Back Extension vs Deadlift: Differences, Pros, Cons

Back Extension vs Deadlift

Back extension vs deadlift: A basic concept

Lower back pain is a common problem among sportspersons, even common people who engage in a sedentary job. So, it is important to strengthen the entire posterior to avoid injuries in this sensitive area. For a sports person, strengthening muscle is a high priority task because it benefits you to lift heavyweight, and improve performance at the gym.

Back extension

Back extension is the most commonly done exercise on 45 degrees back extension bench. It is an effective exercise for people who often suffer from lower back pain while doing machine workouts or any other regular activities. Back extension is a good movement for desk job employees. It can help them to correct posture and nullify the negative consequences of sitting on a chair for 7 hours. Generally, long hours of sitting on chair damage your spine. Thus back extension is an option to correct your spine.


It is one of the common powerlifting movements, but anyone who wants to be more strong can do this exercise. CrossFitters add many variations in the deadlift. So, do according to your capacity and balance. Most of the sportspersons including professional athletes, boxers, Strongman competitors, or even regular gym-goers regularly practice standard deadlift. 

The deadlift requires two pieces of equipment such as one barbell and a few plates. You can purchase them and do workouts at your home ground. It is an effective option with a few amounts of equipment. 


When you do a standard deadlift, you can choose a conventional stance or sumo stance. The most appropriate option depends on the training program and limb proportions.

Back Extension vs Deadlift: Pros & cons

slim sportswoman exercising with barbell in gym
Photo by Ruslan Khmelevsky on

Pros of back extension

  • It is less stressful for your central nervous system, heavy deadlifts is stressful for your lower back and core muscles, and they take more time to recover. If you notice that it is difficult for you, then back extension is a good alternative option to work on the same muscle group without generating lots of fatigue.
  • Suitable for people who are suffering from back injuries. Generally, lower back injury limits you to perform the deadlift. They can do back extension. It will allow them to continue the training for posterior series without lifting heavy loads of deadlifts.
  • You can avoid heavyweight, yet it is an effective option It is not possible to use an equal amount of loads on a back extension that you would utilize in a deadlift. Luckily, you don’t need to perform heavy back extensions in order to get agility or flexibility benefits.

Back extension cons

  • You need to have a back extension machine. Most of the gyms have back extension machines, but you can’t take them at home. 
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  • Back extension makes your back pain worse if you do it in the wrong way. A typical disadvantage is to sprain the back as you lift your middle back up. This packs the spine and, in a direct outcome imaginable, can prompt herniated circles or different wounds 

Deadlift pros

The deadlift is a workout that advances your functional movement which strengthens your lower back and core. Many sportspeople in beginning avoid deadlifts because they try to avoid the risk of injury in the lower back. If they do deadlift with the right form, it can strengthen lower back muscle and makes you less prone to accidents and injury. 

If you practice deadlift, you will be less sensitive to injury while doing daily rigorous activities.

There are lots of variations in deadlifts like standard barbell deadlifts, dumbbell deadlifts, straight-leg deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, deadlifts with pauses and tempos. You can choose any option according to your convenience.

This workout is very effective for sportspersons associated with volleyball, soccer, football, basketball, track, and field


Deadlift cons

Depending upon which variety you do, it can wound your shins. Keeping the bar near your body can cause a few injuries and scratches on your shins. Sumo deadlifts, specifically, will quite often cause wounds on the grounds that your shins are right facing the knurling of the free weight.


The grip is frequently a restricting component. Hold, not by and large strength or procedure is frequently separated sooner during deadlifts. You can mitigate this via preparing your grasp independently, utilizing lifting lashes, and utilizing the hold that best suits your objectives.

Back extension vs deadlifts: Muscle used

Back extension focus on spinal erectors, but the glutes and hamstrings also play a crucial role. Here the erector spines strengthen your back from the bend-over condition where glute and hamstrings effectively stretch your hamstring.

On the other hand, the deadlift is a compound movement that works on glutes, hamstrings, quads, adductors, obliques, abdominals, and spinal erectors. It also focuses on the upper body like traps, rhomboids, and lats.

Apart from these two body conditioning exercises, you can do isometric exercises for lots of benefits. It not only works on muscle but also improves heart condition. Isometric exercises for high blood pressure patient is super effective. People can maintain healthy blood pressure by doing regular isometric exercise.

Read Also: Why Every Powerlifter Should Practice Box Squats.


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