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Exercises to Strengthen the Lower Back

Lower back exercises mainly work on strengthening the erector spinae. The erector spinae are a group of muscles in the lower back responsible for stabilizing the spine. These muscles allow you to keep an upright posture while standing, and also assist with trunk rotation, lateral bending, and back extension. Your back plays some part in almost any movement of the body. Strengthening the muscles is therefore essential to avoiding injuries which can damage your skeletal structure.

Using heavy weights is not necessary when doing exercises to develop your lower back. Training is best done in the spirit of practicality. Decide which exercises assimilate movements necessary to your daily actions. Since the purpose of the lower back is mainly to stabilize, power is less consequential than balance and durability.

Bent Over Row
Bent-over rows strengthen the rear part of your core, which is a combination of several muscle groups that wrap your torso like a sleeve. With this exercise, the workload is centered on the latissimus dorsi (lats). The lats are large, V-shaped muscles that run from both sides of your upper rib cage, down to where they meet in the small of your back. Standard rows are done with a barbell for best results. Start by standing upright, positioning your feet shoulder-width apart. The barbell should rest on the floor, approximately 12 inches before your toes. With a slight bend in the knees, lean over from the waist, making sure to keep your back in a straight line. Grasp the weight from the floor, and slowly reverse the motion. Pause for a moment at the top position. Lean back down as you did before, lowering the barbell toward the ground. Just before touching the weight to the floor, however, begin lifting into another repetition. Complete ten repetitions.

Back Extension
Back extensions help you to maintain a healthy posture, and reduce the risk of injury in the lower back. They also develop the erector spinae in a way that equalizes the pull from your abdominals, improving posture. On either the floor or a mat, lie face down. Hold your arms flat against. Lift your chest and head as high as you can, and pause for two or three seconds in the uppermost position. Slowly return to the ground, and repeat the movement. Continue in this way for ten repetitions.

Stability Ball Reverse Extensions
This exercise targets the lower region of the erector spinae. For proper execution, it's necessary to obtain a large stability ball that can be found in most athletic stores. Place the ball on the floor. and lay on top of it, face down. Only your chest and stomach should be making contact. Place both hands on the ground beneath you, and walk them forward until you can balance well with your legs suspended mid-air. Lift your heels toward the sky, squeezing your lower back muscles as you do so. Pause for a moment in the highest position, then slowly return your legs to their starting point. Repeat the movement for eight to ten repetitions.

Good Mornings
Stand in an upright position, feet separated to the width of your shoulders. Rest a weighted bar behind your neck, so that it lays across the top of both shoulder blades. Keeping both your back and legs straight, begin leaning forward from the waist. Bring your torso to a ninety degree angle, than slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this movement ten times.