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I'm new to neck training and can do the basic bridges (front bridge without hands, flip over, back bridge), I've already learned a decent form to start but was wondering how many sets and reps should I do if I do them thrice a week? I don't want to rush it and hurt myself, so it would be very helpful to know, thanks!!

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My opinion would be the neck bridges are more of a loosening up than strength building, and doing the flipping from one to the other has much more risk than benefit involved. Wrestling strength for the neck in my opinion would be shoulder/delt and trap training with a lot of hand fighting/positioning drills on the mat. 

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My team uses bridging in our warm up.  If you watch any Russians from the very young youth level on up through the senior level you will see lots of bridging and bridge exercises.  Of course like anything else you need to build up the muscles in your neck and develop more advanced skills as you progress.  Start at first just bridging on your knees to loosen up.  Then go front bridges then work back bridges then you can incorporate hip heisting or flipping between bridges.  One of the exercises you will see all the Russians do and something I've been able to incorporate from the youth level on up are bridge circles.  Start in back bridge, look at a spot on the wall.  Rotate your feet in back bridge and when you can't go further you hip heist over to front, rotate feet until you can't then flip to back again.  As my athletes get better I will have them start in back bridge, grab their partners ankles and then flip between front and back.  As they get better at it they can eliminate the partner.  These are tough and put a lot of strain on your neck so as I said you have to build into them.  You don't need to do a lot.  Spend a minute or so with front and back bridges at first.  As you progress try the circles and do 3 rotations one way then 3 the other.  The flips you only need like 10 to get a good workout in your neck.  Do them daily in your warm up for practice and you will progress quickly.

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I used to do neck bridges and the bridge circles. However, neck bridges cause compression on the spine that can lead to long term problems. Its better to use either use weight as shown in the video, a head strap/chain with weight, or have a partner push on the back of your head/pull up on the forehead (works well in the wrestling room for warmups).

Neck Exercises that KILL Your Neck (DO THESE INSTEAD!!)

 
Edited by Relentless125
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11 hours ago, Relentless125 said:

I used to do neck bridges and the bridge circles. However, neck bridges cause compression on the spine that can lead to long term problems. Its better to use either use weight as shown in the video, a head strap/chain with weight, or have a partner push on the back of your head/pull up on the forehead (works well in the wrestling room for warmups).

Neck Exercises that KILL Your Neck (DO THESE INSTEAD!!)

 

Russians seem fine and in wrestling you sometimes have to bridge with an actual person pushing down on you. Might want to build some strength from that position  if wrestling is your game. 

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On 7/3/2020 at 9:32 AM, CoachWrestling said:

How old are you? I'm 28 and I will never do another neck bridge. It's bad for your neck. My neck is jacked up from years of bridging. 

lol......shoulda stayed off your back coach...... jk

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On 7/3/2020 at 1:32 PM, CoachWrestling said:

How old are you? I'm 28 and I will never do another neck bridge. It's bad for your neck. My neck is jacked up from years of bridging. 

I'm 14 sir. I mean yeah it is but for Russians it looks like it's pretty essential and I'd think it could work out doing them with moderation, you know way more than I do but I'd think moderation is key.

On 7/4/2020 at 1:44 PM, AnklePicker said:

My team uses bridging in our warm up.  If you watch any Russians from the very young youth level on up through the senior level you will see lots of bridging and bridge exercises.  Of course like anything else you need to build up the muscles in your neck and develop more advanced skills as you progress.  Start at first just bridging on your knees to loosen up.  Then go front bridges then work back bridges then you can incorporate hip heisting or flipping between bridges.  One of the exercises you will see all the Russians do and something I've been able to incorporate from the youth level on up are bridge circles.  Start in back bridge, look at a spot on the wall.  Rotate your feet in back bridge and when you can't go further you hip heist over to front, rotate feet until you can't then flip to back again.  As my athletes get better I will have them start in back bridge, grab their partners ankles and then flip between front and back.  As they get better at it they can eliminate the partner.  These are tough and put a lot of strain on your neck so as I said you have to build into them.  You don't need to do a lot.  Spend a minute or so with front and back bridges at first.  As you progress try the circles and do 3 rotations one way then 3 the other.  The flips you only need like 10 to get a good workout in your neck.  Do them daily in your warm up for practice and you will progress quickly.

