Anyone looking to increase their back strength and improve spinal health should incorporate bodyweight back extensions into their workout routine. Back extensions are primarily a bodyweight exercise that can be easily performed at home without requiring equipment. This routine is a great way to start your day, as it wakes up the spine and prepares you for the rigours of the day ahead. Additionally, bodyweight back extensions are an excellent exercise in a workout programme designed to improve posture and alleviate lower back pain. With just a few simple steps, you can add this dynamic exercise to your daily routine and start experiencing the benefits yourself!
How to do Bodyweight Back Extension
- Start by lying face down on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and your arms extended out in front of you.
- From this position, raise your upper body and lower legs off the ground, keeping your head in line with your spine.
- Once you have reached full extension, hold for a count of two before returning to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Common mistakes performing Bodyweight Back Extension
One of the most common mistakes people make when performing back extensions is rounding their lower back. This can place unnecessary stress on the spine and lead to injury. To avoid this, keep your lower back flat throughout the entire range of motion.
How to fix a rounded back
Another common mistake is arching the back too far, which puts unnecessary strain on the neck and can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness.
To ensure proper form, focus on keeping your back in a neutral position throughout the movement.
Muscles worked during Bodyweight Back Extension.
The primary muscle group worked during back extensions is the erector spinae, a large muscle group that runs along the length of the spine.
Other muscles worked include the glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals.
Benefits of Bodyweight Back Extension
There are many benefits to incorporating bodyweight back extensions into your workout routine.
Some of the most notable benefits include:
- Improved spinal health
- Increased back strength
- Improved posture
- Alleviation of lower back pain.
Negatives of Bodyweight Back Extension
While there are many positives to bodyweight back extensions, there are also a few negatives to consider.
One of the most significant negatives is that back extensions can be hard on the lower back if not performed correctly.
To avoid injury, maintain proper form throughout the entire movement.
People with pre-existing back pain or other spine-related conditions should avoid this exercise.
Progression away from Bodyweight Back Extension
Once you have mastered the proper form, you can increase the difficulty of the bodyweight back extension by adding weight.
One way to do this is to hold a dumbbell in your hands
Another way to progress the bodyweight back extension is by performing the exercise on an incline bench.
Variations of Bodyweight Back Extension
Back extensions are a great exercise. However, we have put together five similar activities which can be used to add a slight variation when required
#1- Good mornings
- Start with your feet hip-width apart and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat.
- As you lower your torso toward the floor, bend your knees to about 90 degrees.
- Reverse the motion by driving through your heels to return to standing.
- Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you and your legs outstretched behind you.
- Keeping your head and neck aligned with your spine, raise your arms and legs off the ground.
- Hold for a count of two before lowering back to the starting position
#3- Reverse hypers
- Attach a band to a sturdy surface and lie facing down with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees.
- Attach the band to your ankles and press your hips and legs into the air.
- Reverse the motion by lowering your hips and legs back to the starting position
#4- Glute bridges
- Lie flat on your back, your feet on the ground, and your knees bent to 90 degrees.
- Keeping your heels rooted into the ground, raise your hips off the floor until your thighs and torso align with each other.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement before returning to the starting position
#5- Hip thrusts
- Sit on the floor with your back on a bench and your feet flat on the ground.
- Roll your shoulders back and down and brace your core.
- Keeping your feet flat on the ground, raise your hips until they are in line with your shoulders
- Hold and lower
Tips for improving your Bodyweight Back Extension
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your bodyweight back extension:
- Focus on quality over quantity.
- When adding weight, start light and gradually increase the amount
- Maintain proper form throughout the entire movement
- Keep your core engaged
- Avoid arching your back
Frequently asked questions about Bodyweight Back Extension.
Q: Are back extensions a good workout?
A: Yes, back extensions are an excellent workout for people who want to improve their spinal health and posture and alleviate lower back pain.
Q: What are some of the negatives of doing bodyweight back extensions?
A: One of the most significant negatives is that they can be hard on the lower back if not performed correctly.
Q: How can I make bodyweight back extensions more difficult?
A: Adding weight or performing the exercise on an incline bench can make them more challenging.
The bodyweight back extension is an excellent exercise for strengthening the back muscles.
When performed correctly, it can also help improve spinal health and posture and alleviate lower back pain.
Remember to focus on quality over quantity and maintain proper form throughout the movement.
If you have any pre-existing back pain or other spine-related conditions, consult with a doctor before performing bodyweight back extension.
Now that you know how to perform bodyweight back extension properly give it a try and see how it benefits your workout routine!
Owner and author at shortandintense.com , 25 years as a quality and health and safety professional with an in-depth knowledge of functional and corrective exercises. IHoS registered,lead auditor, personal trainer and human movement specialist.