"Hyper-Extension… a misnomer." by Corey Springer

“Hyper-Extension… a misnomer.”

By Corey Springer
aka “Narkissos”
Owner of: Apollo Fitness Barbados & NarkSide Nutrition


So many trainees, newbs and veterans alike, rely on this exercise for posterior strengthening.

Truth be told, it’s a simple and almost sexy exercise. Certainly more sexy than deadlifts, and squats.

Certainly safer… right?

Not necessarily.

This however is another discussion altogether.

This particular, albeit brief, article refers to exercise execution.

I see so many people doing this exercise… and rather incorrectly to boot.

I think the greatest misconception stems from the name of the exercise: “Hyper-extensions”.

“Hyper-extensions” denote “the excessive extension of a limb or joint”.

It is important to note ‘excessive’ in this definition.. as this exactly the manner in which lumbar-‘hyperextensions’ are usually executed.

…At least this is normative execution as viewable in gyms across the country.

Upon asking any trainee his reasoning behind ‘hyper-extending’ his spine on the exercise, the common response follows this line: “Well duh dude..It’s necessary for the full contraction of the spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings…”

My question to the average trainee would be: is it really?

Hyper-extending the spine for the above reason makes as much sense as locking out the knees during a squat.

Think about it… Do you walk around with you back hyper-extended?

What are the primary roles of the core musculature… and the posterior chain in relation to the muscles of the core?

What is?

The maintenance of posture of course.

Transposing the positioning of the torso while erect to the parallel-to-floor positioning of the torso during the execution of the exercise, can you see the sense in the hyper-extension of the spine?

I can’t.

Further… It should be duly noted, when people move out of the natural plane of movement, they get injured.

This is often the case with individuals and hyper-extensions.

Ok… that being said… How do i execute MY hyper-extensions?

When seeking to direct maximum stress to my erectors…I stop at the point where my torso is parallel to the floor.

When seeking to minimize erector recruitment, thus directing stress to glutes and hamstrings primarily, i stop just short of parallel.

I believe that the major failings in most people’s training regimes lays in their inability to make contact with the target musculature.

When my torso is parallel to the floor… i can generate a full contraction through-out my posterior chain.

This should be so for all trainees.. providing that they too are able to make that connection with the target musculature.

Be safe my friends.

-Corey Springer

Copyright ©2007-2008 Apollo Fitness Barbados

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