Back Extension/Hip Extension
Why: Add hip extensions to your training to build a strong core and posterior chain. If you’re fortunate enough to have a GHD machine at your disposal hip extensions can help you build the strength, stability, and flexibility that improve your ability to do other functional fitness movements (go get that Deadlift PR). Hip extensions are most common, but you can also perform back extensions (flex the spine instead of the hip) and back-hip extensions (combine the two movements and flex the hips as you go down and the spine as you go up) on the GHD machine (not to mention GHD sit-ups).
Set-Up: Mount the GHD machine with your butt to the ceiling. For hip extension, set the support pad so the hips are free with the legs straight. (For back extension, set the support pad so the hips are trapped on top of the pad.)
Execution: Start with the hips extended (body parallel to the floor) and arms crossed. Flex the hips as much as possible. Maintain a neutral spine position. Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to return to the start position. To complete the movement, reach full hip extension.
Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– You start and finish with a neutral spine and full hip extension
– You flex the hips to 90 degrees (This is an ideal number and will vary based on flexibility, strength, and kinesthetic awareness. Check the WOD standards if you are performing this movement in competition.)
Pro-Tip: Take a video of your hip extensions. You might think you’ve maintained a neutral spine position, but it’s common to lose the lumbar curve as you get closer to 90 degrees.