Back Extension

by STOTT PILATES on Jul 27, 2009


Begin standing with legs hip-distance apart, holding a golf club or Maple Roll-Up Pole straight out at chest level, and your arms shoulder-distance apart.

inhale   Contract your abdominal muscles and lift hands above your head.
exhale   Reach up as you lift your chest as high as you can.
inhale   Come back to a straight standing position with your hands above your head, then lower your arms to chest height.

Complete 3-5 repetitions


Target Muscles: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; mid back erector spinae concentrically to extend spine; obliques to prevent lumbar extension; scapular stabilizers

Stability: spine during extension; lumbo-pelvic region neutral as thoracic extends

Mobility: spinal extension

  • stabilize pelvis in neutral; avoid posteriorly or anteriorly tilting pelvis
  • avoid rib cage pushing forward
  • maintain pelvis level throughout

Maple Role-Up Pole

Incorporating the Maple Roll-Up Pole into your workout helps stabilize and bring awareness to your shoulder girdle.

For more exercises from STOTT PILATES, visit

STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates’ original exercise method. Master Instructor Trainer, Moira Merrithew, together with President and CEO of STOTT PILATES Lindsay G. Merrithew and a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, has spent more than a decade refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and programming. Each month we will outline a unique exercise you can practice at home or with your clients.

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 7, Issue 7

© 2009 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author