Last Updated on August 13, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
The muscles at the bottom of your back are essential to having a strong core. These muscles help to develop good posture because they work to stabilize your spine.
Back extension exercises have great benefits and they are super easy to carry out at home! There are also tons of different ways to do back extensions.
Read on to find out about all the different ways to do these exercises and strengthen your lower back muscles.
How To Do A Back Extension?
There are a few different ways to do a back extension as there are some different variations to the exercise.
Try these a few times in order to find the one that works and feels best for you!
Basic Back Extensions
This is the easiest variation of the back extension. Ideally, this will be done on a yoga mat. In this variation, you simply start by lying on the mat on your front.
Place your elbows on the floor and have your legs straight out behind you.
After this, all you need to do is lift your upper back off the floor, push down at the hips into the mat and hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.
Lower yourself down to the beginning position and repeat. If you want to find a deeper stretch here, you can always go up onto your hands rather than your elbows.
Alternating Superman Back Extension
Alternating Superman back extensions are very common and important exercises to include in your workout routine.
Performing this exercise is relatively simple. Follow the steps laid out below:
- Lie down on your belly and point your arms straight out in front. Make sure that your palms are down and your legs are pointing straight out behind.
- Suck your abs in.
- Lift up your left arm and opposite leg to about an inch off the floor and stretch out as much as possible.
- Hold yourself in this position for five seconds and then lower your arm and leg back down.
- Repeat with your right arm and left leg.
- Continue to alternate sides as many times as you would like to within your set.
When you are completing the alternating Superman back extension exercise there are a few tips and tricks that might be helpful.
- When you lift your arm and leg exhale and let all the air out, and when you lower them again, inhale. This will help you to be more in tune with your movement.
- When you reach out your arm and leg, act as if you are trying to reach something that you can’t quite get to. This will help you to stretch as far as possible.
- Try to keep your core tight, make slow movements, and don’t allow your body to go off balance. This is more important than completing the movements quickly.
How To Make Sure You’re Doing Your Back Extensions Correctly
There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you are carrying out your back extensions correctly.
Safety is very important in exercise as it is very easy to cause long term damage. One key way is to ensure that you are always in control of your movements.
It is better to move slowly and be in control than to move quickly and to not be completing the exercise correctly.
This can lead to injury, or it can mean that you won’t get the same results from the exercise.
If you experience any pain during the exercise, make sure you stop and don’t push yourself too far.
Listen to your body, and if the pain doesn’t go away, talk to a doctor about it!
Benefits Of Back Extensions
Back extension exercises have many benefits. They are great for strengthening your lower back muscles.
They work the erector spinae muscle which is the muscle at the bottom of your spine. They are also great at working the muscles in your shoulders, hips and bum.
They are not always just used to strengthen muscles, however.
Sometimes, back extensions are great at releasing tension and pain in your back which can be caused by having weak lower back muscles.
These back extensions are also great as part of a workout that is strengthening your core as they engage your core and require you to remain solid through the movement.
It is a good exercise as part of a yoga or pilates routine, too. This will make your muscles feel much less tense and make you feel a lot looser in general.
If you happen to have a physioball, or you are looking for an exercise that you can do in the gym using their balls, the ball back extension is a great option for you.
Follow the steps below to complete this exercise.
- Kneel on the ball with your hands locked behind your head.
- Lean your body forward and stretch out so that your torso rests against the ball. Your spine should be in a straight line from your neck to the bottom of your spine.
- Then, lift your chest up, hold it at the top, and lower it back down again.
- After this, you should cross your arms and lower your upper body down on the ball.
- Raise your body back up using your lower back.
- Repeat this exercise until the set is finished.
This is a great alternative to the back extension if you have the equipment needed.
Back extensions are a great exercise that you can do at home to work out and tone your lower back and core muscles.
They are beneficial at improving your posture, reducing pain in your lower back, hips, shoulders and butt muscles.
As explained above, it is more important to ensure that you are completing these exercises in a controlled manner so as to avoid injury and see the most results.
If you feel any pain during or after the exercise, make sure to visit your doctor or a professional before carrying on!