The Science of Safe Head Banging
From aneurysms to blood clots to ‘head banger’s whiplash,’ being the common name for pain associated with the move, there is no denying that head banging increases one’s risk of neck or head injury. However, this isn’t to say that head banging is inherently dangerous to your health. As a Pilates instructor, Kurchak provides insight as to how to more safely practice head banging within a space where it is common and in some cases encouraged; the dancefloor.
Drawing from the advice of strength coach and nutritionist, Nicole Dinn, Kurchak states that “the way that you use the rest of your body can also help to protect your neck and spine.” She recommends using your legs and “bending at the hips instead of the neck, which would minimize the strain on your neck and transfer the load of the movement to the hips and back.” Additionally, the use of an activated core may help as it “absorbs the shock of a banging head and neck.” The advice provided in curtailing the harmful effects of head banging emphasize that, as benign as it may seem, this is an activity one should definitely put some thought into before proceeding.
Head banging is probably not as dangerous as partaking in a mosh pit – something we believe should be banned entirely from EDM shows – but the potential health risks are definitely worth a consideration of safer practices or entirely different dance moves.
Of all the dance moves in the world, head banging is by far one of the most aggressive. Birthed within the metal scene, it has crossed over into the EDM world – most notably at dubstep and drum and bass shows. The heavy thrashing and neck jerking involved makes the question of safety almost laughable, but nonetheless pertinent. An article by Concequence of Sound’s Sarah Kurchak explores the dangers of head banging through a personal lens, while also incorporating the findings of a number of articles and peer-reviewed papers focused on the implications of this head movement.