Terror Clinch Neck Harness

Published by Smacktalk on

Paul “The Terror” Terblanche, a professional MMA fighter contracted to EFC Africa, has developed a safe new way to exercise the important muscles in the neck.

Long since a problem for many professional athletes, neck exercises are often dangerous or difficult with previous injury and therefore many people neglect this very important muscle group. The neck is an important muscle because it supports the head and keeps your shoulders and back aligned for proper posture. While there are a number of different exercises that can work the neck muscles, one of the best is head/neck harness resistance exercises.

Neck resistance exercises can help any athlete or fitness enthusiast condition their neck and upper back, but is most often recommended to those individuals involved in a contact sport. A strong neck is just as essential to sports as a powerful core or throwing arm. New Jersey-based strength coach Jason Ferruggia has said that, “If you have a glass jaw, no amount of training will save you from waking up on the floor.” While using a neck harness, a few simple exercises can help you develop a thicker, stronger neck that will enhance muscular symmetry, help fill out those turtleneck sweaters, and prevent injuries resulting from sports, repetitive motion and accidents.

Launched in September 2012, the Terror Clinch is already popular amongst wrestlers, rugby players and other MMA fighters and enthusiasts, the Terror Clinch is revolutionising the way many people train. Rico Hattingh, SA Heavy Weight MMA Champion 2003 – 2011, says “After my neck surgery in 2011, I was unable to perform all the neck exercises I used to and as a result I was forced to look at alternative exercises. The “Terror Clinch” gave me the opportunity to get my muscle strength and endurance back.

What Are The Muscles Of The Neck?

The neck is made up of several muscles – ranging from flexors and extensors, to rotators and lateral flexors. Flexors are responsible for moving your chin towards your chest. Extensors are responsible for moving your head backwards so you look up. Rotators allow you to look from side to side. Lateral flexors are responsible for moving your ear towards your shoulder.

Flexors

  • Longus Colli, Longus Capitis, Infrahyoids

Extensors

  • Splenius Capitis, Semispinalis Capitis, Suboccipitals, Trapezius

Rotators

  • Splenius Capitis , Sternocleidomastoid, Levator Scapula, Suboccipitals

Lateral Flexors

  • Scalenes

 

Why is a neck harness a good idea?

The neck is an important muscle because it supports your head and keeps your shoulders and back aligned for proper posture. The problem is that many people neglect this very important muscle group.  While there are a number of different exercises that can work the neck muscles, one of the best is head/neck harness resistance exercises.

Neck resistance exercises can help any athlete or fitness enthusiast condition their neck and upper back, but is most often recommended to those individuals involved in a contact sport.  A strong neck is just as essential to sports as a powerful core or throwing arm. New Jersey-based strength coach Jason Ferruggia has said that, “If you have a glass jaw, no amount of training will save you from waking up on the floor.” While using a neck harness, a few simple exercises can help you develop a thicker, stronger neck that will enhance muscular symmetry, help fill out those turtleneck sweaters, and prevent injuries resulting from sports, repetitive motion and accidents.

 

 

Equipment you will need

Neck harness with chain

Free weights

Weight bench

 

 

 

Proper Use of the Neck Harness

As with any exercise, a proper warm-up should be employed before working with a neck harness. Simply moving your head from side to side, forward and back, left to right and around will help you avoid injury.

Before placing the neck harness over your head, feed the equipment chain through the appropriate free weight and lock into position.

 

When performing any of these exercises, take care not to swing the head from side to side, and do not engage in any jerky movements. Execute each repetition with control and focus, raising and lowering the head (and the weight) with a smooth, continuous motion. Also, make sure to keep your back perfectly straight and flat. Do not curve the back at any point. The only place you should bend your neck is right at the point where it meets the spine, and all of the lowering should proceed from here.

 

Take care not to overwork the neck muscles (or any other muscle group). Give yourself at least one day in between every day in which you use the neck harness so that your body can rest and recover properly, and develop new muscle tissue. Over-training will only fatigue the neck muscles and can lead to injury. Also, make sure to get enough sleep and keep your body properly hydrated by drinking enough water, which will help prevent injuries during heavy training sessions (dehydrated muscles tear more easily).

 

Be careful with the weight you use; while your muscles may be able to do the exercise, you could be stiff afterwards, and stiffness in the muscles used in this movement could cause more intense and lasting pain than in other areas. Therefore, and though you may think you can do this exercise with more weight, begin with low weights (e.g. 0,5 or 1 kg.) and increase gradually over time as your muscle strength and resistance improve.

 

After a workout, if you don’t consume enough protein within the first 40 minutes to 1 hour after working out, your body will begin breaking down its own muscle tissue in order to repair the muscles you just trained. Most trainers and nutritionists recommend getting at least 30g of whey protein and branch-chain amino-acids (BCAA’s) shortly after you finish exercise, as it provides quality, quick-acting nutrition to rebuild your muscles.

 

 

How to do use the Harness:

1. Lateral Neck Raise
SETS: 3, REPS: 15-20 (each side)

Wear the neck harness and attach both ends of the chain to the same side and lie sideways on a bench so that the chain and weight hang off it. Raise your neck as high as you can. Take 2-3 seconds to lower it and 2 seconds to lift it, pausing for a moment at the top of the movement.  Complete all the reps on that side and then switch sides and repeat.

2. Neck Extension
SETS: 3, REPS: 15-20

Attach weight plates to the neck harness and sit on a bench with your head bent forward so your chin nearly touches your chest. Plant your feet firmly on the floor (feet at shoulders width apart and back slightly bent forward at the waist).  Place your hands on your knees to support both your upper back and shoulders.  Raise your head up and down – each movement should take about 2-3 seconds.  Use a light weight and get a full range of motion.  Always remove the harness and rest your neck between sets.

 

3. Neck flexion

SETS: 3, REPS: 15-20

To work the front of the neck you can lie down on your back on a bench with your head and neck out over the end of the bench. Keep your neck perfectly aligned with the spine and look straight up. Keep your hands by your side or cross them over your chest.  Have a training partner spot you and help you get the harness and weights in place. Flex your neck forward and try to touch your chin to your chest, hold for 1 second and slowly lower your head to complete the rep.  During the movement, you should be careful to bend your neck (do not pull it forward), and move only your neck (there is a tendency to bend the spine). Do not bend your neck backward (in the starting position you should be looking upward vertically, but not tilted backward).

4. Neck Squats

SETS: 3, REPS: 15-20

This is a simple exercise.  Load the harness with the weight and perform normal squats.  It is beneficial to first master squats with no weight added to your body and then move on to using additional weight.

 

 

Recommendation from Rico Hattingh SA HW MMA CHAMPION 2003 – 2011:

“After my neck surgery in 2011, I was unable to perform all the neck exercises I used to and as a result I was forced to look at alternative exercises to strengthen my neck muscles. The “Terror Clinch” gave me the opportunity to get my muscle strength and endurance back.

I highly recommend it to anyone, women or man, young or old, to use without the risk of serious injury as seen with the old traditional wrestling neck exercises.  It’s easy, safe, adjustable and fun to use!

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