I attended a presentation last night put on by my area
hospital which is part of the Mayo Clinic Health Systems.
One of the things the physician mentioned in his presentation
struck me as very significant. He said that women are more
vulnerable to concussions than men. He attributed this to
the fact that the neck muscles of women are not as strong
as those of men so women are less able to protect
themselves in the event of a sudden blow to the head.
It would seem to me that it would therefore be wise for
female riders to do exercises to strengthen neck muscles
in order to provide added protection against concussion.
I asked at the presentation about specific exercises that I
could teach my riding students, but the athletic trainers
and physical therapist had little to offer.
Does anyone have a resource to suggest with particular
exercises for strengthening neck muscles; particularly for
By the way, if you are a riding instructor in Wisconsin, you
may want to look at the website of wiaawi.org as a new law
in our state puts specific obligations on those who train youth
in sports and it would seem to include 4H and pony club and
any high school riding groups.
I do exercises to strengthen my neck. I have a history of concussions and whiplash.
You stand up against a wall, with your heals and the back of your head flat against the wall. You use the muscles in your neck to bridge and lift your shoulders off the wall. You can increase the difficulty by moving your feet further away from the wall.
I had to start out really slow and only do a few at a time and work my way up after being injured.