Training tips for back extension – How to use this strength training equipment

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A back extension strains the back musculature and can be found in nearly every gym. The training on this machine is very popular among the strength training equipment. Exercising on a back extension is suitable for beginners as well as for professional athletes. The aim of this exercise is to train the muscles. They are located left and right of the spine are very important for the human body posture.
Of course it is important to avoid injuries when training on a back extension, therefore you do best to follow these tips for training on this kind of gym equipment: The machine should be used only with light to medium weight, because a selective construction-conditioned pressure is affecting the lumbar spine. Only after the basic strength has built up, heavy weights should be used. Being supervised by an experienced trainer can reduce or eliminate the risk of injuries as well. He or she observes the movement on the back extension and gives suitable instructions.

The strained muscles:

  • Glutaeus maximus muscle: Extension of the hip joint
  • Biceps femoris muscle caput longum: Extension of the hip joint
  • Semitendinosus muscle: Extension of the hip joint
  • Semimembranosus muscle: Extension of the hip joint
  • Erector spinae muscles (back extension): Extension of the spine

The back extension

Usually a back extension provides an anatomically correct seated position and adjustable angles of the shoulder position by different regulatory systems. Due to the adjustability of the rolls it is possible to train the abdominal musculature as well. This method of strength training strains the trunk stability of the athletes, but also people with back pain or spine problems can strengthen their back with a back extension. This exercise can also be done without a back extension, for example using a gymnastics ball or a sitting bench.

Training on a back extension

Sit down on the padded seat with the feet standing firm on the ground. The back padding roll should be above the back on the same height as the shoulder blades. Grasp the machine’s grips with both hands and stretch the body. Then press the upper body against the padding until the complete body is in an upright position again. Afterwards the body needs to be lowered down again and the movement repeated. At the very moment when the back is being led down slowly and controlled, you have to breathe out and as soon as it moves forward, you should breathe in. It is important to strain the muscles in every second of the exercise on this gym machine.
An important tip for the training on a back extension is to do the exercise very controlled and slowly. The reason for this is that the weights can clash when the movements are too fast. Therefore you should stop slightly before you reach the starting position again.
Furthermore it is recommended to choose the suitable training weight for the back extension together with a trainer to avoid overstraining in the beginning. It is also recommendable to warm up before starting to train on a back extension.

Common mistakes on the back extension

It is important to follow the trainer’s instruction because there are common mistakes like swinging the upper body with too much momentum backwards. The head is pressed to the neck often as well which can lead to an overstretching. The most frequently problem is the reduction of body tension at the end of the frontwards movement.
All these mistakes have one thing in common: They enormously lower the desired training effect on the aimed musculature and increase the risk of an injury of the sensitive back area.

New and used back extensions can also be found on Back Extension

Image-source: #113536095 Makatserchyk AdobeStock

Published on: 1 April 2015

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