lower back exercises

You Must Do These 7 Lower Back Exercises – Safe & Effective

In This Article

What are the lower-back muscles?

The Importance of Lower Back Exercises

7 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back

When we train to strengthen a certain part of our body, we may think about our abs, legs, or shoulders, but we often neglect our lower back exercises. But we must know that a weak lower back may affect our exercise. In severe cases, it may cause physical discomfort and even injury.

Lower back exercises can be confusing for some people because they are done through the core muscles. When we are in the gym, we may see many people doing sit-ups and leg raises to train the core muscles, but we must know that the lower back is also part of the core muscles. If you want a complete core workout, you should also perform lower back exercises. To do lower back exercises well, lower body exercises are also very important. You can read The 7 Best Lower Body Exercises to Level-Up Your Leg Day for better lower body exercises.

If we want to increase strength, then it is very important to perform lower back exercises to strengthen the lower back. Because many of the movements we need to do, such as compound movements such as deadlifts and squats, require lower back strength. If you can do lower back exercises well, you will get more benefits. From now on, we can incorporate lower back exercises into our fitness plan to enhance our lower back strength. These 7 lower back exercises not only strengthen your back but also support your core and other parts of your body.

What are the Lower-Back Muscles?

The lower-back muscles, also known as the lumbar muscles, are a group of muscles located in the lumbar region of the back. These muscles play a crucial role in supporting the spine and helping with various movements of the trunk. Some of the key lower-back muscles include:

Erector Spinae: This group of muscles runs along the length of the spine and helps with back extension (bending backward).

Quadratus Lumborum: Located on either side of the lumbar spine, this muscle helps stabilize the pelvis and spine during movement.

Multifidus: These deep muscles run along the spine and provide stability and support during movements.

Latissimus Dorsi: While primarily considered a muscle of the upper body, the latissimus dorsi also connects to the lower back and helps with various movements like pulling and lifting.

Obliques: The internal and external obliques are located on the sides of the abdomen and lower back, helping with twisting and bending movements.

These muscles work together to support the lower back, maintain proper posture, and assist in everyday movements like bending, twisting, and lifting. Strengthening and stretching exercises targeting these muscles can help improve core stability and reduce the risk of lower back pain and injuries.

The Importance of Lower Back Exercises

The lower back is also part of our core and needs to be able to withstand the pressure our body exerts, whether it’s gravity or other forces. Engaging in lower back exercises offers a wide array of benefits for overall health and physical well-being. Some of the key benefits of incorporating lower back exercises into your fitness routine include:

Improved Posture: Strengthening the muscles in the lower back can help improve posture, reducing the risk of slouching and contributing to a more aligned and upright posture.

Reduced Risk of Lower Back Pain: Regularly exercising the lower back muscles can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain, a common issue for many individuals, especially those with sedentary lifestyles or jobs involving prolonged sitting.

Enhanced Core Strength: The lower back is an integral part of the core muscle group. Strengthening these muscles contributes to overall core strength, providing stability for the entire body and improving balance and coordination.

Support for Daily Movements: A strong lower back can assist with everyday movements such as bending, lifting, and twisting, making these activities easier and reducing the risk of strain or injury.

Prevention of Injuries: Strengthening the lower back muscles can help reduce the risk of injuries during physical activities and sports, as well as in occupations that involve manual labor or repetitive movements.

Improved Athletic Performance: Strong lower back muscles contribute to overall athletic performance by enhancing power, agility, and stability, which are essential for various sports and physical activities.

Better Spinal Health: Lower back exercises can help maintain the health and integrity of the spine, promoting proper alignment and reducing the risk of degenerative conditions associated with poor posture and weak muscles.

Overall Functional Fitness: Including lower back exercises in your workout routine can enhance overall functional fitness, making everyday activities easier and more manageable.

7 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back

These exercises can strengthen your lower back. Incorporate these lower back exercises into your current workout routine, or focus them all on your lower back.

1. 45 Degree Extension

The 45-degree back extension exercise, also known as hyperextension, is a great exercise for targeting the lower back muscles, particularly the erector spinae.

