The core means the centre and it is not just what is seen at the front. The core muscles are not just present in the front of the body’s midsection but also at the back. While most trainers and practitioners do crunches, pushups, and leg raises to get a great-looking flat stomach, it does not help get a strong core. The lower back, which is the centre from behind, is also made of core muscles and needs to be conditioned. Back extensions or hyperextensions are needed to work on them. Read on to know what are hyperextensions and how to do hyperextensions.
What are hyperextensions?
Hyperextension exercise or back extensions are the best things to do if you want your lower back to become strong. It is a reverse sit-up and gives a dynamic stretch to the back and within a few days of doing this, you will see the difference. The movements of hyperextension back exercise are similar but with a difference. Instead of bending forward like in a sit-up, you are bending backwards.
Most gyms have hyperextension benches, making the hyperextension exercise simple and easy to perform. However, since most people are doing work out at home and installing equipment at home can be costly, there are a few ways to get around it. For example, you can use a flat bench or an exercise ball to do the hyperextension workout at home. In this article, you will learn about hyperextension exercise at home workouts.
Hyperextension workout at home
Using a flat exercise bench: It is a bench used for other exercises like the dumbbell press. The same can be reused for hyperextensions. Ensure that the bench is set up correctly and is stable so that it does not collapse.
- Lay on the bench with your chest facing the floor to do a hyperextension bench workout. Leave your hands by the side of the bench and balance yourself.
- Now slowly move up the bench so that the upper body is hanging off the front of the bench. The hips are just away from the edge and the legs are kept straight. Again, keep the core engaged and maintain balance.
- Bend until the head is a few cms above the floor but not touching it. Cross your arms in front and keep the spine and neck neutral.
- Move your back upwards to raise the upper body as high as possible. Next, pull yourself up by tightening the lower back.
- Get back slowly to the start position and lower the torso. Drop back to the floor and that is one rep.
Hyperextension back exercise using the floor
Floor exercises are a good option for those who are looking for a home hyperextension back workout. They provide all the benefits of a back extension without investing in any equipment. To do this:
- Lay flat on the floor on your stomach with the arms by the sides.
- Next, move the upper body until you can almost look up at the ceiling by contracting the lower back muscles.
- Stay in this position for a few seconds.
- Return to the start and repeat for the required number of times.
A variation of this basic version is the leg hyperextension exercise. In the hyperextension leg workout, the legs should also be moved up in sync with the upper body. This is a challenging exercise and proper form should be maintained to prevent injuries.
Reverse hyperextension workout
This is another hyperextension exercise at home that builds up the hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles. It is an effective and simple hyperextension bench workout. To do this, get into a prone position on your hyperextension machine or a bench with the legs hanging from the end of the equipment. Engage the core and strengthen the legs. Next, double up the lower back, glutes, and hamstring muscles to raise the legs to a position above the hips. Hold in this position for a few seconds and lower them back to the start with slow and controlled movement. Repeat this reverse hyperextension workout for the desired number of times.
Hyperextension back workout on medicinal ball
The medicinal ball or the fitness ball is versatile and common at home exercise equipment and is ideal for back extension workouts. Lie on your stomach on the ball such that it is on your waistline. Use the wall to get stability and place the arms on the floor. Now do a reverse extension by lifting the legs up to the waistline. It is also a good leg hyperextension exercise. The movements are similar to the other versions. Apart from working on the back muscles, the hyperextension leg workout benefits the glutes and the hamstrings.
Hyperextension exercise alternative
For some reason, if you can’t or don’t want to do this hyperextension exercise, but want to get the benefits of strengthening the posterior, there are a few hyperextension exercise alternatives.
Superman: This is among the best hyperextension workout alternative. The moves are simple and need no special equipment and are as effective as the hyperextension exercise. Once you do this exercise, you will feel your glutes, back muscles, and hamstrings burn. Apart from that, it also reduces pain in the posterior.
Reverse hollow rocks: This is another hyperextension workout alternative that is similar to Superman. When you are in a hyperextended position, it is an isometric hold which engages the glutes, hamstring and improves the spinal extension. Unlike superman, it does not provide a wide range of motion but helps in improving the stability of the posterior chain.
Nordic curl: This is a challenging alternative to the hyperextension exercise with advanced movements. To do this, you will need an anchor for your calves or as your partner to hold the feet to perform this. It works wonders on your hamstrings and the posterior chain.
Now that you know how to do hyperextensions, it helps tone the core and the lower back. These also strengthen the muscles in the posterior chain and aids in reducing lower back pain while improving the posture. Back extensions workouts at home or the gym should be done using slow and controlled movements as jerky movements lead to injury. If you have shoulder or back problems, consult your doctor before doing them.
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