Pilates Move of the Week: Bend Like a Banana With The Back Extension

Pilates Move of the Week: Bend Like a Banana With The Back Extension
Aaron Smith

Pilates Expert

Feb 02, 2015

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.

Starting position:

Lye on your stomach with your legs long, arms bent, hands under your chin and palms facing down.

Exercise Execution:

  1. Engage your abdominals by lifting your belly button up off the mat to support your spine and activate your core.
  2. Set your shoulder blades back and down as you slowly lift your upper body off of the mat.
  3. 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.
  4. Hold for 3-5 secs.
  5. 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.
  6. REPEAT!

Pilates Move of the Week

Pilates Move of the Week

Pilates Move of the Week


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.

KX Tip: 

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.


By Aaron Smith

Pilates Expert

Aaron Smith is The Carousel’s resident pilates expert and Founder/Owner of Australia’s first high performance pilates group, KX Pilates. In 2009 he returned from living abroad with a vision to bring a new way of fitness training to Australia. “I loved the style and concept behind dynamic pilates, but I could see some areas for improvement, where I could add my own touch. I returned to Australia in 2009 and opened my first studio, in Melbourne, in 2010″, Smith said. Smith is now an award winning entrepreneur and franchisor, with 17 KX studios across Melbourne and Sydney, re-branding as the ‘KX Group’ and expanding the service offer to include; high performance pilates, assisted yoga, barre and international fitness retreats. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science (double major in exercise physiology/pharmacology), trained in advanced STOTT reformer pilates and is a KX Pilates Master Trainer.


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