How To Strengthen The Lower Back With Exercises

How to strengthen the lower back with weight training and exercises.

Why strengthen the lower back?

Though the legs are to be used primarily for all heavy lifting, the lower back should be strengthened to prevent injury during lifting and other activities. This can be done safely and efficiently with weights if you know what to do. Powerlifters will want to strengthen the lower back for the deadlifting competition. Weightlifters will strengthen the back for the clean and for the clean and jerk lifts. Bodybuilders will want a strong back to steady and control heavier weights when used for bodybuilding exercises that require them.

Here is our lower back routine.

1. The Deadlift

2. The Straight back barbell lift

3. The Single dumbbell, straight back pickup or lift

4. Leg raises or lifts.

The Deadlift is performed bending at the knees and grasping the barbell. A primary hand (your left or right depending on whether you are left or right handed) overhand grip and an underhand grip with the remaining hand will insure control of the weight while lifting. Lift with the legs then straighten the back at the end of the first movement. Breathe out on the first motion and in on the second as you set the weight down. For strength, do a light set of 10 to warm-up. Next use a heavy barbell for a set of 6,4 and 2 repetitions in that order, increasing the weight as you decrease the reps. A weight belt is really mandatory for this type of exercise. A spotter and workout partner are also highly recommended.

Now we come to the straight back barbell lift (it goes by many other names). First attempt this exercise with just a barbell and no plates or with a broom handle until you get the idea. Bend at the waist only and grasp the bar. Straighten up again. You must perform this with a weight so light there is no chance of injury and yet heavy enough that it enables you to sense the back muscle being worked. A weight belt is mandatory. If you are not sure you can or should be doing this, please don't. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps. Increase the weight gradually over a period of weeks or months.



Now we have the single dumbbell, straight back pickup or lift. Perform the same exercise as above with a can of soup or a light dumbbell to start. We will increase weight gradually over time. With your weighted object in one hand and using one arm only, lift for 8 reps. Switch back and forth between each arm. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Use proper breathing at all times. Breath out on the first movement and in on the second. Count to 4 silently in your head during the second movement to make sure exercises are done slowly for maximum growth.

Finally we have the leg lifts. Laying flat on your back, lift the legs up 12 inches, separate them wide, bring them back together then down without touching the floor. Continue this process till exhausted, not stopping or touching the floor and counting to 15 at each position before moving on. This will also work the waistline. Keep plenty of water around during any workout.

This should help strengthen the lower back greatly over time.

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