Prone Spinal Extension with Rotation
The goal of this exercise is to challenge muscular endurance and strength in the lumbar spinal extensors and deep lumbar rotators, as well as prone balance, core stabilization and shoulder girdle stabilization.
Set Up and Alignment:
Lie prone with the hips and abdomen centered on the dome. Passively flex the trunk, draping over the dome with the forearms, knees and lower legs resting lightly on the floor. Place the palms flat on the floor and rest the forehead on the back of the hands.
Begin to slowly extend the spine. Then, continue the extension while simultaneously rotating the trunk to one side. Keep the elbows open and the scapulae partially retracted. Pause at the top of the movement, then lower back to the starting position. Perform 8 to 20 repetitions to fatigue, alternating sides and adjusting the reps based on overall workout time and goals.
Rest the hands lightly on the floor while extending the spine to make the exercise easier. Lift the leg that is opposite the direction of spinal rotation to make it more challenging.
Focus the gaze directly down for less balance challenge. Shut the eyes for more balance challenge.
Hold a body bar parallel to the floor and in front of the chest to add resistance and additional challenge.
Keep one elbow on the floor while extending and rotating for an easier variation. Extend the elbow of the upper arm at the top of the movement for more challenge.
Initiate the extensions/rotation movement at the lumbar spine, rather than lifting the head or the arms. Maintain neutral cervical alignment throughout the exercise. Parital scapular retration will stabilize the shoulder girdle and help isolate the movement in the lumbar region. Move with a slow, even tempo, and avoid using momentum to extend and rotate the spine.