Tip: Do Prisoner Extensions for Hams & Glutes

Build your posterior chain and boost your deadlift with this exercise. Check it out.

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This is an accessory movement for the deadlift with the additional benefit of increasing single-leg stability and flexibility. The majority of stress is on the hamstrings and glute of the stance leg.

This variation doesn't require additional load. Placing the arms in the prisoner position increases the torque loading at the hip by increasing the lever length of the torso's center of mass.

Single-leg Prisoner Back Extension 1

Single-leg Prisoner Back Extension 2

  1. Set up inside a 45-degree hyper and lock only one leg into the foot pad with the other leg resting on top of the other side. The upper body should have a neutral spine and tucked chin, with no excessive arching of the low back.
  2. Hinge at the hips and lower the upper body without rounding the spine until a stretch is felt in the hamstrings. Make sure no rotation occurs at the torso throughout the exercise.
  3. Use the hamstring to pull the torso back in line with the legs and finish with the glutes.

Common Mistakes:

  • Using spinal flexion and extension instead of hip flexion and extension.
  • Allowing the torso to twist throughout the range of motion.
  • Not finishing with glutes and instead arching the low back excessively to finish off hip extension.
Bret Contreras is considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training. He has turbo-charged the fitness industry by introducing effective new exercises and training methods for optimal glute development. Follow Bret Contreras on Twitter