One-leg hyperextension exercise
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One-leg hyperextension

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Hamstrings, Erector Spinae
  • Synergists: Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Stand in the hyperextension bench with one leg. Make sure that your leg is hooked securely under the foot brace and that the front padding rests below your hips to allow your hips room to move.
  2. Cross your arms over your chest.


  1. Inhale as you lower your body until your hips and your back are fully flexed.
  2. Exhale as you raise your body until your hips and your back are fully extended.
  3. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your neck neutral.
  • Do not hyperextend your back.
  • Make the one-leg hyperextension more difficult by either raising your arms over your head or holding a plate to your chest or behind your neck.
  • Make the exercise easier by using both legs. Note, however, that when you use both legs, there is less emphasis on your hamstrings and more on your erector spinae.
  • Although the hyperextension is also often called a back extension, the exercises are actually different. In the back extension, the hips are kept stiff, and all of the movement is in the back/waist. On the other hand, in the hyperextension, there is movement in both the hips and the back/waist. To confuse matters more, there is also the hip extension exercise, in which the back is kept stiff and all of the movement is in the hips! And to confuse matters even more, the word “hyperextension” means to extend something beyond its normal range, and, as instructed above, you should never hyperextend your back!
  • See also the hyperextension and the twisting hyperextension exercises.

One-leg hyperextension video


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