Why Back Extension Machine Effective?

Using a back extension machine is good if you want to exercise the lower back muscles. The machine itself is good but it can be problematic for those who are suffering from back issues. As much as it targets the spinae erector, the back extension machine can result in an injury if you use it with poor technique. In this article, you will learn more about the back extension machine. In addition to that by the end of the article, you will know how to use the back extension machine, the muscles worked, the best machine, and whether it is good or bad for you.

What Is A Back Extension Machine.

back extension machine - Roman Chair Back Hyperextension

A back extension machine is gym equipment that is used to exercise the back muscles. The machine uses the body as resistance. There are two types of back extension machine and various models. There is a 45 degree and a 90-degree type. The 90-degree types is also known as Roman Chair.

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Seated Back Extension Machine.

The seated back extension machine comes in various models. But what is common among them is a seat. They all come with a seat that you use when exercising. As such, you do the exercises on the machine while seated. In addition, the machine comes with a footrest and back pad. The machine is good for exercising the back muscles. To use the machine follow the steps below.

  1. Start by setting up the back extension machine
  2. Then select your desired weight. It is advised to start with low weight to avoid injuries. High weight may result in injuries if you are a beginner.
  3. Then sit on the machine and make sure that your feet are resting on the footrest. Your torso may be pitched forward with your shoulder blades resting the back pad.
  4. Keep your arms X-crossed on your chest. In addition to that, keep your back straight and abs engaged.
  5. Lean backward by hinging from the hips. Then return to the starting position.

Lower Back Extension Machine.

The lower back extension machine is good for exercising lower back muscles such as the erector spinae. As you recline your body facing downwards, you also flex the waist muscles. In addition to that other muscles that worked include rhomboids, lats, deltoids, pecs, traps, and many others.  The back extension machine can be used to do bodyweight exercises as it uses the body for resistance. However, the back extension machine can result in injuries if used improperly. To use the machine, you can follow the steps below

  1. Start by placing your feet on the footrest securely and then align your thighs on the hips pads properly. Make sure that your thighs are resting properly and in line with your feet.
  2. Then extend your arms to the floor.
  3. You can then start moving up your body to make sure that your hips, spine, and shoulders are in line.
  4. Then bend downwards from your waist to touch the floor.
  5. You can then do your preferable number of reps.
Lower Back Extension Machine

Best Back Extension Machine.

There are various models of back extension machine, As mentioned above, there is a 45 degree and a 90-degree model. There are also various models of back extension machine that you can choose from if you need any. As you choose a machine, consider usability. Some are good for beginners while others are ideal for experts. Other things that you may consider are the weight capacity, warranty, price, padding, the frame. Below is a list of the best extension machines.

Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair.

Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair

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This chair is good for versatility. The machine is ideal for abdominal exercises. Additionally, it is good for improving your posture, building abs, and strengthening your core. However, it can also be used to exercise hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles.


The machine has the padded handles, high-density foam, adjustable two-foam ankle pads, and polymer upholstery.


It is made of heavy-duty and sturdy tubing frame

The machine is versatile

It doesn’t take much of the space

It is made of sturdy material


The handlebars are not symmetrical

Body Powerline Solid PCH24X Adjustable Hyper Extension Roman Chair.

Body Powerline Solid PCH24X Adjustable Hyper Extension Roman chair

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This back extension machine is good for exercising the back, abs, glutes, and hamstrings. You can use it to do various exercises such as the traditional back extension, side crunches, kettlebell row, and many other exercises. The 40-pound machine has a 10-year warranty for the frame and 1-year warranty for other parts.


The machine has adjustable 8-inch foam rollers, seat pad cushion, handles, heavy-gauge construction and an extra wide base.


The machine is sturdy

It is also stable

The frame has a long warranty period

Easy to assemble


The hip pads are smaller

Stamina X Hyper Bench.

