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Deep cervical flexor activation exercies (chin tucks)
1 Credit

Deep Neck Flexor Exercises (Activation)

Longus coli, longus capitis, rectus capitis anterior and rectus capitis lateralis exercises for improving movement dysfunction, chronic neck pain, shoulder impingement, forward head, whiplash syndrome, and sports performance. Great chin tucks activations for the deep cervical flexors.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Deep Cervical Flexor Exercises (Activation)

This course describes neck exercise for the deep neck flexor muscles; the longus coli, longus capitis, rectus capitis anterior and rectus capitis lateralis exercise (a.k.a. deep cervical flexor activation, deep cervical flexor training, or deep neck flexor activation). Performing retraction, which is a combination of upper cervical flexion and lower cervical and upper thoracic extension, may aid in targeting the deep neck flexors, as well as inhibit the superficial neck flexors (e.g. sternocleidomastoid). Further, cues to aid in posterior tipping and depression of the scapula, may aid in reducing activity of the superficial cervical extensors (e.g. levator scapulae and upper trapezius).

The longus coli, longus capitis, rectus capitis anterior and rectus capitis lateralis are the only neck muscles that can perform neck flexion without upper neck extension, resulting in their unique role in preventing poor posture and stabilizing the neck (cervical spine). However, these muscles are prone to inhibition (under-activity, hypotonicity, weakness). It is common to include these exercises in a program designed to address forward head posture (poor posture); however, these exercises may also be recommended for shoulder pain, shoulder dysfunction, scapula dyskinesis, and thoracic kyphosis. Addressing these signs has been correlated with improving and reducing the risk of acute neck injury, chronic neck pain, whiplash, cervicogenic headache, upper thoracic pain, scapular pain, shoulder impingement pain, and improving sports performance. Movement professionals (personal trainers, physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, etc.) should consider adding these exercises to their repertoire with the intent of improving patient/client outcomes from their integrated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions.

Isolated Muscle Activation Exercises:

Reactive Muscle Activation Exercises

Subsystem Integration Exercises

Last, it is important to integrate the increase in deep cervical flexor activity into functional exercise. The Brookbush Institute accomplishes this with intrinsic stabilization subsystem integration. Some example movements for these purposes include:

A deep cervical neck flexor activation
Caption: A deep cervical neck flexor activation

Study Guide: Deep Neck Flexor Exercises (Activation)

Introduction to Deep Cervical Flexor Exercises

1 sub-category

Overactive Synergists

1 sub-category

Research Corner

Best Exercises for Deep Cervical Flexor Isolated Activation

7 sub-categories

Reactive Activation

1 sub-category

Lower Cervical Extensor Facilitation Taping

Sample Activation Circuit: Deep Cervical Flexor Exercises


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1. Introduction

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