Below is a picture of me in a back extension. Notice how my hands are supporting my spine and that my chin is level. Yes, my eyes are looking up, but my chin is not raised.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Place your hands on your buttocks and bend your knees slightly.
- Contract your abdominals
- Retract your head - just a bit - (as if you just smelled something awful)
- Now, gently, bend backwards to where you are comfortable - keep your nose and chin level -
- The front of your neck is comfortable, DO NOT STRETCH IT
- Okay, now you can look up a little - Still, no stretching the front of your neck!!
- Contract your abdominals and glutteals (your buttocks' muscles)
- Contract your quadriceps (muscles in front of your thighs)
- Use the above contracted muscles to roll you up to a standing position
If you have a serious spine issue, or any limitations, consult with your doctor before performing a back extension. There are some situations, spinal stenosis for one, when a back extension can be contraindicated.