Exercise of the Week: Isometric Neck Extension with Resistance Band

 In Mobility & Movement Blog

Luke Lewitzke

Certified A.C.E. (American Counsel on Exercise) Personal Trainer

Weight and Lifestyle Management Specialist

The isometric neck extension with a resistance band primarily works the Splenius capitis and Splenius cervicis muscles in the posterior neck. These muscles help to move the neck backward. Strengthening these muscles will help with posture and reducing neck pain or discomfort.

Performing the Isometric Neck Extension with Resistance Band

  • Make sure that you slightly tuck the chin, holding the neck in a neutral position.
  • With the band wrapped behind the head and your shoulders down and away from your ears, elbows should be shoulder width apart and pointing straight out in front, slowly extend your arms, resisting any head movement.
  • Make sure that the band is cradling the head and not pulling on the neck.
  • Perform 10 repetitions remembering to breathe through each repetition.
  • Breathe out as you extend your elbows and in as you bend them.


Posterior Cervical Translation Exercise

  • Stand or sit tall and keep the shoulders wide.
  • Pull your chin straight back, lengthening the back of the neck.
  • Relax and let your chin slide forward.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, holding each one for a count of 3.
  • Remember to breathe throughout the exercise.
  • Perform 2 sets.
  • Another option is to perform this exercise while at red lights when driving.
  • Remember to work within a comfortable range of motion, we don’t need to pull back so far that there is pain or your voice changes.


  • Don’t perform the Isometric Neck Extension with a Resistance Band exercise or the Posterior Cervical Translation exercise if you experience sharp or stabbing pain in your neck or any tingling down the arm.
  • Don’t perform the exercise if you experience headaches shortly after doing the exercise.