Back Extension

A Quick Guide to Back Extensions

also known as

  • Hyperextension (using a hyperextension bench)
  • Hypers

purpose and benefits

A back extension is an exercise that primarily targets the muscles in your lower back, including the erector spinae. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen your lower back muscles, improve posture, and enhance overall spinal stability.

primary muscles used

  • Erector spinae

secondary muscles used

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Core

How to do Back Extensions

Step-by-step instructions to perform Back Extensions:

  1. Lie face down on a back extension bench or stability ball, with your feet anchored securely.  Prone (face down), with your feet anchored securely. Your hips should be at the edge of the bench or ball, allowing your upper body to hang freely. Place your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  2. Position your hips at the edge of the bench or ball, allowing your upper body to hang freely.
  3. Inhale, place your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  4. Exhale and engage your core muscles and slowly lift your upper body off the bench or ball, extending your spine. 
    • Avoid raising your upper body too high, causing hyperextension/arching of the spine/lower back.
  5. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, then slowly lower your upper body back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and sets.

loading options

  • Bodyweight
  • Weight plate
  • Dumbbells

    Safety & Precautions

    Proper form and technique, combined with an appropriate loading weight, are essential to maximize the benefits of any exercise and minimize the risk of injury.

    If you're new to an exercise, start with bodyweight and gradually increase the difficulty as you become stronger. Or consider seeking guidance from a qualified professional to ensure you're performing each exercise correctly for your specific anatomy.