One of my all time favorite exercises is Hyper-extensions. They are awesome for targeting your lower back and, if full ROM is used, flexibility as well. I used to do them all the time before I moved to Nebraska, several times a week even. However, the gym we are using now doesn’t have a Roman chair…so for the first week or two, I didn’t do any. OH MAN, did I feel the difference in my back!! It was killing me no matter how I sat, laid or stood…no matter what I tried, it hurt constantly.
So, I used a stability ball instead of the Roman chair. Now, granted, it doesn’t allow for as much ROM as the Roman chair does, but it is most definitely better than nothing at all! Since incorporating them back into my routines my back is much happier…which means so am I
Here’s how to put them into your very own routine:
- To begin, lie down on an exercise ball face down, with your torso pressing against the ball and parallel to the floor. Prop your feet against a wall or railing to help with balance. This is your starting position.
- Raise your torso off the ball by contracting the muscles in your lower back, or in other words, arch your back. This is the point of most exertion, so remember to exhale during this movement.
- Make sure to raise your torso as high off the ball as possible. If you’re strong enough, hold the contraction with your lower back for a second and then begin to lower your torso back down to the starting position. Remember to inhale during this movement, and then repeat.
- If you are incorporating this movement into your workouts for the first time, shoot for 3 sets of 8-10 reps. The stronger you get, the more reps you’ll be able to do. A good goal is 3 sets of 15-20 reps. As you continue to get stronger, you’ll need to either add weight to the exercise or add some holds.
*You should speak with a physician before beginning this or any other exercise or exercise routine.