PNF and Movement 2023; 21(3): 299-307
Effects of Combined Extension Exercises for the Cervical and Thoracic Spine on the Activity of Erector Spinae Muscles
Dae-Jin Kim, P.T., B.S.1⋅Min-Hyeok Kang, P.T., Ph.D.2†
1Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School, Catholic University of Pusan
2Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Catholic University of Pusan
Correspondence to: Min-Hyeok Kang (
Received: September 27, 2023; Revised: November 3, 2023; Accepted: November 8, 2023; Published online: December 31, 2023.
© Korea Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Association. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of new exercises (combined cervical and thoracic extension exercises) with those of conventional cervical extensor strengthening exercises (sitting cervical extension exercises) and thoracic extensor strengthening exercises (prone thoracic extension exercises).
Method: Fifteen healthy subjects performed sitting cervical extension exercises, prone thoracic extension exercises, and combined cervical and thoracic extension exercises. During each exercise, electromyography was used to measure muscle activity in the erector spinae with C4 and T4 levels. The measured data were analyzed using one-way repeated analysis of variance.
Results: With different exercises, there were significant differences in activity in the erector spinae muscle (p < 0.05). The activity in the erector spinae muscle increased significantly during the combined cervical and thoracic extension exercises compared to the sitting cervical extension (p < 0.05) and prone thoracic extension exercises (p < 0.05). The sitting cervical extension exercises significantly increased activity in the cervical erector spinae muscle compared to the prone thoracic extension exercises (p < 0.05). Activity in the thoracic erector spinae muscles was significantly increased during the prone thoracic extension exercises compared to during the sitting cervical extension exercises (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the newer exercises effectively increase activity in the cervical and thoracic extensor muscles.
Keywords: Electromyography, Erector spinae, Exercise

This Article