For the most part, we don’t train our necks. In fact, I’d bet a pretty penny that your gym program covers almost everything from feet up to chest and upper back, maybe even a weighted shrug… but nothing higher.
Unless we’re race car drivers, wrestlers, MMA fighters or the like, neck strength isn’t something we normally consider. Chances are the most exercise we do here is looking from the screen on the desk, to the other screen in our hands. The modern way of life has a lot to answer for.
Mechanically speaking our head and neck is in a fairly fine balance. The head is like a heavy ball that houses our brain and other sense organs (eyes, ears etc.). For these to function properly the head needs to be held stable and level most of the time, but also moveable so we can direct focus for things like head checks. This heavy ball sits on top of a very slender cervical spine which allows plenty of movement – but anything that moves a lot is inherently less stable. So, we rely heavily on muscular strength for balancing stability and movement.
Keeping this mechanical system in balance requires us to maintain good strength and flexibility in these muscles. Like any other muscles, this is best done with regular mobility and resistance training. Unfortunately, just looking from one screen to another doesn’t really cut it…