Standing partner nudges

Category: Neck control & endurance

Level: 1

Carla van den Berg

  • Keep neutral head/neck position throughout the exercise
  • Athlete stands with hands on hips or arms crossed over chest
  • Using two fingers, partner uses slight force to nudge the athlete at the head, shoulders and upper back while the athlete tries to resist movement
    • Nudge from various directions (front, back, sides)
    • The amount of force applied by the partner should be enough to slightly push the athlete out of position before returning to centre
  • Progressions for the athlete's stance include;
    • Two legs, eyes open
    • Two legs, eyes closed
    • Single-leg balance, eyes open
    • Single-leg balance, eyes closed
  • Allowing head/neck to move out of neutral line with the rest of the body
    • Cue "Long, strong neck"
    • Cue "Stand up tall"
  • Excessive force from the partner nudges that pushes the athlete too far off balance that they cannot recover, or that causes the athlete to take a step away from centre to catch themselves
    • Cue "Slight taps"
    • Educate partner about the importance of safety for their teammates
  • Activates the neck muscles to stabilize the head
  • Reinforces safe, neutral neck position
  • There is some research to suggest that neck strength could be associated with reduced concussion risk
  • Challenges the vestibular system (information about the body's positioning in space, contributing to balance and coordination)
  • Develops ankle stability
  • Develops knee stability (single leg variations)