Equipment Highlight: Back Extension Machine

Back Extension Machine: feature by Brad Park 

You may have seen the Back Extension Machine but have been unsure of how to use it properly. We’ve put together a quick guide to make the most of your workout!

  • Step 1: set up apparatus so that the top of the pad rests just below the top of your hip, you should not feel any pain/discomfort in your legs. When stepping in, use the front handles to settle yourself, and place your feet flat on the back platform with your heels pressed against the pad. This will keep you secure through your hip extension.
  • Step 2: lower yourself with control down to the floor, with hands resting on your chest or behind your head. ‘Pack’ your shoulders down and back, so that your spine stays straight throughout the movement. Keeping your chest elevated, squeeze through your glutes and begin to raise your back from the downward position.
  • Step 3: at the top of the motion, maximally squeeze your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back and hold the position under control for 1-3 seconds. Maintain a straight back as you lower yourself down again, the only hinge should be central to your hips.
  • Step 4: repeat steps 2 and 3, you should feel your hips, lower back, and hamstrings in the back of your legs ‘light up’ after 6-12 reps.

For additional resistance, you can also opt to use a barbell or a kettlebell for further load. The important part is that you can maintain solid posture throughout the movement, and that the additional load doesn’t compromise your spinal integrity. Set up the barbell/kettlebell so it rests in front of the hyperextension bench, and on your first rep using straight arms, grab the weight and lift using the same muscles.

Enjoy your new hip and glute strength! For further questions or to set up a complimentary training session contact Personal Trainer Brad Park at bpark@ffc.com