The Important Role of Your Lower Back & How to Strengthen it

To figure out how to strengthen your lower back, you need to understand how the back system works. The human body is not just a collection of separate parts (like pieces in a Lego set); it is a complex machine that consists of interdependent subsystems with dynamically changing relationships. It must be treated as one big integrated system from the functional point of view. 

Tension and compression forces must be constantly balanced in all movement systems for the body to function properly. A key factor for a pain-free life is to maintain this balance.

In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the important role your lower back plays and some simple exercises you can do to strengthen it.

The Function of Your Lower Back

The three primary functions of the lower back are:

  1. Stability: The lower back provides support for the upper body.
  2. Locomotion: The lower back works to keep you moving when you walk or run.
  3. Quadrupedal locomotion: When you walk on all fours, the lower back provides the power.

The Importance of Having a Strong Lower Back

The lower back is the keystone for the entire spine. It is responsible for the structural stability of the spine and pelvis. A strong lower back allows you to lift heavy loads and have a stable, rigid spine with proper curvature in all movements.

Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back

To maintain or increase your lower back strength, you need to perform exercises that strengthen the deep back muscles.

  • Deadlift

Assume the position of a regular deadlift with lighter weight, but do not bend at the knees. Make sure that your legs and back are straight when you lower the weight to the ground. Return to the starting position (fully extended legs and neutral spine) every time.

  • Dumbbell Sissy Squat

Using a dumbbell in each hand, assume the position of a regular sissy squat. Ensure that your knees do not pass the toes and your back remains straight.

  • Kettlebell Dead Lift

Stand in front of the kettlebell rack, grab a kettlebell with both hands, lift the kettlebell, and walk to the weight stack. Lean your weight to one side, bend at the knees, and lower the kettlebell to the ground. Return to the starting position. Complete the set in one direction and then switch to the opposite direction.

  • Oblique Crunch

Lie on your back with your legs bent and your arms at your side. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground, contract your lower back, and lift your legs and head simultaneously. Lower your leg and head back to the starting position.

How to Prevent Lower Back Injury

The number one rule is to warm up before performing any heavy exercise. Warming up is crucial because it helps prepare your body for physical activity and increases the efficiency of your muscles.

When you perform strength exercises, the muscles are exposed to a higher risk of injury, so warming up is even more important.

Breath-holding can also help reduce the risk of a lower back injury. It is a simple breathing exercise that helps reduce injury risk.

A Stronger Lower Back

Strengthening your lower back will alleviate pain, improve posture, and reduce your chances of injury. That’s why it is advisable to strengthen your spinal erectors with exercises that can be performed anywhere. A strong back can help prevent and ease lower back pain and increase overall performance regardless of your activity or sport.

The Fit Factor PT offers fitness training services to help you with lower back strengthening. We are based in Wellesley, MA. Contact us!

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