How to do Back Extensions without a Machine
I love having a home gym.
I can train whenever I want, listen to what music I want, and do whatever I want to. However it does mean limited space, and therefore equipment.
If I had a bit more room, I’d jump on the opportunity to buy a glute-ham raise and back extension machine. Especially considering back extensions are one of the best exercises for developing the glutes, hamstrings and lower back.
Fortunately Bret Conteras and Lawrence Judd introduced me to a few ways to perform back extensions just using a powerrack, barbell and bench! They might not be a straight swap for back extensions but they sure are close.
Standard Back Extensions
Simply slide the safety pins, just over the top of a standard bench. You can either hook your feet under the bench or the under the pins. As said, this isn’t a straight swap due to slightly less range of motion, but you can add resistance through a variety of means (bands, chains, plate, dumbbell, vest) if you’re looking to increase the difficulty.
45-degree Back Extensions
45-degree version is slightly more difficult to set-up due to the feet placement. Firstly, set a barbell up at around 45-degrees on the power racks pegs and place a pad or towel over the barbell. In the video I hooked my feet under a bench which is slightly awkward, you’ll do best if you get your training partner to pin your feet to the ground instead.