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Back Pain Center

CrossFit Substitute for Back Extension

author image Aubrey Bailey
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.
CrossFit Substitute for Back Extension
CrossFit exercises utilize barbells, rings, kettlebells and body weight for resistance. Photo Credit slavemotion/iStock/Getty Images

Back extension exercises target your hamstrings, glutes and low back muscles all in one movement. However, equipment used for back extensions might not be easy to access unless you join a gym. CrossFit exercises target the same muscles in a similar movement pattern using resistance band, barbells and your own bodyweight as resistance.

Read more: How to Create a CrossFit Workout

Many exercise band exercises can also be performed with medicine balls.
Many exercise band exercises can also be performed with medicine balls. Photo Credit Scvos/iStock/Getty Images

Resistance Bands

Use resistance bands to perform CrossFit exercises that strengthen some of the same muscles as the back extension. These oversized rubber bands are available in a variety of thicknesses that correspond to different levels of difficulty. Good mornings are one CrossFit exercise that can be performed as an alternative to back extensions.

Step 1

Loop the band over your shoulders. Bend forward and loop the opposite end of the band under the arch of both feet. Stand securely on the band throughout this exercise.

Step 2

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and tighten the muscles in your legs. Maintain a slight arch in your lower back throughout the movement.

Step 3

Bend forward at your hips so the band is on slack. Keep your chest up. Squeeze your glutes and stand up straight against the resistance of the band. Do not lift with your lower back.

Step 4

Slowly bend forward at the hips and repeat 10 times.

Barbells allow you to easily increase weight as your strength improves.
Barbells allow you to easily increase weight as your strength improves. Photo Credit slavazyryanov/iStock/Getty Images

Barbell Exercises

Barbell exercises are a key component of CrossFit. One of the fundamental movements in CrossFit -- the deadlift -- targets the same muscles as back extension exercises. Once you perfect your deadlift form, try some variations such as the sumo deadlift or Romanian deadlift. Kettlebells can also be substituted for the barbell during deadlift exercises.

Step 1

Stand with the barbell just in front of your shins. Bend forward at your hips while maintaining a slight arch in your low back. Bend your knees slightly until your hands reach the bar.

Step 2

Grasp the bar using an overhand grip with your arms shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows straight throughout this exercise. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lift your chest and look forward.

Step 3

Stand up while keeping the bar close to your body. You should feel tightening of the muscles in your buttocks and back of your thighs. Lower the bar back down by bending at the hips first. Repeat 10 times.

Bodyweight exercises can be performed virtually anywhere.
Bodyweight exercises can be performed virtually anywhere. Photo Credit OSTILL/iStock/Getty Images

Bodyweight Exercises

Many CrossFit exercises use bodyweight as resistance. The Superman exercise strengthens muscles that extend your back, as well as muscles in your neck, shoulders, upper back and legs. If you are unable to perform this exercise with good form, start by lifting your legs or arms only until your strength improves.

Step 1

Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out overhead.

Step 2

Lift your arms, chest and legs off the floor as high as possible. Look straight ahead and hold this position for 10 seconds.

Read more: 16 Essential CrossFit Moves

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