1. Position yourself face down on the machine with your hips resting against the pad and your ankles secured under the footpads.
Cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your head (avoid pulling on your neck).
2. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, slowly lower your upper body towards the floor by hinging at the hips.
3. Lower your torso until you feel a stretch in your lower back and then raise your upper body back up to the starting position by contracting your lower back muscles.
4. Avoid hyperextending your back at the top of the movement.


2. Toe Taps

Toe taps are a simple and effective exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, particularly the lower abs.

1. Engage your core muscles by pressing your lower back into the floor.
2. Lift your legs off the ground, bending your knees at a 90-degree angle so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
3. Keep your shins parallel to the floor, creating a tabletop position with your legs.
4. This is the starting position for the toe taps.
5. Keeping your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor, slowly lower one foot towards the ground by straightening that leg.
6. Only lower your foot as far as you can while keeping your lower back in contact with the floor.
7. Tap your toe lightly on the ground and then return the leg to the starting position.
8. Alternate legs and repeat the movement on the other side.

3. Marching bridge

Marching Bridge exercise is a type of lower back exercise that can exercise our lower back muscles, but also strengthen the gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and core muscles.

1. Engage your core muscles by drawing your navel toward your spine.
2. Lift your hips off the ground by pressing through your heels and squeezing your glutes until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
3. Maintain this bridge position throughout the exercise.
4. Lift one knee towards your chest while keeping your hips level and stable.
5. Lower the lifted leg back to the starting position.
6. Alternate legs and continue marching in a controlled manner, maintaining the bridge position.


4. V-sit

The V-sit is an advanced core strengthening exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, hip flexors, and lower back.

1. Place your hands on the floor slightly behind your hips, fingers pointing towards your feet, for support.
2. Keep your spine straight and chest lifted.
3. Engage your core muscles and lift your legs and upper body off the ground simultaneously, forming a V shape with your body.
4. Aim to balance your sitting bones while keeping your legs and torso lifted.
5. Extend your arms parallel to the ground, reaching forward toward your toes.
6. Hold the V-sit position for a few seconds, focusing on maintaining balance and keeping your core muscles engaged.


5. Side Plank

The side plank is a highly effective exercise for strengthening the obliques, core muscles, shoulders, and hips.

1. Begin by lying on your side with your legs straight and feet stacked on top of each other.
2. Prop yourself up using your lower arm, which should be positioned directly below your shoulder.
3. Your elbow should be in line with your shoulder, and your forearm should be resting on the ground perpendicular to your body.
4. Engage your core muscles to maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
5. Lift your hips off the ground, keeping your body in a straight line, and balance on the side of your bottom foot and your forearm.
6. Ensure that your hips are lifted and not sagging towards the ground.
7. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels, with your shoulder directly above your elbow.


6. Cat cow

The Cat-Cow stretch is a gentle yoga exercise that helps improve flexibility and mobility in the spine while also stretching the back, chest, and abdomen muscles.

1. Keep your spine in a neutral position, with your head in a relaxed position looking down.
2. Lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling, creating a concave shape in your lower back.
3. Your gaze should be forward or slightly upward.
4. Exhale as you round your spine towards the ceiling, tucking your chin towards your chest.
5. Engage your core muscles as you push the floor away, creating a hump in your back like an angry cat.
6. Hold this position for a few seconds, feeling the stretch along your spine.


7. Founder Exercise

The Founder Exercise is a beneficial movement for improving core strength, posture, and overall stability. Incorporate it into your regular workout routine to enhance muscle engagement and promote better body awareness.

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
2. Inhale as you raise your arms in front of you, keeping them parallel to the ground.
3. Lean back slightly while hinging at the hips, maintaining a straight line from your head to your tailbone.
4. Simultaneously, bend your knees slightly as if sitting back in an imaginary chair.
5. Keep your weight on your heels and maintain a strong core throughout the movement.

If you feel that your lower back muscles are weak, you can regularly perform these lower back exercises to strengthen your lower back or prevent lower back injuries. But first, you need to know that each of us has a different body structure, so the exercises required are also different. See what exercises are suitable for you. Please choose the appropriate lower back exercises according to your actual physical condition.

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