Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypeHinge (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Hamstrings, Lower Back
Target Muscle Group


Glutes Muscle Anatomy Diagram

GHD Back Extension Overview

The GHD back extension is a variation of the hyperextension and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

The emphasis of this exercise should be placed on your glutes – as over emphasizing movement with the lower back can result in spinal injuries.

The angle the GHD provides to this back extension provides a greater challenge for you to progress to after mastering the basic hyperextension.

GHD Back Extension Instructions

  1. Set your feet in the base of a GHD and allow your spine to relax as you hinge from the hips.
  2. Initiate the movement by arching your back and looking up slightly.
  3. Hold the contraction for the desired amount of time.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

GHD Back Extension Tips

  1. Keep in mind that there are two ways to do hyperextensions.
    • Glutecentric: Slightly flex your upper back and extend your hips until your body is in a straight line and focus entirely on gluteal activation.
    • Erector-centric: Arch globally through the spine and focus entirely on erector activation.
    • Neither is right or wrong but some may be better suited for individuals with certain conditions. For example, if back pain is present then it would be wise to focus on more of the glute centric work.
  2. If you can’t seem to feel your glutes activating, palpate the musculature with your hands and focus on pausing the movement at the peak of contraction.
  3. If you find one glute has less contractility than another, perform twice as much volume on that side relative to the other with unilateral variations until you have established an efficient mind/muscle connection.
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