What Is a Good Substitute Exercise for Hyperextensions?
Hyperextensions are effective exercises that work your lower back, gluteus maximus and hamstrings. On the downside, you need a special type of workout bench to perform this exercise. If your exercise program calls for the hyperextension but you don't have the right equipment, you can perform several exercises in its place that target the same muscle groups.
Barbell Bent Knee Good-Morning
The good-morning looks somewhat like a polite bow or greeting, hence the exercise's name. Place and hold a barbell across your upper back and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips until your torso is about parallel with the floor. Do not allow your lower back to round. Stand up straight and repeat. Although the movement comes primarily from your hips and is controlled by your glutes and hamstrings, your lower back muscles must work hard to stabilize your spine and prevent rounding.
Back Extension on Ball
The back extension on ball is very similar to a hyperextension and uses the same muscles -- the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Lie face down on a stability ball, making sure your hips are roughly over the ball's apex. Place your feet against the bottom of a wall for balance. Lower your chest toward the floor and then push your hips into the ball to come back up. Stop rising when your shoulders, hips and feet form a roughly straight line. Place your hands behind your back for an easier workout or behind your head to add intensity.
When you perform hyperextensions you keep your legs still while raising your upper body. Reverse hyperextensions, as you'd expect, involve the opposite movements. Despite the differences, the latter exercise uses the same muscles as the hyperextension, namely, the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. You can perform reverse hyperextensions -- also called reverse hypers -- using a high exercise bench, a specialized reverse hyper bench or machine, or a stability ball. Lie on your front so your legs are free to move from the hips. Hold onto something sturdy to keep your upper body still. Lift your legs until they're extended at the hips and roughly parallel to the floor. Lower them back down and repeat. Make this exercise harder by holding a dumbbell between your feet.
The Romanian deadlift targets your glutes, hamstrings and lower back and is a standing strength exercise that's popular with weightlifters, powerlifters and bodybuilders. Grasp a barbell with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, push your butt back and hinge forward from your hips. Lean over until your back is roughly parallel to the floor but do not let your lower back become rounded. Stand up and repeat. You can also perform this exercise with a pair of dumbbells.
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.