How to: Do Back Extensions

Back Extension

Back Extension

Name:  Back extensions Also known as:  Back raises, porpoises. Main muscles used:  Back. Other muscles used:  Bum

Top tips:

  • Keep your eyes looking directly down at a spot on the floor right beneath your nose at all times.
  • Raise just your chest and shoulders off the floor.
  • Hold for a few seconds under control, before relaxing back down.
  • This is only a small move.  Your chest and shoulders only raise a few degrees off the floor.
  • For the “easy” version, keep your hands down by your sides.
  • For the “medium” version, touch your fingertips either side of your head.
  • For the “harder” version, reach your arms out in front, like you are flying like Superman.
Back Extension

Back Extension

Common mistakes:

  • Making the move too big and trying to fold yourself in half.
  • Making the move too small and not moving at all.
  • Not raising the chest and shoulders, but simply nodding the head back and forth.
  • Twisting the body round to one side or the other.

Comments: The average person is too preoccupied with getting “6-pack abs” and doing as many crunches as possible.  The average person also spends too much time sitting slumped forwards in a sofa/chair.  This can very often lead to chronically weak back muscles.  This is a very simple exercise to help strengthen these back muscles, and can also be used to help show people that the spine can do more than just collapse under gravity. If this has been of any help to you, feel free to share it with your friends/colleagues.