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Frequency and Volume of Resistance Training: Effect on Cervical Extension Strength


    This research study aimed to demonstrate how volume and strength training has an effect on the strength of the cervical area of the spine. Four (4) groups of subjects participated in the study engaging in different rehabilitating exercises using the MedX Cervical Extension machine. Maximum torque output, cervical extension, and cervical flexion were measured and recorded through the study. The significant improvements in each area of observation were displayed in the study.


    Neck pain in the cervical area of the spine is caused by muscular weakness in that specific region. Stability in the cervical spine is dependent on the strength in the neck. When one weakens, so does the other. It is essential to strengthen the muscles in the neck to reduce injury and alleviate pain. Not only do the muscles in your neck play an important role in providing strength to your cervical spine, but are also important to support your head and posture.

    Seventy-eight (78) subjects were included in the study conducted to determine the effect of resistance training on cervical extension strength. The participants were split into four groups and each group trained once or twice per week for 12 weeks or a control group that did not train. Prior to the start of the study, each subject completed two strength tests to determine their starting cervical extension strength where isometric torque was measured at eight different positions throughout the test. Before the tests were completed, there was a practice session to ensure that patients were using the machine correctly. Testing was conducted using the MedX Cervical Extension machine. Upon sitting in the machine, each subject’s torso was stabilized by restraints. By stabilizing the torso, the machine was able to isolate the cervical region of the spine to strengthen that area.

    With regards to the cervical extension strength of each subject, there was significant improvement after the tests. The increase was more significant for the groups that trained twice a week rather than once. However, there was progress nonetheless. The study concluded that a lower volume of exercise could be completed if the patient was exercising at least twice a week. The isometric torque output through a full range of motion also demonstrated an increase after the study had been concluded. While the progress is notable it is important to note that the frequency of training is an important component of rehabilitation.