5

I recently just starting working out at a gym, and people told me that I should really work on my lower back and not to skip it etc.

I can understand that it is better to work out all my muscles in my body and not skip any, but what does working out lower back help me with?

Like, does it help my posture or weight lifting?

  • I personally suggest that if you are going to add any special exercises just for your lower back, try to improve your lower back endurance instead of it's strength. – Michael C. Mar 15 '15 at 11:46
  • @TuğberkKocatekin how can I do that? – Shevliaskovic Mar 16 '15 at 8:41
  • Making sure your form is tight, going for repetitions, or holds for time. I believe partial deadlifts, (the upper half) is a great exercise for the back. – Michael C. Mar 16 '15 at 9:18
11

The muscles of the lower back play a critical role in posture, weightlifting (the specific sport), and lifting weights (generally). They keep your torso erect, making them helpful during just about every physical activity that involves running, bearing a load, or jumping. A strong lower back makes back pain and back injury less likely and aids in sports performance of all kinds.

So yes, it's kind of a good idea to strengthen the lower back.

| improve this answer | |
  • Just adding to this, "lower back" exercises (like squats, deadlifts, and cleans) tend to also work the hips, abs, and glutes. They tend to have a light side benefits, especially towards balanced "core" muscles. – Eric Feb 22 '15 at 16:14
  • 1
    +1. The lower back is essentially where you distribute power that comes from the ground up. This makes lower back strength crucial for any upright exercise, even if it isn't lower back oriented. Could be anything from running and jumping, to military pressing and upright rows. Posture is key! And the lower back is the single biggest "joint" in your posture. – Alec Feb 22 '15 at 18:17
  • So I think it should be mentioned that doing compound lifts are enough training for your lower back, if you perform these you shouldn't add any additional lower back exercises (if you don't use a belt that is, that's a different story). If you don't do any compound lifts you should definitely consider it and I don't have experience training your lower back otherwise – Gordijn_forsale Feb 24 '15 at 17:34
  • 1
    @Gordijn_forsale Interestingly, I was just reading Greg Nuckols writeup of a study that includes the tidbit that when it comes to muscle activation, "no significant differences were observed for the spinal erectors" between using a belt and not. It's only one study, but it was a fairly good one. So, it was news to me too, but maybe using a belt doesn't take stress off the lower back! – Dave Liepmann Feb 24 '15 at 20:01
  • 1
    @Gordijn_forsale I'm quite ignorant when it comes to these matters, since belts are an entirely academic pursuit for me. – Dave Liepmann Feb 25 '15 at 21:17
7

Side note for those experiencing back pain. Your spine is held upright by both the rectus abdominis (abdominals) and the erector spinae (lower back). They act in opposition, much like guy wires hold up a radio tower. If tension on one set of muscles is greater/less than the other, there will be stress on the spine. What can happen is that if the abdominals are weak, the lower back muscles will be pulling on the spine more than normal, causing strain in those muscles. So, counterintuitively, a sore lower back can possibly be due to weak abdominals.

| improve this answer | |
  • Great (and accurate) point. – Eric Feb 23 '15 at 4:30
1

Rather than work on the lower back specifically, I recommend working on your core instead. That involves the lower back, the abdominals, the muscles on the sides, etc.

Most people have postural problems related to pelvic tilt; either tilted forward (anterior) or tilted back (posterior). This can lead to lower back pain and problems if you start to lift more weight in squats or deadlifts.

| improve this answer | |
  • I work on all the three you mentioned. – Shevliaskovic Feb 23 '15 at 8:20
1

If you work smart on your lower back not only will it slow down degenerative disc disease, but will be more trained for injuries.

Often people with sedentary work complaint from low back pain or cervical pain. Normal human spine position is straight. When you sit spine take more than 20% more from normal load. Every years catabolic processes destroy more and more cells in intervertebral discs (ivd). Micro traumas like sitting in with bad posture, bending and twist accelerate this process.

When training your low back, you help your muscles where support spine to be more strong and stick it in place. IVDs will get more reserved for long time.

Decreasing degenerative disc disease is complex process. You'll need not only train muscle on low back, but all back, gluteal muscles and legs. They take pressure from body weight when sitting. Exercises like dead lift and squats are great for good body form. I mean every free weight exercise is good choice.

Drink plenty of water not only help for back, but for all body parts.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for looking at the site rules and improving your answer! I submitted an edit with my best guess for what "ddd" is (degenerative disc disease)... in the shorter post I had assumed it was just an uncorrected typo. – Noumenon Feb 23 '15 at 17:05
  • 1
    Great answer, and great edit from +Noumenon (I worked on it a bit too, and linked to the definitions). – Eric Feb 23 '15 at 17:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.