Strengthen your lower back, back
extensions may be the exercise for you. If youíve recently injured your
back youíll want to consult your physician before attempting such an
exercise. If you find this exercise is a bit too challenging for you at
first, you can start out in an incline positioned until you are more
comfortable with the exercise. Or, if you find this exercise too easy for
you, you can do it in a declined position or use platted weights in front
of the chest or behind the neck.
For this exercise you will either need a back extension machine, or a
bench that allows you to securely position your feet so that the rest of
your body wonít move during the exercise. You will be lying on your front
side and everything about an inch below your hips should be on the bench
or back extension machine.
From this position fold your arms across your chest. Now, begin the
movement by bending at the waist. You should continue this movement until
you feel youíve reached the full motion of your range. This will be
different for everyone, so itís up to you to determine. From here, raise
your body back up slowly and hold your body at this position for a second.
Repeat this movement to meet your specifications.
Find a padded bench which gives you enough clearance and has a way to
anchor the feet.
Clasp the hands behind the neck and bend at the waist up and down in a
smooth, controlled motion.
Small weight plates (e.g., 2.5, 5, 10 or 25 lbs) can be held behind the
neck to give added resistance.
Like other exercises this one should NOT be painful.
Using a back-extension apparatus, anchor your feet in place. Slowly lower
yourself down toward the ground to a point where you feel a comfortable
stretch in your lower back. Continue to breathe at the bottom, then exhale
as you move back up to the starting position.
Lie face down on a hyperextension bench, tucking your ankles securely
under the footpads. Adjust the upper pad if possible so your upper thighs
lie flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room for you to bend at the
waist without any restriction. Start with your body in a straight line.
Cross your arms in front of you or behind your head. You can also hold a
weight for extra resistance. Slowly bend forward at the waist as far as
you can while keeping your back FLAT. Do not round your back. Slowly raise
your torso until your legs and upper body are in a straight line again. Do
NOT arch your back past a straight line!
If you don't have access to a hyperextension bench. You will need a
partner to sit on your legs or hold them down. Slide yourself down to the
edge of the bench, until your hips hang off the end of the bench. Your
entire upper body should be hanging down towards the floor. You will be in
the same position as if you were on a hyperextension bench; just the range
of motion will be shorter. The height of the flat bench is lower than the
height of the hyperextension bench. Cross your arms in front of you, but
keep your elbows in close to your body. This method is much harder than
the regular hyper but sometimes in order to achieve your goal, obstacles
must be overcome.