Thursday, April 3, 2014

Workout of the Day: Batman(stiff) Neck & Locking Your Position

We've all woken up with a kink in our neck then had to deal with a painful, tight neck that hurts to move.  In my case, I always end up having to turn my whole body so I've deemed it Batman Neck because if you'll recall, the suits for Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale's first outing didn't allow any kind of swivel motion.  Batman Neck can occur for various reasons:  sleeping wrong, muscle strain, poor posture, stress, etc.  In my case, it was because I forgot to "lock my position" while working out.  What the heck does that mean?  Basically, Professor of Splitanomics Jean-Claude Van Damme believes you must have strict form while training.  Starting from your core, your spine should be aligned with your shoulders back, chest out and head up.  Once you are in position, you can do any kind of exercise whether it be lifting weights, running, etc and not hurt yourself because your body isn't scrunched up or hunched over.  All of your muscles and nerves are lined up and ready to go.

It's been a bit of a fat week for me because I've been training regularly and worked out while on vacation in Seattle.  If training is a lifestyle for you, there's no problem with eating a nice meal or having a drink because let's face it, I'm not making any money because of my body so I'm just doing some bare minimum workouts this week to not feel completely dumpy.

1)  Handstand Push Up - For the triceps and shoulders
2)  Chins - For back, biceps, forearms, shoulders and chest
3)  Dip - For chest, triceps and shoulders
4)  EZ Bar Curl Hanging Curl - With a straight, not rounded back, bend over and take the bar so your elbows are next to your knees, this puts more stress on your biceps and not your front delts

Followed by some forearms and ab work like hanging knee raises and trunk twists holding a towel in front of me instead of a bar across my back.  I employed a pyramid rep scheme to help me get warmed up then into some working sets.  So it looked like 5-7-10-10-12-10 while increasing the weight each set on curls and holding a dumbbell between my legs on the chins and dips.

While doing a set of Dips, I was looking down then for some reason looked up mid rep and KA-LACK, my neck cracked and immediately tightened up.  Since I didn't "lock my position" and lost focus, I put stress on my neck, my nerves got jumbled up and now my muscles tightened up.  At first I tried to relax and the stiffness subsided but by the time I got to work, Batman Neck.

To help fight the stiffness, there's a variety of remedies you can try such as:

- Massage, I find this works better if you're massaging your neck then still moving it around to help the nerves fire and loosen up
- Stretch, pull your chin to your chest, then back as far as you can, stop where you feel pain
- Cool, with ice or a cold pack, you can use a frozen vegetables if you have some
- Heat, the area with a hot shower, bath or towel

I also find lying down on a flat surface like your carpeted floor helps stretch and relax Batman Neck, it might be a little uncomfortable at first but eventually your body will relax and your muscles will loosen up.  To prevent Batman Neck, be sure to mind your posture while sitting at your desk or on the couch, strengthen your neck muscles through training, "lock your position" while working out and maintaining good form throughout.

The world and a public bathroom, is your gym:


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