Stamina X Hyper bench

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This machine is ideal for exercising the core, abs, and back muscles. The machine is adjustable to accommodate any human being regardless of the height. You can use the machine with other weight equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and many others to tweak your back extension exercises.


The machine has a foldable frame, padded vinyl upholstery, non-slip footrest, high-density foam pads and pivoting foam rollers.


It can be folded and stored easily

It is made of a sturdy  steel frame


Hip pads are harder and not comfortable

It is not sturdy, the frame breaks

Good Or Bad.

Using a back extension machine comes with its benefits and shortfalls. The advantages of a back extension machine depend on how you use it. The good thing about the machine is that it strengthens various muscles. You can also use the machine with other various gym equipment such as dumbbells and kettlebell. As such, you can do various workouts and variations. Therefore, the advantage of the back extension machine depends on how you use it.

In addition, the back extension machine can be used as a bodyweight exercise. More so, you can use the machine as a supplementary exercise to boost the posterior chain.

However, the machine is not ideal for people who are suffering from back pain. If you are suffering from back pain, it is advisable to stay away from the back extension machine. In addition, using the back extension machine is risky. You can hurt yourself if you don’t know the proper form to use the machine.

Using the machine incorrectly can strain muscles, hurt the spine, and lean-to disc herniations.  As such, it is advisable to use the machine under the supervision of a coach or an expert to avoid injuries. Using the weights to train on a back extension machine can be dangerous. You might also hurt yourself if you use heavyweights.

In addition, you can do alternative exercises if you are not comfortable to use the back extension machine. For example, you can do exercises that target the spine such as the bridge, Aquaman, and many others.

For Glutes.

glutes muscle

The back extension machine is also good for exercising the glutes. Having stronger glutes lowers the chance of injuring yourself when lifting objects. To properly focus on glutes, you must position the back extension machine properly. Using the machine yields different results depending on the positioning of the hips pads.  As such, if you want to strengthen your glutes the hips pads must be positioned below hip flexors. That will help you to hit the glutes hard as you lower your body towards the ground.

Back Extension Machine Exercises.

There are various exercises that you can do using the back extension machine. You can do the traditional back extension exercise. Additionally, you can bring up the weights such as kettlebell and dumbbell to challenge yourselfs. You can also play around with the chair and do many variations while using the same equipment. Below are some of the exercises that you can do when you have a back extension machine.

Kettlebell Row.

This exercise is good for muscle building. It also challenges your body as you exercise on the back extension machine. However, you must start by using low weight kettlebells to avoid injuries. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Position yourself on the back extension machine or a Roman chair. Make sure that your hips are beyond the hip pad.
  2. Hinge at the hip and pick up the kettlebells on the floor
  3. Squeeze your glutes and keep your neck packed as you lift the kettlebells. Bring the kettlebells up close to the chest.
  4. Lower the kettlebells to the floor and rest them on the floor as you draw your upper body downwards as if you are bowing with your head going down close to the floor.
  5. Then lift the dumbbells up and make several sets.

Side Crunches.

Side Crunches

The side crunches engage your abs and waist. As such it is good for strengthening the abs and shaping the waist. In addition, they also target the internal and external obliques. To do the exercise, you can follow the steps below;

  1. Lean into the machine sideways, with your hip resting on the hip pad. Place your hands behind your head with the elbows pointing sideways.
  2. Bend laterally as far as you can.
  3. Slowly bring your body back to the starting position. Then twist forward your upper body.
  4. Dip your body again and make several reps.

Final Thoughts

The back extension machine is effective in exercising various muscles. For example, the machine is good for exercising the erector spinae. As you do variations, you can also target other muscles such as the core, abs, glutes, hips, rhomboids, and more. The machine also uses your body as resistance. However, the machine can result in injuries if used in bad form. You may strain your muscles and hurt your spine if you use the machine improperly.

Share your back extension machine experience. Is it worth your precious time and sweat?

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