Your back is constantly working. If your body is performing some kind of movement, your back is likely contributing to the effort.
Since there is so much demand on this part of your body, it’s important that you build and maintain your lower back muscles. This is necessary in order to continue performing routine chores and movements without risk of strain or injury.
Keep in mind, if you have or currently suffer from lower back pain or injury, consult with your doctor on which exercises you can do that won’t do any additional harm.
You can do the following exercises with an unweighted bar or with a small amount of weight. Before you begin a strength training workout, be sure to warm up by doing 3 minutes of a cardio exercise.
Also, when performing the exercises, remember to incorporate proper breathing techniques. It’s a common tendency to hold your breath while you exert yourself. Instead, breathe out while you are exerting your muscles and breathe in while you retract them.
1. Good Mornings
This exercise simulates the process of bowing. Grip an unweighted bar with both hands, raise it over the back of your head and rest it on your shoulders. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
Keep your back straight and slowly bend forward at your waist until your torso is parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 3-to-5 seconds then slowly raise your torso upright to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
2. Upright Rows
In addition to strengthening your lower back, this exercise helps create definition in your shoulders and pectorals. Stand with your feet slightly apart.
Using a weight bar with either a small amount of weight or no weight, grip the middle of the bar keeping your hands about 12 inches apart with your palms facing your body.
Keeping your shoulders straight, slowly pull the bar up until it nearly touches your chin. As you lift the bar, keep your shoulders down and your elbows up above your ears. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then slowly lower the bar back to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
The primary benefit of the deadlift exercise is to strengthen your lower back, but it also helps tone your buttocks, shoulders, and leg muscles.
Place an unweighted or slightly weighted bar on the floor in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and lower your torso by bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel to the floor.
Grip the bar with both hands and straighten up until you are standing upright and the bar is resting against your thighs. Repeat this motion for 2 sets of 10 repetitions. For maximum benefit, keep your motions at a slow even pace.
In addition to strengthening your lower back, it’s important to maintain your abdominal strength because the back and abs oppose each other. You run the risk of injury if there is an imbalance in the two muscle groups.