In an 80-yard drive, a football lineman takes up to 18 sub-concussive hits that 85% of which are accelerated rotational hits. CTE(Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) has been targeted as the reason for problems the veteran football players are having. It’s not the 2 or 3 recognized concussions that we test for, but the thousands of sub-concussive hits that are the issue. The HALO not only strengthens the neck and increases neck circumference, it trains the neck functionally. This means it trains in a rotational pattern and targets all 3 major rotary muscles in the neck. This is how Mike Jolly, who is the inventor of the Halo, describes the background and importance of the Halo.
The Halo is a piece of equipment that has been designed to build a stronger neck by strengthening the neck muscles. By strengthening these muscles, it can help in preventing and minimizing concussion risk. With the concussion risk increasing in all sports, by taking it head on and preventing a concussion before it happens can help an athlete have a longer playing career. Mike Jolly states, “I n a 7 1/2 minute workout which can be done right at an Olympic rack during a 3-man lift rotation, a 4-inch increase in neck circumference can lead to a 20% reduction in recognized concussions. That increase takes a bigger bite out of the many sub-concussive hits as well, leading to a safer athletic competition.”
The Halo is being used by elite organizations. For example the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Syracuse University as you’ll read below and NFL teams.
Below you will find two different articles that show the importance of a piece of equipment such as the Halo. The first article is about the changes Syracuse University has made to their strength and conditioning program to have neck strengthening is a main concern. The second is a question and answer session with Dr. Robert Cantu on Concussions in other sports.
As stated above, Syracuse University has taken measures to prevent concussions in their strengthening and conditioning program. The writer of the article, Michael Cohen mentions how many experts in the medical and weight training fields also believe that the new strength and conditioning program additions Syracuse University has made is taking positive steps towards preventing concussions. Cohen then goes on to say that the program Syracuse University has in place at this time is still lacking the specific neck-strengthening tests that provide us with the most important data that expects hope to see be measured in the NFL combine one day. Ron English who is the Coach of Eastern Michigan quotes, “I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” English said. ” … If neck strength testing ever happened in the NFL, you would see a boatload more people taking neck work seriously in college and high school.” The article further goes in to how much neck strengthening is a large part of the strength and conditioning program and that Syracuse is on their way to have such a program.
It’s not only football we are concerned with the amount of concussions. Other sports have the risk for an athlete to receive a harsh blow to the head. Dr. Robert Cantu who is one of the world’s cutting edge leaders on head injuries in sports. Terry Foy in his article takes a quote from Dr. Cantu’s study which states, “What we’re seeing in our study at the Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy at BU, we’re seeing that the athletes that end up with CTE seem to end up with it based on the total amount of brain trauma they sustain, not the amount of concussions. So we find athletes that have taken thousands of sub-concussive blows but only a few concussions might be at great risk than athletes that have 10 or 11 recognized concussions but are playing a sport that is not at risk for repetitive head injury.” The article gets in to detail about the dangers a lacrosse player is susceptible to while playing the game.