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Back Extension - Instructions, Variations & Alternatives

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Muscles involved

  • Glutes
  • Lower back
  • Hamstrings
  • Adductors
  • Abductors

Also known as

  • Hyperextension
  • Back Raise
  • Hip Extension

How to perform

Back Extension - Low position

Back Extension - Low position

Back Extension - High position

Back Extension - High position

  1. Set up & Starting position (prone incline)

    A specific bench like a ‘Roman Chair’ or a ‘Glute Ham Developer’ (aka GHD) is recommended to achieve a good forward lean. However a Swiss Ball is another good support alternative.

    Lie face down on the bench, adjust the pad so that it lies on your thighs just below your hips, and lock your ankles under the padded brace. Place your arms across your chest, behind or at the side of your head, whichever feels more comfortable.

  2. Eccentric phase
    Lower your upper body by bending at the hips, without rounding your back, until your torso is about at 90˚ with your legs. You may feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings.

  3. Concentric phase
    Rise back up until torso is parallel to your legs. Do not arch your back up at the end of the movement.

  4. Isometric hold (optional) - Hold the upright position for one second, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings. Repeat.

Exercise Alternatives