Seated weighted neck extension exercise

Seated weighted neck extension

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Erector Spinae
  • Synergists: Splenius Capitis, Rectus Capitis Posterior Major, Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor, Obliquus Capitis Superior, Upper Trapezius, Sternocleidomastoid (posterior fibers only)
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Sit down on the end of a bench with the weight on your lap, and put on your head harness securely.
  2. Slip the chain through the weight and hook the end of the chain to the ear ring.
  3. Holding the weight with your hands and keeping your neck and back neutral, lean your torso forward so that your head is beyond the end of the bench.
  4. Slowly release the weight and allow it to hang off your head.


  1. Inhale as you flex your neck, allowing your chin to tuck in towards your chest.
  2. Exhale as you extend your neck, lifting the weight up as high as you can.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The muscles of the erector spinae that are activated are the spinalis capitis and the longissimus capitis.
  • The rectus capitis posterior major, rectus capitis posterior minor and obliquus capitis superior are very small muscles at the back of the neck.
  • For your safety, do not go heavy with the weights. Make sure to hold the weight with your hands and take the weight off your neck, before and after you’ve performed the exercises. Do not let the weight just hang when you are not performing the exercise.
  • Stop performing the exercise if you feel any pain.
  • Move through the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. Performing this in a jerky manner may injure your neck.
  • The seated weighted neck extension is beneficial for those who engage in contact sports or martial arts, and may help reduce risk of injury upon impact.
  • See also the lying weighted neck flexion and lying weighted lateral neck flexion.

Seated weighted neck extension video

Learn about the head harness in this video.

Sources, Weighted Seated Neck Extension

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