Hyperextension Exercise to Strengthen Your Lower Back

Hyperextension ExerciseHyperextension 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.

Not only to strengthen and heal a lower back injury, but to 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:

  • 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

Hyperextension Exercise

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

Here’s the rundown:

Start Position for Hyperextensions

  1. Hyperextensions for Lower Back PainLie 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 (approx.).
  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.

Technique for Hyperextensions

  1. Lower your upper body down slowly by bending at the waist.
  2. Lower your body until your feel the strain in your hamstrings, exhaling on the way down.
  3. Your upper body should be near vertical in the down position.
  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. 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.

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.

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 have lower back pain at some point in their lives.  So you must be very careful performing any stretch or workout involving your back.

Hyperextensions for Lower Back PainHere 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.
  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.
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