One of the most important muscles in the body is the back muscle. Your back is the link that connects your lower and upper body. Most body movements involve the back.
While having a weaker back can strain your lumbar vertebrae and affect your health, there are some alternatives. According to the World Health Organization, 70% of the adult population suffers from back pain, which can be debilitating and chronic.
Although a special 45 degrees angled bench is needed to perform back extension exercises, there are home workouts you can do to strengthen the back muscles and increase strength without equipment.
In this article, we will show you how to do back extensions exercises at home. Continue reading!
What Is a Back Extension?
A back extension is an exercise that is performed using a 45-degree angled bench. Some people call it a hyperextension bench. If you do not have access to this type of equipment, a weighted bench orstability ball can reverse back pain.
Back Extensions Alternatives at Home
The Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is one great lower back exercise that can be done with just a barbell or kettlebell. Some rumors claim that this workout was introduced by Nicu Vlad. The Romanian deadlift is an easy-to-do home workout that can be done by both beginners and professionals.
How to do the Romanian deadlift
- Stand on both feet with both hips-widths apart
- Slightly bend your knees and lower your weight to the front with arms straight
- Bend forward while moving away from your hips
- Lift your back up and return to starting position
- Repeat workout.
Watch how to do the Romanian deadlift here.
The Reverse Hyperextension Workout
The reverse hyperextension workout can be done in your living room or garage. It works the gluteus muscles, lower back, and hamstrings. You do not have to have a 45-angled bench to do it. However, having a stability ball or a basic flat bench can give stability and avoid rounding your back
How to do a reverse hyperextension exercise at home
- With your chest, lie on a workout bench or on a stability ball
- Hold the upper part of the workout equipment with both arms
- Lower both feet and straighten your legs
- Lift your legs. Your feet should be above your hips
- With your legs straight, return to position and repeat.
View this workout exercise in this detailed YouTube video.
The Mighty Good Mornings
This back extension is called good morning for the mere fact that they look like you are bowing forward in greeting. It sounds easy to do. However, good morning back extensions are demanding and can get intense when compared to other back exercises.
Apart from easing low back pain, this workout also tones back muscles, increases flexibility, and works out the glutes.
How to do a good morning back exercise
- Hold a barbell or dumbbell across your back
- Stand on both feet with hip-width apart
- Slightly bend your knees and lean forward
- Move away from your hips without rounding your lower back
- You can feel a stretch, especially in the hamstrings
- Return to starting position and repeat
Check out this YouTube video guide to learn how to perform a safe, good morning back extension.
Still, this back exercise can also be done using the Fusion Motion portable gym.
The Kettlebell Swing
Many back extension exercises are performed using a relatively slow and much-controlled lifting with a very low speed. The kettlebell swing is no different. It is very risky to do and is mostly recommended for advanced weight lifters.
However, if you are a beginner who wants to try it out at home, here is a video to guide you.
How to do a kettlebell swing
- Stand on both feet with your hips width apart
- Hold a kettlebell and bend your knees slightly
- Lean forward while pushing your hips back
- Swing the kettlebell to about shoulder height
- Lower your weight and repeat the workout
The Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
When done correctly, this back exercise can improve balance, stability, and flexibility. With just one leg, you will be able to activate back muscles and strengthen your back. No need for any fancy equipment.
Here is how:
- Stand with both feet with your arms by your side
- Hold a barbell or dumbbell on your right arm
- Bend one knee
- On bended knee, lean forward, away from your hip, and lower down the equipment
- Return to starting position and repeat
- Perform the same number of reps for the opposite side
Here is a video guide explaining the exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyEFwt2CjkA
The Cable Pull-Through
This version of the back extension exercise is similar to the mighty Romanian deadlift. However, to do it, one requires a cable, string, or rope to put some strain on your back.
Here is how to do it:
- Loop a rope /cable to any equipment of your choice. Make sure it is well attached to either a piece of equipment or a strong surface
- Stand straight and pull the cable towards your chest
- Lean forward and brace your abs
- Avoid rounding your back
- Return to starting position and repeat.
We recommend this YouTube video for more instructions.
Basic Hip Thrusts
Hips thrusts are known to be a glute or ab workout. Nonetheless, they are an excellent alternative for back. This workout can be done on the floor without any form of equipment.
Protecting the knees and feet is critical even as one works out. Therefore, when it comes to back muscles, having the right thickness is always a good idea. We think you will like the Top 10 Best Thick Yoga Mats for Bad Knees.
With a high-density foam material, these thick premium mats can comfortably cushion you on hard floors. Additionally, they ensure comfort for people of all shapes and sizes.
The double-sided non-slip surfaces provide unmatched grip and stability when on the ground. The layers protect your knees and elbows from any injury.
How to do a hip thrust without weights
- Sit on the floor with your knees flat
- Lean backward and lift your hips
- Lower your buttocks back down and repeat the workout.
You can also do hip thrusts on just one leg after watching this YouTube Video.
The Hand-Release Push-Up
How to perform
- Put your hands on the floor with shoulders width-apart
- Lower down your arms and body to the floor
- Lift up one arm while pushing yourself back up
- Repeat workout for the other hand.
Check out this relatively easy-to-do video guide.
How Often Should One Do Back Extensions?
You can do back workouts any time of the day. However, you should not. After an intense workout, your body needs about 48-72 hours to recover, repair, and grow muscles.
However, you can alternate between back workouts and cardio to give your back muscles time to grow and get stronger.
For a quick cardio fix, check out the IRENE Jump Rope and Skipping Rope.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the right time to do back extensions?
Anytime you experience low back pains. Doing a simple back extension exercise can make you feel better and reduce backaches. You can also do back extensions every time you exercise to grow back muscles and increase overall strength.
Do back extension exercises have side effects?
Back extensions have no side effects. However, proper technique is needed to ensure the safety of this workout. Also, if you have health issues, consult your doctor before starting out.
Can I do back extensions when pregnant?
The tissues in your body can stretch before labor. This can put pressure and strain on your back. In some cases, pregnancy can cause severe backache. Back exercises are beneficial and can ease the pain.
However, do not overdo them. Get a qualified instructor to help you strengthen your back
Still, you can use equipment that will not put a lot of strain on your body. When doing these workouts, pay attention to your body. Stop if you notice any pain or feel discomfort.
Can back extensions rectify back pain?
Back workouts can reverse any back pain. Exercises like hip thrusts, the mighty good morning, and kettlebell swing can stretch the low back muscles and relax strained muscles.
Back extension exercises are easy to do. Beginners prefer them, while advanced body trainers can make them more challenging by using weights. Despite their popularity, back extensions are not just back exercises. Instead, they work the hamstrings, can activate glutes, and tone core muscles.
Having strong back muscles will support the lower back and prevent back pain. However, you have to do them correctly to avoid injury or accident, especially while using heavy equipment. The key to having a great back workout is to avoid rounding your entire back
Obviously, back extensions are not the only exercise for the back. The truth is, there are plenty of exercises you can do even if your gym does not have the 45-degrees angled bench.
You can still keep your back muscles strong and prevent back pain by using the Top 7 Best Workout Benches for Apartment.