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How to do a Back Extension with Twist

The back extension is great for people who are looking for a basic exercise that targets lots of muscles in the body. In order to achieve the best results, be sure to increase the intensity of the exercise once it becomes too easy.

About the Back Extension with Twist

The back extension with twist is a great exercise for people who have at least a moderate amount of experience with weight lifting. This exercise targets muscles in your lower back, glutes, hamstrings and obliques. Strengthening these muscles not only enhances their appearance, but also can prevent back strain and pain. Since this targets such a large number of muscles, it's great for people who are looking for exercises that will provide them with the most bang for their buck.

Positioning Your Body

The most important thing to keep in mind when positioning your body for the back extension with twist is making sure that the equipment is set up properly. Step into the back extension machine, making sure that the ankle bar is firmly in place slightly above your heels, and the hip bar is resting directly in front of your pelvis. Bend from the waist, allowing your upper body to fall toward the ground. Cross your arms over your chest, making an "x."

Performing the Back Extension with Twist

Now that you are properly positioned, you can perform the back extension with a twist. To start, take a few deep breaths. As you exhale, use the muscles in your lower back, glutes and hamstrings to lift your upper body to an upright position. You should now be in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Do this another few times, until you feel comfortable. Lower yourself back down to the starting position. This time, as you lift your upper body, slightly turn to the right as you come to an upright position. Repeat this 10 times before taking a short break. Do another 10 repetitions, this time turning to the left side. Do another two sets of 10 repetitions on each side in order to achieve optimal results.

Increasing the Intensity

The back extension with a twist is a great total body exercise that strengthens and tones your body. If you notice that the exercise has become too simple, there are some easy ways that you can increase the intensity. Start by holding a weight plate firmly in your arms as you perform the exercise. This increases the weight that the muscles must work against, thereby increasing the intensity. In addition, you can make the exercise more difficult by holding your body in the upright position for a count of three on each repetition, instead of immediately lowering back to the starting position. Try each of these maneuvers in order to find the one that works best for you.

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