Lower Back Exercises: Avoid Pain and Enjoy a Strong Core!

Basics of Lower Back Exercises

Doing your lower back workouts can prove to be one of the most important time investments you'll make - I wish I made the investment back in high school when I ended up with a double stress fracture in my lower back. It was probably a combination of weak lower back muscles and abdominals resulting in poor back support. I played a lot of sports, so having this sort of weak spot was extremely limiting!

But not all is lost - it's never too late to start doing lower back workouts (or any other workout actually). The best thing about your lower back muscles is that you can work them anywhere! Most of the exercises don't require weights, machines or tubes, but rather yourself and a little space.

Benefits of Lower Back Exercises

I've put together some great reasons for you to work your lower back - it's an area of your body that shouldn't be taken for granted. It supports your entire lifestyle!

  • If you're not lying down, you're using your lower back muscles. If they're weak, expect back pain later in life. Is that enough incentive? If not, here're some more reasons...
  • Having strong lower back muscles dramatically improves your posture. This means you'll look and feel healthier, slimmer and more confident.
  • Even sitting puts a ton of strain on your lower back muscles, especially if you slouch in your chair! In fact, it's probably even more pressure than when standing up (your back is straighter in this position). Many people who have computer jobs (or anything that requires long periods of sitting) experience back pain because of weak lower back muscles. It can be alleviated by simply sitting up straight in conjunction (hopefully) with doing your lower back exercises.
  • low back pain
  • Most people with back pain are afraid to exercise their back in fear of causing more pain and damage. This is simply not true. People have also been under the impression that abdominal exercises help rid their chronic back pain. Although this is true, doing ab workouts incorrectly can result in more damage, so make sure you're doing everything right! Furthermore, lower back exercises are just as important as ab exercises. Both should be done in conjunction because they are opposing muscle groups! When one works, the other relaxes and vice versa. As with every other muscle group, injuries can result if when antagonizing muscles are different in strength.
  • Stretch!

    Your lower back muscles are extremely delicate in the sense that overworking them can result in significant pain for days, if not weeks. One important aspect of your lower back that you should never overlook is stretching. I'll say this again...

    Always stretch your lower back!

    One more time? Always stretch your lower back! Both before and after your back workouts.

    yoga stretching Flexibility in this area will allow you to stand up straight as well as duck under low objects with ease. You'll really start to see why you need to stretch as soon as you start doing lower back exercises. It's normal to feel tight and sore, but if tasks become difficult, make sure you're doing enough stretching.

    It's important to begin these workouts gradually. Eventually increase the intensity and/or frequency once your feel capable to do so. Do not over-strain your back - you'll be doing more harm than good.

    Lower back workouts should not be painful! If you experience aching pains during the exercises (rather than a tightening or burning), then stop and check the procedure once more to make sure you’re doing it correctly. If the pain continues, consult your physician.

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    The Exercises

    The table below consists of stability ballworkouts that can all be considered under the umbrella of 'lower back exercises'. These, along with pushup workouts and ab workouts are extremely useful for developing lower back muscles and core stabilizers. There are many more exercises to come!

    Ab Workout Basics Core Stabilizing Muscles
    Abdominals Obliques
    Ball Crunches Torso Rotations
    Reverse Crunches Dynamic Torso Rotations
    Supine Ball Crunches
    Ball Rolls
    Knee Tuck
    Ball Weave
    Crunches with Weight Plate
    Scissor Kicks
    Leg Raise
    Sit Ups w/ Exercise Bands
    Exercise Ball Exchange

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