The Back Extension    May 2 2013

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Three rounds for time:
10 clean and jerk (135/95)
400m run

Endurance post workout last week.  The spring endurance program took on a whole new meaning since winter decided to stick around.

Endurance post workout last week. The spring endurance program took on a whole new meaning since winter decided to stick around.

The Back Extension

Hey!  Sit up straight as your read this post!  And, do your back extensions to help combat that desk posture!

Last week we saw back extensions in the workout for the first time.  Like the hip extension and the GHD sit-up, the back extension should be performed weekly before or after class in sets or a single set equaling 25-40 reps.

We perform this movement for many reasons – to develop awareness of different spinal positions as well as strengthen the muscles around the vertebrae of the spine.

Check out the description below and ask a coach to check out your moves while at the shop!

Set-up:
Set-up the Glute-Ham Developer for the back extension by placing the foot pad such that the crease of the hip is on top of the pad.  This traps the hip joint so that it can not close (as it can in a hip extension when the hip is forward and free of the pad).

Execution:
The movement begins in a neutral position where the glutes and abdominals are tight and the spine is in its natural S-curve.  To begin the movement, tuck the chin to the neck and roll the spine one vertebrae at a time until the point where the athlete can not go any further without releasing tension in the glutes.  Then, continue back out of the movement in reverse.

Practice:
To practice the movement prior to getting on the Glute-Ham Developer, stand with your glutes and shoulder blades along a wall.  Hold your glutes (your butt cheeks) squeezed together.  Tuck your chin to your neck and roll your body one vertebrae at a time down and off the wall.  The set-up of this practice method will allow you to travel a shorter distance than on the Glute-Ham Developer but will give you the sensation of how to move one vertebrae off the wall at a time.

Once you have mastered this practice, take your heels 4 inches from the wall.  Squeeze your butt cheeks together and roll down one vertebrae at a time until your butt cheeks tap the wall.  Then, initiate rolling back out of the position by pulling your low back toward the wall and rolling one vertebrae up at a time.

Go practice!

Confused on the hip vs. back extension?  In the hip extension, the hip joint is whats moving (and the spine is locked in) and in the back extension, the spine is moving (and the hip is locked in).