The hyperextension is an effective exercise that will strengthen your lower back, gluteal muscles and hamstrings. You can perform this exercise on a piece of equipment called a roman chair, or you can use a bench. If you do not have this equipment, or if you are simply looking for an adequate alternative that will still strengthen the same muscles, try the quadruped exercise. You can do this exercise almost anywhere and reap the same benefits as the ones you obtain with hyperextensions.
Although the quadruped is an exercise that can be performed in nearly any environment and with no equipment, you want to consider a couple key elements when preparing that will allow you to execute the exercise safely and optimally.. Set up for quadruped exercise indoors in a space that is clear and uninterrupted by people or pets. Having a mat or folded towel handy is a good idea to protect your knees.
Lower yourself to the floor and assume a position on your hands and knees, where your hands are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Engage your abdominal muscles and extend your left leg back and your right arm forward so that both extended extremities are straight and parallel to the floor. Hold this position for five to 10 seconds and then resume your starting position. Repeat this sequence on the other side. Complete 20 repetitions on both sides making sure that you keep your abdominal muscles engaged the entire time to protect your lower back.
It is important for you to stretch after exercising. Stretching your lower back is especially important because your lower back supports your core abdominal muscles and assists with proper posture. The quadruped works to strengthen your lower back, so stretching afterwards will improve your flexibility and decrease your risk of lower back pain. To stretch your lower back, roll over onto your back and hug your knees into your chest. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Tips and Benefits
To improve your stability and maintain good form while performing the quadruped exercise, focus on the floor about 6 inches in front of your hands. People sometimes tend to look back at their legs, which compromises their form. Also remember to keep your abdominal muscles engaged not only to protect your lower back, but also to work your abdominal muscles. When performed correctly, the quadruped exercise will improve your balance and coordination while strengthening your back, gluteus, hamstrings and abdominal muscles.