The back extension, if done CORRECTLY, can be a great exercise for hitting the POSTERIOR CHAIN. No, its not JUST for your back, but also for your HAMSTRINGS and GLUTES as well. Unfortunately, many butcher this exercise when performing it in the gym and try to rely solely on their back extensors to do the work instead of also bringing the hip extensors to the party. I show a quick side by side demonstration of a variation I've recently been using in the gym. With the knee's flexed and hip externally rotated, I feel I can isolate the glutes even more over the hamstrings. Haven't found any studies on it or the � pump…@bretcontreras1 what say you?
✅ Keep tension in your hamstrings and glutes as you descend. And SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT to initiate the extension motion! Think of thrusting your hips into the pads in front of you and really drive home that hip extension.
✅ Stop at parallel. Once you've used your hip extensors to bring you from hip flexion to neutral, the exercise is DONE. There is no need to go into lumbar HYPEREXTENSION as the only way you'll get there is by using your back extensors and paraspinals.
✅ Set up properly. Adjust the romain chair so you can effectively HINGE at the hips, as shown in the last clip. If the chair is set too high, your hinge point with be at your LUMBAR SPINE and NOT YOUR HIPS ❌. So no matter how effective you are at activating your glutes/hamstrings, the fulcrum is at your lumbar spine. Biomechanics is biomechanics and that means you'll be moving predominantly from your back and NOT your hips.
Yes, deadlifts variations can just as easily hit the posterior chain. Also, I'd take a GHD or even a reverse hyper machine any day over a Romanian chair, however many gyms aren’t equipped with that equipment and this is applicable for most! Happy thrusting!