With fewer people in gyms doing deadlifts these days there has been a general reduction in the work the lower back gets anymore. It used to be that people would do deadlifts and hyperextensions as a bare minimum to ensure the lower back muscles were worked hard. But nowadays it seems like at best using a lower back machine is an afterthought for people to do after all their pulldowns and rows are completed.
But that is a big mistake!
The lower back is a critical part of your body that needs to be strengthened for stability purposes. It is also useful in athletic performance. Just because you can’t easily see this muscle area doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train it!
When to Work It
There are generally two ideas on working the lower back; include it with upper back work or include it with leg work. The biggest question for this is do you do deadlifts or not? If you do deadlifts then lower back work should be done on that day. If not then it should be done on leg day because you end up using your lower back muscles in squats. The program designed below is meant to be done on back day with the upper back.
Much like other muscle groups you shouldn’t work the lower back muscles more often than twice a week. More than that will quickly lead to overtraining and that is an area you definitely do not want to over train.
The Lower Back Blaster
- Deadlifts – 4 to 5 sets for 5 to 8 repetitions – Pyramid the weight so you start with higher reps and work down
- Hyperextensions or Good Mornings – 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions
- Single Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions
- Seated Cable Row – 1 set of 20 repetitions
- Cable Pullovers – 1 set of 20 repetitions
- Flying Superman – 2 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions – Lie flat on your stomach with arms stretch in front of you. Look forward and raise both hands and feet about 6 inches off the ground to look like Superman when flying. Hold the position for a two count and then slowly lower to complete 1 repetition.
There you have it. This is a classic style workout but with the addition of the Superman move which is a core movement that really targets the lower back nicely. For people who have qualms about deadlifting, this is one exercise you shouldn’t skip. Along with squats it is an exercise that may have a bad rap for the wrong reasons. It is a great way to build strength in the body unlike anything else.