Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Article # 120. Back Extensions


Back Extensions
The back extension exercise is a maneuver utilized to work the erector spinae and other smaller stabilizing muscles of the back. Strengthening these muscles is important for a variety of reasons. Performing the back extension exercise properly will reduce the likelihood of injury and ensure that the target muscles are being worked. The back extension exercise is not safe for all individuals; there are important things to consider before performing the exercise.
This is not really an abdominal exercise as much as it is a back stretching exercise. However after any ab exercise routine you should stretch not only your abdominal muscles but also your opposing back muscles.



How to do the Back Extensions

·         Lie on your stomach with your arms straight out in front of you palms facing down.
·         Now lift your upper body stretching your transverse abdominis muscle and your back muscles.
·         For additional stretching, you can also lift up your upper and lower body at the same time for this exercise.
·         Hold for 30 seconds, relax and then repeat several times.



Benefits
Performing the back extension exercise in this manner will increase your ability to coordinate movement through your lower back. Other improvements include a stronger back and a back that has more endurance. Overall, these positives lead to better overall back posture, important for the prevention of back injury.
Considerations
Some individuals should avoid the back extension exercise. Those who have a herniated disc should avoid this exercise as it may increase intervertebral pressure. Individuals who have sensitive spinal nerves should also avoid this exercise unless otherwise advised by a doctor. Individuals who are extremely overweight or have poor back control may not be able to do this exercise correctly and are prone to arching during the exercise. These people may be better served by using a back extension machine until their backs can handle the higher workload.




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