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Lower Back Extensions

About The Lower Back Extension Exercise

A strong lower back is a valuable commodity when it comes to the overall improvement of your daily functions. Millions of adults suffer from back pain and it tends to make everyday activities more difficult than they should be. Performing the lower back extension exercise is a very efficient method to strengthen the often problematic lower back region.

Lower Back Extension Video

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How To Do The Lower Back Extension Exercise

  1. Position the padding on the extension platform just below the crest of your pelvis and hook your feet under the ankle supports.
  2. Inhale, cross arms across the chest and lower down slowly while envisioning that you are curling one vertebrae at a time until full spinal flexion is achieved. This method has been shown to be more effective than simply keeping the spine straight and flexing solely at the hips.
  3. Exhale and slowly extend each vertebrae one by one until your upper body and lower body are parallel with each other. Extending beyond this point – hyperextension – will increase the risk of sustaining an injury to the lumbar portion of the spine.
  4. Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.

Lower Back Extension Variations

Holding a barbell across the chest while performing the lower back extension exercise will add weight and increase the difficulty.

Placing hands behind head with elbows facing the ground while performing the lower back extension exercise will also increase the difficulty of the movement.

To increase the difficulty of the lower back extension exercise even further, position your elbows to the sides while hands are behind your head.



The dolphin exercise is a rather unorthodox, yet effective way to strengthen the lower back region. Since the exercise is performed using an exercise ball and in somewhat of an awkward position, a high degree of body awareness is required to execute each repetition properly. Because of this, beginners may find the exercise somewhat difficult to perform and should stick with easier methods to strengthen the lower back.


The Dolphin Exercise Video Is Coming Soon!



  1. Lie face down atop an exercise ball and roll out on your extended arms until the ball as positioned just above the pelvic region.
  2. Lift legs from off the ground and move them into an extended position.
  3. Exhale and elevate the extended legs until a contraction is felt within the lower back region. Briefly hold this position before releasing.
  4. Inhale and at a controlled speed, lower the legs back down to the starting position described in phase 2.
  5. Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.

Straight Leg Deadlift

About Straight Leg Deadlifts

This straight leg deadlift exercise is a modified version of the traditional deadlift. The purpose of the straight leg deadlift is to place more of an emphasis on the hamstrings and lower back as opposed to the legs. As discussed in the hamstring article, movements that encompass both knee flexion and hip extension should be included in your program to deliver functional benefits. Due to the complexity of the movement, beginners are at a heightened risk of injury as they do not possess the same body awareness that more advanced trainees do. Because of this, beginners should work with lighter loads or avoid the exercise altogether until they progress with their training programs. With that being said, there are a few important techniques that should be utilized while performing the straight leg deadlift exercise to help reduce the risk of injury…

Exercise Notes

  • Keep back flat to reduce stress. If the back becomes rounded, it places tremendous stress on the inter-vertebral disks of the spine.
  • Positioning the bar as close to the body as possible is another method to reduce the risk of injury. As the arms drift from the body, more stress is placed upon the lower back.
  • The risk of sustaining a spinal injury also increases as the back is hyper-extended. In other words, don’t arch your back at the top of the movement.

Straight Leg Deadlift Video

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How To Do The Straight Leg Deadlift Exercise

  1. Grasp the bar with arms positioned slightly wider than shoulder width. One hand should be facing down while the other should be facing up. This alternating hand position will help you get a better grip on the bar to prevent slippage. Lift the barbell and step back from the platform.
  2. Spread the chest and straighten your back by performing a posterior pelvic tilt. (Stick buttocks out). Knees should be slightly bent.
  3. Inhale, flex at the waist and slowly lower the weight until a mild stretch is felt within the hamstrings. Depending on individual flexibility, this is usually felt when the bar reaches a position approx. 2 inches below the knees.
  4. Exhale and return to starting position at a controlled speed. Throughout the ascent, the muscle recruitment shifts from the hamstrings, to the buttocks, to the lower back. DO NOT finish off the movement by hyper-extending the back. Doing so will increase the risk of lumbar injury.
  5. Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.

Barbell Deadlift

About Barbell Deadlifts

No other exercise signifies raw, functional strength better than the deadlift exercise. Its functionality for both athletics and day to day activities makes it a must for the majority of strength training programs. However, beginners may have a difficult time mastering the somewhat complex movement cues involved, and for that reason, they should first begin with simplistic exercises and gradually progress to the deadlift exercise. With any exercise, employing strict form is essential to ensure your safety. This is especially true for the deadlift exercise since the potential for improper form is higher in comparison to other movements.

Barbell Deadlift Video

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How To Do Deadlifts

  1. Approach an appropriately weighted barbell, bend at both the knees and hips and grasp the bar using a alternated grip. The arms should be extended and positioned just outside of the knees, which should be hip-to-shoulder width.
  2. Spread the chest, flatten the back, ensure that the barbell is positioned over the balls of the feet and mentally prepare to begin the movement.
  3. Exhale and while keeping the eyes focused straight ahead, lift the bar off the floor by extending at the hips and knees. As the bar rises above the knees, shift the hips forward and position the bar against the thighs.
    Tip: Maintain spinal alignment and do not let the hips rise before the shoulders.
  4. Inhale and while maintaining spinal alignment, flex the hips and knees to return back to starting position.
  5. Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.