10 Hyperextension Exercises Your Glutes Will Thank You For – Byrdie

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For those who are unfamiliar with the term, hyperextensions are an important movement involving the joint surpassing its normal range of motion. They are extremely effective in building strength, enhancing mobility and improving control of the muscles running the posterior chain (back of the body).
The nature of this extension means your glutes, hamstrings, calves, lats and erector spinae—the muscles and tendons lining the length of the spine-are put to work! In particular, hyperextensions are perfect for building on your glute strength while protecting your lower back from injury.

Many of us find ourselves gravitating to work on our anterior chain, the muscle groups located at the front of the body. After all, these are what we see first in the mirror. But building a strong and balanced posterior supports our posture and reduces the likelihood of injuries in this region, as well as helping us move more efficiently. 

Ready to give it a try? Read on to find out what exercises our experts suggest.
Meet the Expert
First and foremost, the body should be warmed up before attempting any hyperextension movements. “I recommend doing some light cardio, just five minutes of walking to get movement in the lower body, followed by stretching your hamstrings or hinging over at the hips to release any pressure that might be building in your lower back,” explains Life Time personal trainer and nutritionist Crystal Parker. “From there, start with body-weight exercises before loading up.”
Proper muscle activation is also essential for performance and injury avoidance. “Hyperextension exercises, in particular, require attention, as they involve a joint going beyond its normal range of motion,” explains STEEZY Studio dance fitness instructor Luis Cervantes. 
If you are feeling weak on a training day, stick to body-weight movements to avoid losing form with added load.
An emphasis on core engagement can be easily overlooked during a movement, but particular focus must be applied during hyperextension exercises, given the increased range of motion required from our hips and legs. “When our core muscles are not engaged, our lower back ends up taking on most of the pressure from the exercise and can arch, eventually leading to pain or discomfort in that area,” says Cervantes.
Another consideration is control over your speed to avert any jolts in the body. “Maintain a slow and steady pace to avoid sudden or jerky movements that can cause injury,” he says.
Luis Cervantes / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
This core-focused exercise targets the side glute (gluteus maximus), but also works the lower back, making it optimal for strengthening these regions.
Crystal Parker / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
This exercise is designed to tone the glutes and work the hamstrings, as well as the lower back. Building stronger glutes can help improve your balance and mobility.
Luis Cervantes / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Supermans bring enhanced awareness to your back muscles. This exercise not only works the muscles surrounding the spine, but improves mobility in the upper body.
Luis Cervantes / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Luis Cervantes / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Hip thrusts target the posterior chain of the body, building your glute and hamstring muscles and also strengthening your core, back, shoulders, and even the triceps.
Crystal Parker / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Similar to a bench hip thrust, this exercise builds strength in the glute region and the lower back, while challenging your stability on the ball.
Crystal Parker / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
The Donkey Kick is a great alternative to the squat for working on the glutes, lower back, and core, and is helpful in improving stability and posture.
Crystal Parker / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Similar to a hamstring curl, this exercise involves balance, stability, glutes, hamstrings, and core strength to execute with precision.
Luis Cervantes / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Crystal Parker / Unsplash / Design by Tiana Crispino
Back extensions on a stability ball are an advanced exercise, given the balance and strong core requirement. These will put your lower-back strength and stability to the test.
Given the precise body positioning required for this exercise, it helps to have a mirror or a “spotter” present to ensure perfect form.
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