The back extension machine is utilized for certain types of exercises. This type of exercise is particularly called isolation exercise. It targets the lower back muscles, especially the erector spinae. To complete this exercise the heels of the feet should be wedged under a pad or roller, with one more pad to assist the lower body as the body recline face-down. This aids in flexing at the waist. The exercise requires the body to bend at the waist and some at the hips while lowering the upper body until nearly the upper and lower body forms a right angle or “L” shape. This exercise is usually considered a bodyweight exercise as it only uses the upper body for the weight. Proper posture and technique are advised as this exercise could result in injuries if done poorly. A strengthening program would greatly benefit this isolation exercise to help in building those back muscles.
Some benefits of the back extension machine is it targets the erector spinae. This is made up of three muscles: iliocostalis lumborum, longissimus thoracis, and the spinalis. These muscles run along the vertebral column. They help extend the lumbar spine, lower part of the back. Some muscles that work with these to facilitate this movement are the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and adductor magnus. Some muscles to help stabilize the body during this movements are biceps, triceps, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, pectoralis, and rhomboids. These muscles are in use when a person picks up an item from the ground. Everyone should also be using them to maintain good posture.
While using this machine there are some common mistakes being made:
– Poor technique can lead to an injury when someone uses this machine. It is always wise to avoid these errors. Movements should be slow and controlled. Bouncing or jerking is not allowed. Going to fast or using vigorous motions can strain the back muscles or compress the discs in the spine.
-The body should only extend until the back is comfortably level with the thighs. Try not to overextend the back. This exercise is safe to perform with just the bodyweight. Additional weights can be added if it’s still light and does not cause strain on the back. Keep the exercise volume minimal, such as not exceeding more than 10 repetitions for two sets.
-The back extension machine exercise can be completed in various ways to meet one’s fitness level. Some trainers try to avoid this machine as it is thought of as a risk of back strain in certain people. More compound or functional exercises are considered instead such as squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows to strengthen the lower back.
Some safety and precautions include:
-avoid this machine if a herniated disc is present
-any back pain or problems (discuss with a doctor or physical therapist is see what is appropriate)
-any back restrictions