Reduce and Prevent “Sub-Concussive Impacts” with the Hulk Up Technique

Sub-Concussive Impacts

Literature Review

Sub-concussive impacts are repetitive but less forceful impacts to head are now a concern at all levels of football. (51, 52, 53)

When motion to the head takes place, the brain can undergo immediate biochemical changes that disrupt normal activity (27). Research on how visual and sensory performance may influence a football player’s ability to anticipate an opponent’s actions and create appropriate motor responses, reveals “a link between level of visual and sensory performance and head impact bio mechanics” (35).

Research reports contracting the neck muscles prior to impact has the greatest influence on reducing rotational acceleration because it effectively couples the head with the torso meaning in order to move the head the whole torso would have to move as well (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).

Sub-Concussive Impacts

Every coach
has observed players in the perfect position to make a block or strike on defense but immediately at impact fail to finish including attempting to tackle. This sub-concussive impact often jars the players head and in a split second, interrupting a player’s cognitive skills which can momentarily hinder ability to anticipate an opponent’s actions and perform the appropriate motor response such as completing a block, properly playing of a blocker when on defense or finishing a tackle.

It has been suggested in 80-yard drive, a football lineman takes up to 18 sub-concussive hits of which are 85% are rotational hits (34). In addition it is documented linemen receive more sub-concussive blows that any position in football while linebackers, running backs and quarterbacks endure the hardest and most severe blows to the head (1, 2).

The Hulk Up Technique can help reduce sub-concussive impacts as it works by shrugging (rising) the shoulders and contracting the neck muscles prior to impact. This stiffens or tenses the neck 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.

front_relaxed Hulk Up

The Hulk Up Technique like the Hans Device (32) 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. The Hulk Up Technique through greater stabilization can reduce motion to the head which can hinder a player’s ability to create appropriate motor responses.

Hulk Up Hans Device

Football safety Academy
Eric Dittmore

2007 San Ramon Valley
All-EBAL Defense
EBAL and NCS Champions
“Weighting 174 pounds the technique taught by Coach Becker empowered me to play safely, confidently and successfully against very physical opponents every week.”

“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.