Hyperextension Exercise to Strengthen Your Lower Back

Hyperextension Exercise

Hyperextension exercise is one of the very best things you can do to strengthen your lower back. It creates a dynamic stretch in your back, and you will feel the difference within days. And maybe best of all, you can do it in the comfort of your home.

Hyperextensions done on a consistent basis are one of the best things you can do for your lower back health. They are not only a great back workout, they are also one of the best exercises to prevent lower back injury. Most orthopedics agree that one of the very best things to do for your lower back is the hyperextension exercise.

Types of Hyperextension Exercises

There are a variety of different hyperextensions you can perform, both with and without a hyperextension bench:

  1. Full hyperextensions on a hyperextension bench
  2. Half hyperextensions on a hyperextensions bench
  3. Hyperextensions on a a flat bench
  4. Hyperextensions on the floor

These exercises will not only strengthen and heal a lower back injury, but will also avoid lower back injury in your future.

Hyperextensions for Lower Back Health

Stretching and Warm-up

Proper stretching and warm-up is paramount to perform prior to any resistance training, including hyperextensions:

  • 1-2 minutes of light cardio (jogging in place, jumping rope)
  • 2 minutes of dynamic stretching:
    Walking with knee raises
    Arm rotations
    Side bends
    Torso rotations

Performing Hyperextension Exercise

The following outlines the exercise. You will need a hyperextension bench to perform this at home. They are not too expensive and worth their weight in gold!

Here’s the rundown:

Start Position for Hyperextensions

Hyperextension Workout

  1. Lie or stand face down on a hyperextension bench, with your feet locked on the foot brace.
  2. For most benches, your body will be at a 45 degree angle (approximately).
  3. Cross your arms over your chest, and make sure your waist is clear of the thigh support so you can bend at the waist. You can also hold your arms at head height as shown in the image above.

Full Hyperextension Exercise

Hyperextension Exercise with Full Stretch

  1. Lower your upper body down slowly by bending at the waist.
  2. Lower your body until you feel the strain in your hamstrings and a full stretch in your lower back, exhaling on the way down.
  3. Your upper body should be near vertical in the down position, but only extend as far as you are comfortable with.
  4. Slowly return your body to the up position where your entire body is straight in line, inhaling on the way up.

KEY TIP:  Hold the up and down position each for 3 seconds each. This will contract your lower back muscles in the up position, and stretch them in the down position. Do this on every rep, and it will pay dividends. See the video below, and the 3 second hold in the up and down positions.

Sets / Reps / Rest:
3 Sets / 8-12 Reps / 1 min between sets

Note: Reps will vary greatly depending on the strength and health of your back.

Variations:  If you would like to increase the resistance, you can hold a weight plate on your chest.

Caution:  Make sure you properly warm up prior to hyperextension exercise.

Partial Hyperextensions

Partial Stretch Hyperextensions

  1. Lower your upper body down slowly by bending at the waist.
  2. Lower your body on one-half the distance of a full stretch, exhaling on the way down.
  3. Slowly return your body to the up position where your entire body is straight in line, inhaling on the way up.

KEY TIP:  Hold the up and down position each for 3 seconds each. This will contract your lower back muscles in the up position, and stretch them in the down position. Do this on every rep, and it will pay dividends. See the video below, and the 3 second hold in the up and down positions.

Caution:  Make sure you properly warm up prior to hyperextension exercise.

Hyperextensions on a Flat Bench

Hyperextensions on a Flat Bench

  1. Lay flat on your stomach on a flat bench.
  2. You will likely need someone to hold your feet to maintain control, unless only half of your upper body hangs off the bench.
  3. Lower your upper body as shown 15-20 degrees – hold for 3 seconds.
  4. Then move your upper body to the up position, holding for 3 seconds.

KEY TIP:  Hold the up and down position each for 3 seconds each. This will contract your lower back muscles in the up position, and stretch them in the down position. Do this on every rep, and it will pay dividends. See the video below, and the 3 second hold in the up and down positions.

Caution:  Make sure you properly warm up prior to hyperextension exercise.

Hyperextension Exercise on the Floor

Hyperextensions on the Floor

  1. Lay flat on your stomach on the floor with your arms at your side, preferably using a workout mat.
  2. Move your upper body to the up position as shown, contracting your lower back muscles.
  3. Hold the up position for 3 seconds.
  4. Return to the prone position with your upper body flush to the floor.
  5. Repeat the motion.

Caution:  Make sure you properly warm up prior to hyperextension exercise.

Avoiding Back Injury

We all know that the most injury-prone part of the body is the lower back. An incredible 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. So you must be very careful performing any stretch or workout involving your back, and proper warm-up is key.

Hyperextension Exercise to Avoid Back InjuryHere are some more tips to avoid lower back injury:

  1. Be careful lifting heavy objects and make sure you use your legs for the lift part.
  2. Perform hyperextension exercises daily. Great in every way…strengthening your core and keeping the lower back active and healthy.
  3. Make sure you manage your weight. Obesity is hard on your whole body, including your back. And if you lose weight and take 10, 20, or 30 pounds off your frame, your whole body will function better!
  4. Eat a healthy diet packed with proper vitamins and minerals – it makes a huge difference in your overall health. Cheat days are fine, just limit to 1 or 2 days a week.
  5. Perform back stretches on a daily basis. Here are some great lower back stretches to strengthen your lumbar area and also help avoid strains.

Back Hyperextensions

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