Strengthening your back is essential to your well-being. Although many people focus on the more visible front of the body, strengthening the back of the body can create an even balance. People with a strong back are less likely to suffer from back pain and most likely have good posture. Because your back supports your torso, it can also improve your athletic performance and ease everyday activities. The back extension is one of the exercises that can strengthen your back. All you need to do this exercise is a stability ball.
Lie faced down on a stability ball, positioning your stomach on the ball and lowering your head toward the floor.
Extend your legs behind you, flex your feet and place your toes on the floor. Separate your feet shoulder-width or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Contract your abdominals to help stabilize your body. Then raise your arms and place your fingertips on your scalp behind your ears, flaring your elbows out. This is your beginning position.
Raise your torso off the ball and look down so your head is aligned with your spine. Contract your butt and leg muscles to help you balance, and squeeze your shoulder blades together during the upward motion. Count to three during the ascent to make sure you’re moving in a controlled motion.
Align your body from head to toe, focus on the contraction in your lower back and exhale. Maintain the natural arch in your back the entire time; avoid rounding your back or overarching.
Lower your torso to the starting point as your count to three. Perform the back extensions eight to 12 times. Then rest and gradually work your way up to doing one to two more sets.
To make back extensions more challenging, make the space between your feet smaller. The closer your feet are together the harder it will be to stay balanced on the ball.
To help you balance on the ball, do the exercise in front of a wall. Place your feet against the wall so your body can’t roll on the ball.
Oakville Personal Trainers