Most people plan their gym routines around the exercises that hit the muscles they want to show off, like biceps curls and crunches, big lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are immensely popular too, however, when chalking out out your weekly workouts, it’s important to find room for supporting exercises like back extension that will make your core stronger and boost your performance in these big lifts. A point worth noting is that a strong core isn’t only about the abs, your lower back muscles are equally important. These muscles keep your spine stable and assist you in maintaining good posture. They also allow you to bend forward, rotate to the side, and pick things off the ground.
How To Do Back Extension On Floor
If you cant go to the gym for some reason or if you don’t have access to a back extension bench, you can do back extensions on the floor. All you need is a mat and some clear space on the floor. This exercise makes you work against gravity. it also engages the muscles in your lower back, butt, hips, and shoulders.
Lie face down on the floor and extend your arms up to your temples, with your elbows out to the sides. Then use your glutes and core to lift your shoulders and chest off the floor while pressing your hips into the mat. Hold for 30 seconds before lowering back to the starting position
For a deeper stretch, place your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders. You may also make it more difficult by placing your hands against your body.
How to Do a Back Extension On Bench/Machine
Begin by placing your hips on top of the padded cushions and securing your feet underneath the leg anchor on the back extension machine. Put your arms behind your head or hold a kettlebell (start with a lighter weight) with both arms fully extended. Raise your upper body a few inches and squeeze your gluteal muscles for around two seconds. Then, lower your body to the starting position. Make sure that you aren’t overextending your back. This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions. If you’re a novice, do this exercise sans weights or with a light one. Begin adding or increasing the weight as you get stronger.
Back Extension Variations
The superman stretch is a harder variation of the basic back extension. It involves raising your arms and legs at the same time, making it more difficult.
Lie face down on a mat and straighten your legs behind you. Extend your arms out in front of you with your neck relaxed and in line with your spine. Engage your core and glutes to raise your chest. Raise your arms about 1 to 2 inches off the floor while raising your chest. Raise your legs 1 to 2 inches off the ground at the same time. Pause for 5 seconds before lowering your arms and legs to the floor.
When you get stronger, try holding the superman position for a bit longer. Raise your arms and legs to their maximum extent, but don’t push yourself.
Try alternating supermans to take your back extensions to the next level. This activity involves raising opposite arms and legs at the same time.
Lie on your stomach and straighten your legs behind you. Extend your arms in front of you. Relax your head and neck. Engage your core and glutes to help you raise your right arm and left leg 1 to 2 inches or as high as you can. Relax. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Relax.
Back extension benefits
Back extension exercises, sometimes known as hyperextensions, targets the lower back muscles like the erector spinae, which supports the lower back. Back extensions also work your butt, hips, and shoulders muscles.
Back extension exercises might help you if you have low back pain. Low back pan or discomfort is typically caused by weak lower back muscles and back extensions can assist in the strengthening of these muscles, which may help you feel better.
Back extension exercises are an excellent method to tone your lower back and core. These moves will also strengthen the muscles in your buttocks, hips, and shoulders. This may assist reduce slouching and back discomfort while enabling you to do regular activities with ease.
Back extensions, for example, should be done slowly and with control. Moving quickly and jerky may result in pain and injury. At all times, maintain a neutral head and neck position, and don’t arch your back.
Back or shoulder problems, or just recently got injured? Consult your doctor before performing back extensions if you have back or shoulder issues, or just lately had an injury. They can advise you on the best technique for these movements.
For more back workouts you can do at gym, click here
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.