The Back Extension is a powerful exercise to increase strength in the lower back.
It aims to counter balance our modern sedentary life of inactivity as we are constantly in a state of spinal flexion (shoulders slumped forward with rolled shoulders) due to poor posture. It’s also great to decreasing lower back pain.
Lye on your stomach with your legs long, arms bent, hands under your chin and palms facing down.
- Engage your abdominals by lifting your belly button up off the mat to support your spine and activate your core.
- Set your shoulder blades back and down as you slowly lift your upper body off of the mat.
- Starting with your head, neck and upper back, slowly articulate the lift until your belly button comes off the mat as well going into full spinal extension.
- Hold for 3-5 secs.
- Slowly lower down starting with your belly button and then articulate one vertebrae at a time down until your hands are the last to be on the mat. Relax your body and relax your shoulders.
Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you contract your core and lift up into extension. Inhale to lower.
Start out with 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions and increase if desired.
To add glute activation to the exercise, have your feet together with a slight bend at the knees. When you come up into extension, slowly lift the knees up off the mat at the same time to go into the full bow / banana pose.
To add KX intensity to the exercise, at the top of the movement hold for 10 secs and flipper the legs before relaxing down. You can also add spinal rotation when extending the spine to target the side obliques
Aaron Smith is the CEO & Founder – KX Group. KX is a boutique fitness company with 17 studios across Melbourne and Sydney, offering dynamic pilates, barre and yoga. KX also run international retreats to Vanuatu and Bali.
Model: Cherida Forde, KX International Retreats Trainer.