Intra and Inter-Rater Reliability of a Novel Isometric Test of Neck Strength

Lesley McBride, Rob S. James, Siân Alsop, Samuel W. Oxford

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There is no single, universally accepted method of measuring isometric neck strength to inform exercise prescription and injury risk prediction. This study aimed to establish the interand intra-rater reliability of a commercially available fixed frame dynamometer in measuring peak isometric neck strength. A convenience sample of male (n = 16) and female (n = 20) university students performed maximal isometric contractions for flexion (Flex), extension (Ext), left- (LSF) and right-side flexion (RSF) in a quadruped position over three sessions. The intra-rater reliability results were good-to-excellent for both males (ICC = 0.83–0.90) and females (ICC = 0.86–0.94) and acceptable (CV < 15%) across all directions for both males and females. The inter-rater reliability results were excellent (ICC = 0.96–0.97) and acceptable (CV < 11.1%) across all directions. Findings demonstrated a significant effect for sex (p ≤ 0.05): males were stronger in all four directions, and a significant effect for direction (p ≤ 0.05): Ext tested stronger (193 N) than Flex (176 N), LSF (130 N) and RSF (125 N). The findings show that the VALD fixed frame dynamometer can reliably assess isometric neck strength and can provides reference values for healthy males and females.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2022

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Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons
Attribution (CC BY) license (https://


  • cervical spine
  • neck strength
  • muscle testing
  • test-retest
  • profiling
  • peak force


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