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How to Get a Strong Lower Back (Do this Every Day)

Improve your health and fitness.

Learn how to get a strong lower back with these helpful tips from Jeff from Athlean X.

How to Get a Strong Lower Back

“If you have back pain, particularly if you spend a large portion of the day sitting, then you will want to watch this video.  I’m going to show you something you can do every day to get a strong low back and start getting rid of the pain that can keep you from your workouts at the least and be disabling at its worst.”

“Your game plan for getting a stronger lower back starts with the most important exercise of all, the deadlift.  This compound push/pull exercise forms the foundation of any good lifting program.  It is perhaps the most functional exercise outside of the squat and is one that you need to master if you want to build a strong and powerful physique.”

Best back exercises for building muscle Hypertrophy Guide for the Traps Strong Lower BackSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

“The issue with the deadlift is that, if done properly, it lacks the concentric shortening cycle for the lumbar paraspinals (the muscles most often weak when low back pain is present) having instead a heavy reliance on isometric strength of these muscles.  The deadlift is not a back extension movement but rather a hip driving or hip extension and glute firing movement.  The lower back is instead held in a slight arch with an isometric contraction of the lumbar spinal muscles and maintained throughout the bar’s ride to the top.”

How to Get a Strong Lower Back

“If you do this exercise incorrectly you will be using far too much low back, which is not equipped to hold the amount of weight that is usually used on a deadlift.  You need the support of the legs and the incredibly strong muscles of the hips and glutes to drive this movement.  That said, there is a small percentage of concentric shortening of the low back muscles that occurs at the top of the lift (not over extension mind you, just at the top as you reach vertical).  This accounts for a small percentage of the weight lifted.  Because of this, you would have to be deadlifting in the neighborhood of around 500 pounds in order to get an appreciable effect on the concentric overload of the low back.”

“Even then however, the deadlift is not something that you would normally perform on a daily basis, meaning that you would need some other options of things to do on non deadlifting days to keep your lower back getting incredibly strong.  This is where the kettlebell swing comes in.  This exercise is also a hip hinge movement that is performed with much lighter weight than the deadlift.  The benefit is however that it is a conditioning exercise that could fit in perfectly on your non weight training days and can be done for longer time to give you an endurance benefit and the volume needed to train the area properly.”

“That is not enough either though.  This is where you want a staple strength training exercise that can be performed on push days or even leg days that can give you even more overload.  This is where the weighted hyperextension comes in most effectively.  This is the best exercise for taking the lumbar paraspinals from an elongated position to a shortened position to fully train them through their full range of motion.  The big key here is not to do the hyper part of hyperextension.  It isn’t necessary.  You simply want to contract until your spine is in a neutral position, hold for a contraction and then return.”

“Finally, even on non-training days you can and should work on some corrective exercises for your deficiencies. If you have a weak low back, you should explore the use of a couple sets of either high hip bucks or bodyweight supermans just to engage and awaken the muscles of the low back with low intensity but additional volume.  Over the course of time, the use of all of these strategies gives you a daily attack plan that will create an incredibly strong low back and help you to get over most if not all of the back pain you may be having from having let your back get this weak in the first place.”

Video – How to Get a Strong Lower Back

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