Tip: Ramp Up the Back Extension

Two ways to jack up the intensity of this classic posterior chain exercise. Check 'em out.

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The back extension is the most versatile of the posterior chain (hams, glutes and low back) assistance lifts. Once you master the basic version, here are two ways to ramp it up and increase the difficulty.

1 – Dumbbell/Chain/Weighted-Vest Back Extension

After mastering the basic back extension, it's time to add resistance via external loading. You can hold a dumbbell at chest level, use a chain draped over the neck, or wear a weighted vest. Strong lifters can do around 15 reps while holding onto a 150-pound dumbbell.

2 – Band Back Extension

The band back extension is very challenging. The accommodating resistance makes the exercise increasingly difficult throughout the range of motion and you'll find that the erectors take a beating, but in a good way.

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