By Dr. John Blenio

The Back Extension Bench at your local gym is one of the best devices you can use for a very thorough core workout. I haven’t seen anyone do the type of core workout I demonstrate in this video before. It’s a core workout I made up on my own while at the gym working out my core musculature to strengthen what I felt was a weak and achy low back one day. What I found after doing this workout, was that my lower back and core felt amazing. And with that, I want to share it with others.

After this workout, the weakness and unstable feeling I had in my lower back completely went away. There was, however, one more thing I added that is not included in this video. I went to the foam roller area of the gym for about 15 minutes, and I completely rolled my gluteus muscles, my hip muscles, and my legs.

In my professional opinion, I think this workout is a great way for people with lower back problems to rehab their lower back and reestablish strength. There are some minor do’s and don’ts though.

Do not do this exercise if your lower back is acutely painful. If it’s hard for you to walk, or get out of a chair, because of severe pain, this workout is not for you. Go see your chiropractic sports therapist and have him work on it and get you to a point where strengthening is an active part of the plan.

By doing the movements I show in the following video, you will get an amazing core and lower back workout of the following core muscles (among others):

1. Lumbar spinal muscles
2. Quadratus Lumborum muscles (QL)
3. Abdominus Obliques
4. Transverse Abdominus
5. Hamstrings (Note: Laying in this position on the back extension bench results in an isometric hamstring workout. Hamstrings are often weak in people with lower back pain.

Sorry about the loud noises in the video. This video was taken during peak hours at the local gym. I’ll try and rerecord this video and repost when I take video during a quieter period of the day.

~ John Blenio is a Doctor of Chiropractic at High Amplitude Health in San Mateo, California. His focus is on chiropractic sports medicine, treating professional and amateur athletes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.