Back Extension Variations

Note: This is an “InstaSnack” post – a snackable quick contortion exercise from my Instagram account. For more InstaSnacks, click here.

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Back extensions are a suuuuuuper important conditioning exercise for contortion. I do anywhere from 40-80 over the course of a training session. I like to try different arm variations to make them easier/harder based on how I’m feeling, or to engage different muscles. Here are 4 of my faves: 1️⃣ Locust Arms – beginner-friendly! This is the easiest version since your arms can “help” you pull yourself back with their weight. If you’re just starting our, give these ones a try first. 2️⃣ Arms Behind Back – what I always default to. I’ll re-cross my arms halfway through to make sure I’m not doing anything weird on one side vs the other. 3️⃣ Big Bird Flaps – Start with your arms out straight at shoulder height, and at the top of your back extension pull your arms back by squeezing your shoulders – this is a nice active stretch that helps with your pecs/chest flexibility as well! You want to keep your “flapping” motion straight back from your shoulders (don’t think about going “up” or “down”). 4️⃣ Cactus Arm Squeezes – Start with your arms in cactus position or a W position. At the top of your back extension squeeze your shoulders together to bring your elbows back and together. You can think about trying to squeeze your elbows together and towards your butt as you lift. This one should give you some serious feels in the shoulders! . . . #contortion #contortionist #flexibilitytraining #backday #warmup #backbend #backextension #activeflex

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