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"Training for
REAL Athletes"
                 Functional Training Part 3:
 Importance of Neck and Midsection Training

I want to thank everyone again for subscribing to the Moto X Fitness Newsletter.  Our mailing list keeps growing,
and I want to encourage everyone to spread the word to your MX friends about motoxfitness.com, our fitness
information products, and free newsletter.  

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I want to help as many people as I can to improve their fitness, strength, conditioning, flexibility, and endurance for
motocross, so let everyone know about
Moto X Fitness where they can learn more about MX fitness when they
order the training manual -
Motocross Fitness.
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Last week’s newsletter addressed the importance of training the midsection and the neck.
And, I left you hanging with a question as to what the best neck exercise was.  Well, there is more than one
answer.  

First, there is the
FRONT NECK BRIDGE.  Secondly, the more advanced version is the WRESTLER'S BRIDGE,
sometimes called a back neck bridge.  There is also the GYMNASTICS BRIDGE which doesn’t work the neck like
the other two, but it is still a great exercise that develops strength and flexibility in the midsection and spinal column.

Now, some of you may have never seen these exercises or heard of them before.  Thoroughly describing these
exercises is beyond the scope of a single newsletter, but, take my word for it – these are GREAT exercises for
developing strength, flexibility, and endurance in your neck, upper and lower back, abdominals, hips, legs, and
many of the smaller muscles surrounding the spinal column.

The problem with these exercises is learning the proper technique to perform them, because not many people do
them.  In fact, many trainers may tell you that the neck bridge is dangerous because it places too much stress on
the neck and spine and will cause injury.

Any exercise is potentially dangerous if done improperly, and you should consult a physician before starting any
training program to determine if you are healthy enough for strenuous exercise.  Also, you need to be taught the
proper technique to avoid problems or injury (just like any other exercise).

For example, in the wrestler's bridge many people are taught to bridge on the top of their head.  This is incorrect.  
You may start in that position until you are comfortable, but you should be working towards bridging on your
forehead and later trying to touch your nose to the floor.  This stretches the neck and spinal column and
strengthens it.  It also affects your legs and many of the other muscles already mentioned.  

One of the great things about the wrestler's bridge is that you can control the amount of pressure that is placed on
the neck by using your hands to stabilize yourself.  With your hands by the side of your head you are totally safe
and in control.  When you properly perform this movement it is an unbelievable exercise that you will feel through
your entire body.  

But, I would not recommend attempting this exercise without proper instruction.  That is why I’m not going to give
you instructions on how to perform the exercise.  You need to see it – in pictures or in person – to understand the
proper technique because it is a difficult exercise to master.

If you want to learn how to do the wrestler's bridge and other exercises, you will find descriptions and photographs
of the exercises in my training manual.  There are photographs of both the Front Bridge (good for beginners), and
the Wrestler's Bridge (when you get stronger) to help you master good form.  If you are not strong or flexible
enough to do these exercises on the floor, then you can start on a stability ball until you improve.

I cannot recommend the
BRIDGE enough.  Most people are unaware of this exercise and its effects, but I have
found it to be an outstanding exercise that has helped me tremendously.  I have improved my strength and
flexibility, my midsection is stronger (and I have a lower back problem), and my neck strength has, at the very least,
doubled in the last two years since I started doing this exercise on a regular basis.  And, I already had a strong
neck from years of competitive powerlifting.

I’m going to wrap it up now, but I want everyone who rides motorcycles to consider the importance of strengthening
your neck and spinal column.  There are too many injuries as it is, and I want to help riders strengthen these areas,
which in turn will hopefully reduce the number of neck and back injuries that occur each year.

Keep your training questions coming and next week I will talk about functional lower body training – improving leg
strength without weights.

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If you want to learn more, go to the
MXF Store and order my training manual, Motocross Fitness.  It includes
descriptions and photographs of many exercises that you can add to your MX fitness program. In addition, there
are weekly workouts designed for all levels of athletes.  Also be sure to check out the Moto X Fitness Training
Journal which is on sale right now.  FREE SHIPPING and TWO FREE REPORTS  - Hand and Forearm Stretching  
and My Secret Workout - are currently available if you order either or both books.


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If you have any training questions email me at rw3@motoxfitness.com.   I’ll be happy to help you out.  

Good Luck and Train Hard,

Rodney C. Womack III

Owner of www.motoxfitness.com
rw3@motoxfitness.com
Moto X Fitness Newsletter #3 - 2004
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Copyright 2004-2012 by RW3 Enterprises.  All rights reserved.
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