Your back muscles are key in supporting your upper and lower body weight training, so spending some focused effort on exercises to work these muscles is a great way to round out your workout. 

Hyperextensions can help you get that exercise in, and work the lower, mid, and upper back muscles. 

Hyperextensions From Inception ‘Till Today

Hyperextensions, or “back extensions”, are tied to the history of the Roman chair as a workout tool.

The roman chair was invented and popularized by professor Ludwig Durlacher, more commonly known as Luis Atilla. Durlacher took his nickname from Attila the hun, and along with this invention had a successful career as a strongman and accomplished athlete. 

With the popularity of the Roman chair came the use of hyperextensions or back extensions as a way to strengthen the back muscles that support the spine. 

The Hyperextension Exercise 

A hyperextension exercise strengthens the muscles in all parts of the back, from the upper back down to the lower back. It involves a Roman chair or hyperextension bench to allow the user to hold their feet down and hips up. 

The erector spinae, or group of muscles that both rotate and straighten the back, receives the primary benefits from this exercise.

Getting Ready To Perform The Hyperextension Exercise 

To get ready for the hyperextension: 

  1. Make sure you have access to a Roman chair or hyperextension bench. Most gyms or workout centers will have them. 
  2. Set yourself up for success with correct placement. Keep your feet and ankles secured, and ensure that your thighs are firmly on the pads. 
  3. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the chair or bench depending on your individual height and leg length. 

Completing Your Exercise Routine

Once you’re in position: 

  1. Cross your arms on your chest, in front of you, or behind your head, depending on your preference. 
  2. Slowly bend forward at the waist while keeping your back straight, and inhale. 
  3. Keep moving forward until you feel a light stretch in your hamstrings. Make sure that you aren’t rounding your back. 
  4. Raise your upper body back to its original position and exhale. 
  5. Repeat steps 1-5 for the desired amount of repetitions. 

Hyperextensions And Their Benefits

By working your back muscles, you’ll end up strengthening your overall endurance and stability. Plus, hyperextensions can help lower the possibility of a back injury or strain when properly performed. 

The incorporation of hyperextension exercises in your workout regimen will end up helping with your posture as well. 

A Variation For The Hyperextension

Want to take your hyperextension exercises to the next level? 

  • Try holding a weight out in front of you rather than crossing your arms at your chest or behind your head for more upper-back work. 
  • If you don’t have a weight or aren’t ready to take that step, simply hold your arms out in front of you for a slighter upper-back workout. 
  • To increase resistance, use wraps or resistance bands during your workout. 

Keep Your Back Strong

Using hyperextensions in your exercise routine can really help with your general well-being, especially as you continue to build on your weight and strength training repertoire!

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