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Lower Back Exercise Routine To Strengthen Your Core  

Go Reviews Note: Extensive workout routines that do not include the core or back area can lead to muscle imbalance causing back problems. Rob explains how lower back exercise is an essential part of your total fitness program.

by Rob DeMaio


Lower back exercise is an important component to an overall weight training and/or fitness routine. The lower back muscles are assisting other muscle groups during almost every weight training exercise and need to be very strong to be in this supporting role. It is also necessary to keep these muscles flexible. The lower back muscles are part of your core. The core muscles are the power house of your body and should be a part of every workout. Due to their vital importance to your overall health, you need to know how to use them and train them properly. In this article we will focus specifically on the lower back portion of the core.

Lower back exercises should be done at the end of your training routine due to the fact that they need to assist the prime movers during other exercises. For example, in a traditional squat movement the lower back muscles are firing to help balance the position of the body relative to the Olympic bar which is resting across the upper traps along your shoulders. The prime movers of the squat are the leg muscles while the lower back muscles are the assisters. The squat can be a very fatiguing movement for the legs but also for the lower back. This is why you would not want to fatigue the lower back muscles before you perform the squat.

The appropriate time to perform lower back exercise would be at the very end of your workout. Because the lower back does assist in so many movements, it is not necessary to train it in the same manner you train other body parts. A few safe and effective movements are enough lower back exercise to keep the muscles up to task as an essential part of the core.

Here are a few examples that can be done on a daily basis. Included are a few stretches that are also a good idea to make a part of your daily routine.


  • Prone position, arms overhead and legs extended.
  • Lifting opposite arm and leg, then switch.
  • Holding each lift for a one count pause.
  • Face hovering off the surface of the floor, shoulders drawn down, and abdominals engaged.
  • Do an alternating count of 5 to 10 reps per side.


  • Can be done on a hyperextension bench.
  • Arm position-down at the sides, crossed at chest, or hands behind head
  • Extend body up to a straight line from hips to head and back down.
  • Repeat 5-10 reps, moving slowly, keeping abdominals engaged


  • On all fours start with back flat
  • Flex spine up into a cat stretch, tucking chin and tail
  • Hold for one breath and then articulate back to a flat back
  • Repeat 5 full reps


  • Lie on back and pull knees into chest
  • Hold 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2-3 reps

If you currently have back pain or are not on a physician approved fitness program get clearance from your doctor before attempting any lower back exercises. Lower back exercises should only be performed with a healthy back. This lower back exercise routine can be done 3 to 5 days per week. It is also a good idea to have a certified instructor or Physical Therapist watch your form before you do these exercises on your own.

For more free workouts and fitness advice visit:


About the Author

Rob has been involved in the development of health and fitness programs since 1989. His journey started with an interest in competitive bodybuilding in high school. Since then, he has competed in collegiate track and field as well as events ranging from Adventure Racing to marathons. Rob is also an avid cyclist competing in a variety of disciplines including Cross-Country and 24-Hour Mountain Biking as well as Road Racing and Criteriums.


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