reduce the players head acceleration during impact. According to Ryan Tierney PhD, director of Temples Graduate Athletic Training Program, head impacts experienced during soccer cause head acceleration, similar to what a person experiences during a car crash. These impacts may cause mental impairment or accumulate and lead to permanent disability.
His findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Athletic Training and will be highlighted at the Eastern Athletic Trainers Associations Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa, January 7-10.
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