Isometric cervical extension strength of recreational and experienced cyclists.

K. Jacobs, J. Nichols, B. Holmes, M. Buono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effect for cyclists of the typical forward sitting position on neck strength and its possible relationship to neck pain have not been examined. The purpose of this study was to measure the peak isometric cervical extension strength (PICES) of both recreational and experienced road cyclists and to compare these values to those of noncyclists. Subjects, 45 men between the ages of 18 and 40, were tested for voluntary PICES through a 126 degrees range of motion on a MedX cervical extension machine. No significant differences were found between the three groups in PICES at any angle. When expressed relative to body weight, significant differences in PICES were found at 126 degrees between the control group and the recreational cyclist group (p < 0.05), and between the control group and the experienced cyclist group (p < 0.01), but not at any other angle. Furthermore, no significant differences in strength were found between cyclists experiencing neck pain and those who did not. These data indicate that the cervical muscles of cyclists have not adapted by increasing maximal isometric strength above that of noncyclists, and that the neck pain frequently reported may be due to fatigue from sustained muscular contractions associated with time spent cycling, rather than from muscle weakness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-239
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian journal of applied physiology = Revue canadienne de physiologie appliquée
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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