Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dr Angus Burnett


It is known that sustained muscular contractions can cause muscular pain, which explains the prevalence of neck pain of employees in static and semi-static work such as dentistry, sewing machine and computer operation. Additionally, exposure to high and sustained gravitational forces in high performance combat pilots is another source of neck pain in the workplace. Individuals with neck pain have been found to show decreased neck strength, in particular neck flexor strength has been found to be less than that of the general population. It has been suggested that neck-conditioning exercises may be useful in the prevention and rehabilitation of neck pain. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare EMG activation levels of selected superficial neck muscles using two neck-training modalities in flexion, extension and lateral bending. The two training modalities were a pin-loaded machine (Cybex) and Thera-Band (TB). Seventeen subjects (eight males and nine females) each performed six trials. For Cybex the exercise intensities were 50%, 70% and 90% of3RM and for T-B, three intensities were tested; Green T-B, Blue T-B and Black T-B. In each trial, subjects completed two contractions in flexion, extension and lateral bending while being filmed by a five-camera Motion Analysis system operating al 120Hz and whilst three sites around the neck were monitored bilaterally for EMG activation. Motion analysis data was used to define the concentric and eccentric portions of each exercise and a linear envelope was calculated from the EMG data. EMG data were then normalised to maximum voluntary isometric contraction and the average and peak EMG activation were calculated. A one-way ANOV A with repeated measures was used to compare between exercise modalities/intensities and post-hoc differences were performed via Least Squared Differences. Significant differences (p