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Train Your Core the Smart Way

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
October 25, 2017
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Your core is literally at the center of everything you do in the gym (and outside of the gym). Want to lift heavier? Train your core. Want to tone your mid-section? Train your core. Want better balance and stability? Train your core. Want to enhance your athleticism on the playing field? You guessed it: Train your core. Are you sensing a pattern? Good! Now, here’s why a back extension is going to become your best friend.

But working your core is a lot more than a buzzword you search in google. There’s lots to do in the gym that works this part of the body, but there are some better than others. The most forgotten core exercise might just be back extensions. This may be due to the general public not understanding that lower back is part of your core or maybe that they’ve seen the machine and not known what to do with it.Either way it’s time to lock your legs into that contraption and rep out some back extensions.[video width="1280" height="720" mp4=""][/video]

How To Do Back Extensions:

  1. Locate the hyperextension bench.
  2. Lock your ankles securely under or in between the footpads (depending on the style of the machine).
  3. Adjust the upper pad to ensure that your upper thighs lie flat across the wide pad. You must be able to bend at the waist unobstructed.
  4. Keep your body straight. Cross your arms in front of your chest or behind your head, whichever is most comfortable for you. If you’re using a weight, hold it against your chest.
  5. Begin by bending forward at the waist in a very slow and controlled manner. This isn’t a race, and momentum detracts from the exercise.
  6. Keep your back flat.
  7. Move forward until you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings. Just don’t round your back. Stop before that occurs.
  8. Pause at the bottom of the movement.
  9. Slowly begin to lift your torso back to the initial position while maintaining a flat back.

Trainer Tips:Hold a plate or a medicine ball in front of your chest to add some difficulty to the exercise. You’ll probably attest that gravity pulls hard enough, but adding weight helps to intensify the exercise as your lower back increasingly gets stronger.

Sample Exercise Plan:

  • Deadlifts 3 sets of 10-12
  • Back extensions 3 sets of 10-12
  • Seated cable rows 3 sets of 10-12
  • Renegade rows 3 sets of 10-12
  • Lat pull downs 3 sets of 10-12
  • Barbell rows 3 sets of 10-12
  • Wide grip pull ups 1 set to failure
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