Hamstrings, Lower Back
The hyperextension is a variation of the hip hinge movement pattern and an exercise used to target the glutes.
Some may choose to utilize this exercise to target their lower back. However, for optimal health and maximum benefits, it is best to think of this exercise as a glute exercise.
- Setup in a hyperextension machine with your feet anchored and torso roughly perpendicular to your legs at a 45 degree angle.
- Begin in a hinged position with your arms crossed and initiate the movement by flexing your glutes.
- Extend the hips and finish with your body in a straight line.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Keep in mind that there are two ways to do hyperextensions. For the vast majority of folks (outside of a sport specific application - ex. Gymnastics or Olympic weight lifting), they stick with the first rather than the second option.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.