Rotational or angular movements are more dangerous than linear ones. (24, 27, 29, 30, 31) Rotational motion causes the brain to under go immediate biochemical changes (27). Rotational acceleration causes greater peak force, so therefore limiting this acceleration is essential for reducing the likelihood of a head injury (28).
An impact does not have to be delivered directly to the head to cause trauma; impact to the body can also lead to a head trauma provided if the impact results in a significant translation of acceleration to the head (24).
The variable with the greatest influence on head “rotational acceleration” is a stiff or tensed neck but neck strength effectiveness to protect the head and neck works only to the degree of muscular contraction prior to impact to reduce head/neck trauma (24, 25). Research also suggests a stiff or tensed neck can reduce the probably by 25-30% sustaining mild TBI compared to a loose or neutral neck (31).
In a recent neck collar study the final conclusion was neck collars performed better when the shoulder pads were in the raised configuration. (26)
The Hulk Up Technique
Works by shrugging (rising) and contracting the neck muscles prior to impact. This stiffens or tenses the neck while increasing neck stabilization with the torso by securely seating the lateral edges of the helmet into the collar of the shoulder pads, putting the shoulders pads securely in a raised configuration.
A stiff or tensed neck creates a stronger coupling of the head and neck with the torso and dramatically reduces “rotational acceleration” because a stiff or tensed neck keeps the head/neck stabilized with the whole torso (24, 25). Sports like high speed auto racing recognize it is important to protect the head and neck by transferring energy to the much stronger shoulders, chest, back and torso (32).
The Hulk Up Technique
Like the Hans Device in auto racing keeps the head/neck inline and stabilized with the torso, this stronger coupling of the neck and torso has proven to be effective in reducing “rotational forces” by transferring energy to the much stronger shoulders, chest, back and torso.
“As a player I have used the “Hulk Up” technique in all contact situations including tackling and would not consider playing without using it.”
2012 Hayward HS
All – WAAC Foothill Division Defense
“To Play SAFER and BETTER Football”
Head Up – Eyes Up – HULK UP!
The Football Safety Academy acknowledges the coach has the responsibility to decide which football techniques should be taught for the well being and safety of his players and there is not one specific technique including the Hulk Up Technique or safety device that can completely eliminate the risk of injury from impacts related to football including catastrophic injury and death. To the knowledge of the Football Safety Academy no specific research has been done regarding the Hulk Up Technique, however the Football Safety Academy is actively pursuing this goal.