The suboccipital muscles are located at the back, base of the skull. The group consists of four muscles: the obliquus capitis superior, rectus capitis major, rectus capitis minor and obliquus capitis inferior. This area is a hotbed of proprioception and plays an important role in head-eye coordination and posture.  Weak or imbalanced suboccipital muscles send muddled information to the brain and affect balance, cause pain, affect thinking and increase the risk of injury.

To train this area of the head and neck, set the face pad on the 4 or 5-Way Pendulum Head and Neck Machine on hole number 6. Make sure the user is sitting upright in the center of the seat. If sitting correctly there should be slight tension from the face pad on the back of the cranium before the exercise begins.

There is a space behind the face pad that a coach can reach through and palpitate the region that the athlete is to concentrate on, this helps the athlete understand the area he or she is targeting. An important instructional coaching point is - begin the exercise by leading with the chin and keep the eyes focused up looking skyward during the movement.

Head Extension on the Pendulum 5-Way Head and Neck Machine