Avoiding Neck Injuries...

Discussion in 'General Training' started by terraƒractaL, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. terraƒractaL

    terraƒractaL New Member

    Hi all. I've been doing HST exclusively for about six years now. Once I started there was no going back; I really love it. I've been making solid gains and am now starting to push weight that is fairly heavy for me. I'm 6'2, wiry build ; I now weigh 203 with about 11% body fat - my max 8% body fat on Bryan's calculator is 203.

    In the past I have very rarely encountered injuries; I used to warm up with light cardio / half weight and lower reps first set but stopped doing that some time ago for time concerns (already doing 33 sets for 5s).

    However in the last couple of months I have experienced two neck injuries, once doing upright rows (which I knew were bad but did anyway...no more of those), and the last time a couple of weeks ago doing classic military presses. Both times it was the same muscle in my neck (Splenius cervicis muscle), which made a "tingly popping" feeling when the injury occurred (best way I can describe it...not painful at all, but I knew for sure it was a full blown injury). Afterwards it would hurt to look left or sit up after lying down on my right side (among other movements) for about a week.

    I am very dedicated and feel the only thing stopping me now would be these types of injuries happening more and more frequently. When I lift I always push or pull as hard as I can (as per HST principles) and can feel my neck straining all the time; sometimes it feels like the same injury is going to occur even though it doesn't; it's pretty scary. No other body part has even close to this type of feeling; everything else feels great 100%.

    I realize I need to start warming up again, etc. and I have started doing neck movements before lifting, but am afraid when I get to the heavy weight again in the 5s it's going to happen again. Just wanted to ask if there was anything else I could do to prevent this, or if anyone else has experienced this. Thanks.
  2. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    As you noted, avoid doing the movements that induced the pain.

    Check your sleeping position as well, for neck. I've had neck soreness/mild pain from pillows being too high/low (inc'ing being not dense enough to resist compression when my head is on it).

    Take a week off away from lifting, and start again with your 15s. It's probably a very mild strain (meaning tear) of the muscle and just needs some time to heal without being put under the stress of lifting.
  3. terraƒractaL

    terraƒractaL New Member

    So no more military presses? I know upright rows are bad, but military presses are a staple compound lift. Can anybody suggest an alternative?
  4. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    I would take the time off, and replace Military with DB. I find that DB presses whilst a lighter load, are much better on the joints and the muscles that function as stabilisers.

    Alternatively, instead of Military, go with a semi-steep Incline Bench, say 45 degrees. Incline bench above 20-30 (at most) degrees is almost exclusively a shoulder exercise (minimal pec involvement).

    It just might be that for whatever reason, the injury to your neck is going to make the BB OHP a less-than-ideal movement for you, at least for a while.

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