How to do a back extension

This question is mostly directed to our  female clients and readers, but this exercise is most certainly is NOT! However…

Who wants to tone up their butt?

Yes I know that’s silly question but hey it needs to asked! I think in all of my years as a trainer I could think of only 2 women who weren’t interested in toning up their butt and the back of thighs and that was because they were considerably older and toning up wasn’t high on their list of priorities. But for most women, toning up the abbs, thighs, and butt is priority number 1. If that sounds like you then the back extension can most certainly help you with your butt and it is also fairly handy in firming up the back of the thighs as well! So, if you want have a nice firm posterior then be sure to give the back extension a go. Word to the wise though, the first time you perform this exercise you may experience some real soreness through you hammys, glutes and lower back!


Back Extension  Back Extension

So, that brings us to: how to do a back extension.

Note: You will need a back extension machine to perform this exercise which any well equipped gym should have. The example shown is using a 45 degree Back Extension but you could use a 90 degree machine and get the same effect.

  • Step 1: Situate yourself in the machine so that your hip is just over the edge of the bench. This is important as movement should be from the hip, not through the lower back.
  • Step 2: Slowly lower your torso down towards the ground. During the whole movement you must keep you lower back in a neutral or slightly concave position. Once you feel your lower back begin to round out its time to stop and for any following reps you want to stop just short of that level.
  • Step 3: Slowly raise your torso back up until it is in line with your legs. Be careful not to ‘hyper extend’ at the top by arching you back.
  • Step 4: Repeat for the desired number of reps

Note: The ‘tempo’ used in this example is 3010. This means ‘3’ seconds to lower the torso, ‘0’ seconds rest at the bottom, ‘1’ second to raise the torso back up and ‘0’ seconds rest at the top. Try to perform 3 sets of 15 reps at this tempo and see how you go.

Have fun and remember if you’re not sure on the technique have a look at the video!


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