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Gym Equipment Explained: Hyperextension Bench

Many of us forget to workout our back torso muscles, which can result in back or lower back pain - especially if you sit all day. Most gyms have a tool to help you accomplish a stronger lower back.

Hyperextension Bench/45 Degree Angle Hyperextension Bench
Area of Body it Works: Lower back (erector spinae)
Also works: Hamstrings
Why: For a strong back (which helps build strong abs) -- It also helps posture
How: Position yourself onto the leg and waist pad, so that your upper thighs are on the pad, and your waist is just above the pad. You should still have free range of motion at your waist. Brace the backs of your ankles under the leg restraints at the back (bottom if it's a 45 degree angle bench). Cross your arms over your chest. Lower your waist as far as is comfortable towards the floor. Inhale as you lower yourself towards the floor. Exhale as you bring your torso back up, until you are as high as you can go (at least until your body is parallel with your legs) but do not push yourself past the level you are comfortable with. Do not swing or bounce during the movement at any point.

Fit's Tip: It is common for people to hold a weight to their chest to increase the resistance, but make sure you have proper technique and form down before attempting this as it can strain your back and lead to injury.

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Join The Conversation
MaggietheCat MaggietheCat 10 years
I love this thing! I feel this in my glutes and hamstrings, too, because I squeeze them as I do this exercise. And phew you really feel it. A great workout but be careful not to hurt yourself by going too fast or over-extending your back--that hurts.
sinsational sinsational 10 years
This is a must do, altogether with the ab crunches
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 10 years
I LOVE this exercise. Once of my favorites. This and the roman chair.
wiggle wiggle 10 years
I will admit when I do make it to the gym this is one piece of equipment I shy away from.
sportsaholic21 sportsaholic21 10 years
This is one of my favorite exercises at the gym!
tchan01 tchan01 10 years
I recently started doing these at the gym. I have to say it is definitely a much neglected area of the body. After each of the three times doing it (so far), I was sore for about two days in my lower back. :-P
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Ugh. I hate doing this one. It exahusts me. Which is why I need to be doing it...
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