Thanks for the advices, I appreciate it. I think it may be too much though, as I mentioned earlier, moderation is key in exercises that compromise long-term health even though I also think those are risks that every wrestler (also boxers and fighters and all that stuff) should be willing to take. I'm no expert anyway and I'm a high schooler so what do I know in comparison to guys like you? Once again thank you.

On 7/4/2020 at 1:52 PM, Relentless125 said:

I used to do neck bridges and the bridge circles. However, neck bridges cause compression on the spine that can lead to long term problems. Its better to use either use weight as shown in the video, a head strap/chain with weight, or have a partner push on the back of your head/pull up on the forehead (works well in the wrestling room for warmups).

Neck Exercises that KILL Your Neck (DO THESE INSTEAD!!)

 

Yeah but that's a fitness channel, it's different if you're a wrestler as we have different needs, plus it's a sport-specific exercise. I agree, they are definitely not the safest exercise ever but it also seems to work on Russians, Georgians, etc... I'm also pretty sure guys like Snyder do a lot of neck bridges and if I was to wrestle a dude like him, my gameplan would certainly not be based on snapping him down haha.

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Neck bridges are touchy for newer / younger wrestlers with not fully developed neck strength. An exercise that i constantly did that put no strain on the neck was a simple neck lift as follows:- lie on a bench or coffee table on your back with your head hanging off of it. Slowly let your head drop down until it is basically upside-down and then lift your head until it is right side up. Repeat as many times with as many sets to make it a challenge. Then lie on each side and do the same. Then lie on your stomach and do the same. Lift your head's own weight with your neck from multiple angles. I guess you can bring in a harness like Saitiev if you get really strong but I was able to develop really good functional neck strength with my head weight alone, to the point where when I did do bridging exercises I could do whatever I wanted with no hands and in matches it was pretty difficult for my opponents to control my head. 

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On 7/3/2020 at 1:32 PM, CoachWrestling said:

How old are you? I'm 28 and I will never do another neck bridge. It's bad for your neck. My neck is jacked up from years of bridging. 

100% correct. 

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On 7/2/2020 at 5:49 PM, fadzaev2 said:

I'm going to reserve my answer(s) until I hear some others first.  I do have my thoughts on this subject....great question.

 

After 14 posts, I'll throw my thoughts in the discussion.  I've been involved with wrestling for 55+ years as a competitor, coach, clinician and now spectator, but still, student of the sport.  I've had 2 neck surgeries in my career/lifetime, one in 1978 and another in 1984.  Today, if I'm having trouble with my neck, I have a traction rig in my basement/wt.room/wrestling room I can use.  I also have an inversion table for my whole back (I've had 2 lumbar surgeries as well, including 2 rods and 4 screws)....1996, and 2001.  Although I don't blame bridging for the surgeries, other things happened, but they didn't help.  As a coach, I learned early from this 2 things.....bridging was somewhat necessary to teach kids how to fight off of the back and that I still needed a way to get their necks stronger without bridging.  I finally came up with exercises that we could incorporate in our warmups, and the kids can up with the name "funny faces" for them.  I had the kids get in a square stance, tilt their heads foward/down, hands on the back of their head and with manual resistance, they would fight their hand backwards for an 8 count, and by then their head would be all the way back, the the opposite, head tilted back, hands on the forehead, and fight their hands forward for an 8 count.  Then you would do the same to the right and left, and follow up with turning your head to the left, reach across your chin with your left hand and hook your chin, fighting the hand back to the right, the do the right side.  You can pick how many reps you want to do.....for a while I had access to a Nautilus neck machine, that's when I had to rely on the "funny face".....I think I can still remember who gave them that name.   Fadz  (this could bring out Medicine Man....LOL)

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