Extensions of the Lower Back With a Workout Ball

Extensions of the Lower Back With a Workout Ball

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Place your hands by your ears to increase exercise difficulty.

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Back extensions strengthen and stretch the muscles in your lower back, which helps stabilize your torso and prevent lower back pain and injuries. Doing back extensions regularly can also make other exercises like deadlifts and squats easier to perform. Lower back extensions on a stability ball instead of the floor or bench increases the difficulty of the exercise because you must maintain balance on the ball. An exercise ball also helps improve lower back stability, balance, muscular endurance, posture and flexibility.

Just Roll With It

For best results, always use proper form when doing lower back extensions on a stability ball. Lie face down on the ball with your pelvis and stomach resting on the ball. Position the balls of your feet on the floor with your hands resting at your sides. Squeeze your buttocks muscles and lift your chest up from the ball. Hold the contraction for three seconds, then lower your chest back to the starting position. Aim for at least 10 repetitions. The work should come from your lower back. To be sure, squeeze your core and lower back muscles as you lift your body up from the ball.

Easy Does It

If you find the back extension too difficult, place your hips lower on the exercise ball or put your hands behind your hips. You can also position the backs of your feet up against a wall to help prevent you from falling on the ground if the exercise ball slips forward at any point. If there is no wall available, spread your feet out wide on the floor for better balance. If the exercise is too easy, clasp your hands behind your head or hold your arms out to the sides of your head to increase the intensity.

Do It Right the First Time

For optimal results, point your fingertips as you perform back extensions -- pretend you are trying to touch something that is just out of your reach. Suck your abdominals in as if you are trying to create a hollow space between the floor and your stomach. Be sure the stability ball is the right size for you. To choose the correct size, sit on top of the ball with your knees bent and your back straight. Your hips and knees should create a 90-degree angle. If the angle is less than 90 degrees, choose a smaller ball, and vice versa.

Proceed with Caution

Stop doing back extensions if you experience any lower back pain. Readjust your position or take a break until the discomfort subsides. Ditch the exercise ball and do back extensions from the floor if you find exercising on a stability ball too difficult or uncomfortable. Always exercise on a smooth, clean surface that is free of debris, such as a carpet or a wood floor. Sharp objects can wear the surface of your stability ball and even puncture it.