A mast it’s a stick used to hold something. It may be, in this sense, the stick with which a flag is flown. For instance: “In the square there are ten masts but only three have flags“, “The teacher told me to hold the pole very tight so that the flag would not fall”, “The revolutionaries climbed the mast and replaced the flag”.
Neck is also the stick that hold the sails of a boat. For larger boats, they can have multiple masts (and therefore multiple sails). The characteristics of the mast, such as its size or location, depend on the type of boat: “The objective of the crew is to cross the ocean with a single-masted ship”, “When the main mast broke, the boat was adrift”, “Sailors have been working for hours repairing the masts that were damaged by the storm”.
In a instrument rope, the mast is the pole on which the strings are pressed to change the shades. The neck generally features frets (separations that allow to distinguish between semitones): “The musician threw the guitar against the ground, breaking the neck”, “The neck of the bass is bigger than the boy”, “You must press the strings against the neck more firmly”.
The high vertical structure that is part of certain machines and the foot of a plant when it becomes thick are other meanings linked to the concept of the mast.
The chinese mast
It is known by the name of Chinese mast to a vertical rigid bar used in the field circus for the development of various artistic creation activities. Its height is usually greater than 3 meters and its average diameter is 55 millimeters. To facilitate the practice of balance and strength exercises, the neck is lined or impregnated with an adherent material.
Although the Chinese mast is not used hanging but supported, the training performed on it belong to the category of “aerial”, since they include throws and height. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, one of the main components when practicing with the neck is the force.
At the muscular level, in the Chinese mast the upper body, the lumbar region and the abdominal region are worked. On the other hand, control, blocking and resistance are also exercised in static movements (slow), and explosiveness and precision in dynamic movements (rapid). To cope with the large number of twists, one must have a large flexibility in the spine, shoulders and wrist.
The other main component of this discipline is the Balance, which is part of the technical aspect. As a starting point to perform most of the exercises, it is necessary to learn to correctly position the body’s center of gravity in relation to the mast. On the other hand, the importance of the mental state before each practice should not be underestimated, since you work at a great height and speed and constantly make spatial changes.
Who are suitable for practicing Chinese neck? First of all, anyone who is used to climbing trees or who enjoys hanging from any structure that is a certain distance from the ground for the mere pleasure of playing with strength and balance. For this discipline it is necessary to have a pulling force in the arms capable of raising the body easily.
In addition to the natural qualities, such as the absence of fear of heights and the need to climb, concentration is very important, especially when the practice focuses on improving technique and preparing shows that must be meticulously reproduced. in front of an audience and with some frequency.