These are 7 of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your lower back and prevent lower back pain from developing or reappearing. If you struggle with sciatica or just nagging low back pain try this workout with very light loads to slowly strengthen and develop your lower back musculature. Experience pain relief and improved strength like you’ve never felt before.
Deep down along your lower back, you have a group of muscles known collectively as the erector spinae which assist with everyday functions like extending and stabilizing the spine. On top of that is a large fan-shaped layer of muscle known as the lats. And on top of that, we have the trapezius, which is a diamond-shaped muscle that runs from behind your head all the way down to your mid-back.
By building up these muscles that run along your back as well as other muscles that support your lower back like your glutes and your core, not only will you develop a more aesthetic looking back, but you’ll also reduce the chances of developing lower back pain, which is one of the most common areas that people experience nagging injuries and pain. So today I want to go over 7 of the best exercises that you can use to strengthen and build up your lower back, and the supporting muscle groups. Before we begin, I want to warn you that if you recently injured your back and you are currently in pain you need to give your body the time it needs to recover.
If that’s the case the best thing you can do is rest and wait until you’ve fully healed before working on strengthening your lower back with the exercises in this video.
With that said let’s start with the first exercise, hyperextensions. This exercise is usually the most common go-to exercise for people trying to strengthen their lower backs. The problem is that most people that use the Hyperextension machine, or the GHR machine, most of them perform hyperextensions incorrectly, and rather than strengthening their lower back, they place it directly at risk for an injury. Whether you’re using a GHR, or a Hyperextension bench the setup will be similar. You will lay facing forward on the bench. The front of your thighs will be resting on a pad, and you’re going to hook your Achilles under the pads at the base. Keep in mind that these machines are adjustable.
Before beginning, you want to adjust the height so that the area right around your hip bones is making contact with the edge of the pad. You don’t want to be so low that your stomach makes contact, and you don’t want to be so high that your upper thighs don’t make contact. Once you’ve adjusted the machine and you’re in a position to begin, you can cross your arms in front of your body or go behind your head if you want a greater challenge. From there lower your upper body down slowly by bending at the waist until you feel a stretching tension building up in your hamstrings and your lower back. Even though this exercise can be performed for partial reps, ideally you want to lower yourself until your upper body is almost fully vertical. Then hold that position for a second and slowly return your body to the upright position.
Now here’s where you want to be careful, not to make the most common dangerous mistake with this exercise. Do not continue extending past the point of a neutral spine. So once you extend your back into a straight line, don’t keep going further back into a hyperextended position, instead, stop at neutral, and lower back down for the next rep. Now if you want to make this exercise even more challenging you can hold a weight against your chest, with your arms crossed over on top, but only add weight, after you’ve mastered the movement and have solid form.
Let’s move on to the next one, kettlebell swings. When done correctly Kettlebell swings are very effective at strengthening and protecting your lower back, They’re specifically good at working your lumbar extensors, but just like with all other back building exercises, if you do them incorrectly they can cause lower back pain, rather than help to fix it. So to begin start with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width and the kettlebell out in front of you. Bend your knees, grab the kettlebell with both hands and remember to keep your arms straight and relaxed throughout this entire exercise, it’s not meant to be an arm exercise, but rather a hip hinging exercise. So stand up straight with the kettlebell and then relax your knees, shift your bodyweight back into your heels, and lower your but backward and down as you swing the kettlebell behind you in between your legs. Then drive through your heels, and explode through your hips. This explosive hip hinging motion should send the kettlebell swinging upward. it’s very important that as you pop your hips forward, you stop them and don’t allow them to go past a neutral spine. Pushing your hips too far forward will hyperextend the spine.