Lower Back Exercises That Strengthen Your Core

Lower Back Exercises That Strengthen Your Core

Developing a strong core is something that is high in demand with many individuals who exercise.  A strong core can help increase the look and appearance in a bikini, board shorts, and can have great functionality for everyday life.  For example, a strong core can help eliminate lower back pain and can stabilize the body for many movements.  While working on the core is something you may regularly perform in the gym, consider adding exercises to directly and indirectly work the lower back muscles to add more body support.  Listed below are some suggested exercises to add to your resistance training program to work the lower back muscles.

The Top Lower Back Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

  • Back Extensions. This exercise is ideal for working the lower back muscles because it simulates the movement of an abdominal crunch, but it is the exact opposite.  This exercise has the body bending at the hip area and hyperextending so that a slight backbend occurs.  The benefit is that you perform these against the resistance of gravity, meaning it is harder to perform than a typical backbend.  This exercise should entail more reps per set and with little rest between sets.  The lower back muscles are involved with posture, meaning they need to be conditioned and be able to resist fatigue.  Add in small weights for more resistance if you want to add more strength in the lower back.  Start with three sets of maximal reps on the hyperextension bench and if you want more challenge, try a back extension using a stability ball.
  • Good Mornings. They sound like a peaceful exercise, but they actually work you, a lot.  Similar to the back squat, good mornings require a squat rack and weights. Start slow with the weight on this exercise until you are more comfortable to manage more weight.  Good mornings are great for increasing overall core strength and it targets specifically the lower back area.  A demonstration on proper form for a good morning exercise can be found here.  Start with three sets of 10 and be cautious about increasing the load until you are certain your form is perfect.
  • Deadlifts. A deadlift will primarily work the glutes and hamstrings, but secondarily a deadlift can target the entire body, including the lower back area.  The portion of the lift where the body is raising up to a standing upright posture is where the lower back receives its benefits.  Start with three sets of 10 and progress with more weight as your body adjusts.
  • Cat/Cow. This is a yoga pose or a good warmup exercise for the lower back.  Generally it involves the body to be on all fours and lifting the spine and shoulders directly up followed by moving the spine forward (chest to the ground).  When this happens, the spine is moving, which helps increase spinal range of motion.  If you sit behind a desk or are required to do plentiful sitting in a given day, this exercise can help ease lower back issues by keeping it relaxed.  Start out with three sets of 10 cat/cows.
  • Knee-to-chest. This is often a glute stretch, but it feels amazing on the lower back.  Following a day where the body has been upright or following a walk or jog, this exercise can help stretch the glutes and the lower back together.  Start with both knees to the chest and progress into one knee at a time.  Start with four sets of knees to the chest for a total duration of 30 seconds each set.

When it comes to dealing with lower back issues, take due diligence.  If it is a mild ache or pain, consider stretching exercises and see if it helps.  Be very cautious if you experience any pain during any weight lifting for the lower back.  Your technique and form will need to be impeccable.  If at any time you experience pain or have chronic or acute lower back pain, consider discussing your pain with your doctor.  The information presented here is not intended to replace the advice of a physician and should be used to help improve strength of a particular area of the body.



[1] http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/hyperextensions-back-extensions

[2] http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/back-exercises/3-exercises-strong-lower-back

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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