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How to Do a Back Extension for a Boot Camp Workout

Learn how to do a back extension for a boot camp workout for women from personal trainer Rachel Buschert Vaziralli in this Howcast workout video.


I'm going to take you through a couple different variations of how to do a back extension. Really important to do back extensions because a lot of times we tend to just focus on the front of the body. It's what we're looking at in the mirror and, let's face it, we're all working out so that we're happy with our appearance but we forget about all of the postural muscles, all of the musculature that's inclusive in the core, and that's the back. So the back extension is mostly going to mostly work the erector spinae or erector spinae muscle group which is the long muscles that run vertically and parallel to your spine and basically are the muscles that hold you up. It's really important to do back extension- especially if you have a desk job and you're used to always being in this slumped over type of posture. Because what happens is the chest gets very tight and the back muscles get very weak and you end up always in this whether you're sitting in your desk or just walking around. So this exercise is going to help try to bring yourself back into a neutral posture. It's going to strengthen the muscles in between the shoulder blades- the muscles that retract your shoulder blades. So you're gonna come down onto your stomach. You could use a mat. And your going to take your arms out, bring your head in line with your spine so that the most important thing is as we lift up, it's really about the spine and not necessarily just the cervical spine, so you wanna avoid this. Keeping your eyes just focused out in front of you. Raising your upper body and then bringing it back down. It doesn't have to be an excessive range of motion. You really have to figure out what's comfortable for your back. And make sure you're engaging your abdominals too. Sometimes we think that because we're on our stomachs we can just let it all hang out but you still want to engage your core when you're in that position. So even when you're on your belly think about drawing your belly muscles away from your mat. As if you're trying to create a little bit of space between your belly button and the mat underneath you. Another great addition to this would be to focus on what I was talking about before with that scapula retraction- you're scapula is your shoulder blades. So you're gonna lift up and pull you're shoulder blades away from your ears so that you have a nice long neck and you're not shrugging and then draw the shoulder blades together. I like to think of it like if you had a walnut between your shoulder blades and you were trying to crack it with each repetition. So really getting into those rhomboids, those midtraps- again strengthening the muscles of you're back and stretching the muscles in the upper body that tend to be tight.

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