The machine back extension is an isolation exercise for the erector spinae muscles which allow us to maintain an upright posture. The back muscles also help us to bend, twist and turn so it’s imperative that these muscles are strong enough to support our daily functions. Now, since the back is a large area of muscle, sufficient work volume is necessary to promote growth and develop maximum strength gains.
But, it’s best to use lighter to moderate weights with the back extension machine because the lower back is a sensitive area, and too much resistance can be dangerous. However, it’s a very effective isolation exercise if performed in the moderate rep range which promotes optimal safety.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Erector Spinae
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Back Extension Machine
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Position yourself comfortably on the machine with back against the back rest pad.
- Adjust the lever so it allows your torso to bend forward at a 90-degree angle to your upper legs.
- Grab the side bars keep your head straight.
- Push with your legs and extend your back to where it’s slightly hyperextended while exhaling.
- Hold for a couple of seconds.
- Return to starting position where you’re torso is at a 90-degree angle while inhaling.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- Keep your head and neck straight during the movement.
- Make sure you’re torso is moving through a full range of motion through the exercise.
- The machine back extension works your erector spinae and core muscles.
- The hips must remain in a fixed position to effectively worth the back muscles otherwise you involve more of the glutes in the exercise.