Lumbar strengthening exercises are  equivalent to having a longer life without discomfort. A strong lumbar back will allow you to be more skilled in your daily tasks. It will help you carry heavy objects, reducing the chances of injury, maintaining posture better and even protecting your spine. Here you have different strategies to strengthen your lower back in the gym or at home.

Careful! Strengthen your lumbar! : Many people who are regulars at the gym completely forget to train their lower back or lumbar area. This is a fatal mistake! What's worse, many do a lot of abdominal exercises, but no lower back exercises. This habit usually creates a serious decompensation, since we will have strong abdominals, but a weak lower back. This can cause unwanted abdominal distension (that is, the abdominal muscles hanging forward, giving the image that we have a bulging belly). Many people you see with "pot belly" and hyperlordosis (exaggerated curvature of the lower back) are not giving the appropriate amount of work to their lower back. In fact, if it seems like the more abdominal exercises you do, the bigger your belly gets, this could be due to weakness in the lower back area. 

It is advisable to do the same number of exercises and series to strengthen the abdominals and lower back . In this way, your core will be balanced and the abdominal muscles will adhere to the spine, a consequence of a strong lumbar that will make your posture improve and your abdomen look flatter.

Exercises to strengthen lower back in the gym

There are various  exercises to strengthen the lumbar and back muscles . Some are basic exercises that involve several muscle groups and others are more specific movements for the lower back. Some moves require certain gym equipment, while others can be performed with your own body weight. The following movements to  strengthen the lower back are for people who subscribe to a gym.

Conventional deadlift

 The conventional deadlift is an exercise to strengthen the lower back

This is the main and most important movement among the  lower back exercises in the gym , although it requires rigorous technique and doing it well. The conventional deadlift involves a large number of muscles in the torso and lower body, in addition to the lumbar. Therefore, it is one of the so-called basic exercises. To perform the movement, you need a barbell and some plates. Read the steps to do it.

Starting position : To start, the bar must be placed on the floor. It is best to use plates that are high enough so that the bar is about 22 cm from the ground. We approach the central part of the bar with our feet shoulder-width apart. The tips of our feet should point slightly outwards.

In general, it is recommended to start the exercise with your legs very close to the bar. However, based on what we have found, this position could make lifting difficult for less experienced users (as the bar can hit the legs when going up). For this reason, we advise you to leave your shins a few centimeters from the bar.

Squat : We will begin the movement as if we were at the bottom of a squat. The depth of the hip will depend on the height and anatomy of each person. We need to find a starting position in which we feel comfortable. We must keep our back straight and look forward.

How to grab the bar : Once we are crouched, it is time to grab the bar. The arms must be completely straight. The position of the hands is more or less shoulder-width apart and slightly outside the feet. There are several grip styles. The simplest is to put our hands pronated (with the palms facing our body). Another stronger grip is the mixed grip, where one hand will look towards us and the other towards the bar.

As a tip, remember to grip the bar very well before taking it off the ground. Twist your hand and fingers around the bar to cover the largest diameter possible and achieve a perfect grip. Make sure your palms are in contact with the bar. Don't hold the bar with just your fingers or fingertips, as this will make it harder to grip.

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Raise the bar off the floor : We have to be mentally prepared and in a good position. We fill the rib cage completely with air. The shoulders must maintain a natural position. We press our heels hard against the ground, as if we wanted to break the ground with our feet. We are going to stand up explosively until we are completely upright with the bar in our hands. We exhale at the end of the movement while standing.

Barbell deadlift for lower back

The conventional deadlift is an exercise mainly for the lumbar , upper back, trapezius, abdomen, quadriceps, glutes, tibialis, gastrocnemius, biceps, forearm, neck and stabilizing muscles.

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Hyperextensions to strengthen lumbar

Lumbar hyperextensions in Roman chair

Photo: Roman chair for hyperextensions.

For this lumbar strengthening exercise, you need a hyperextension bench. It can be the inclined version of this bench or the Roman chair type apparatus (straight). Colloquially, hyperextensions are called "abs exercises to strengthen the lower back" , although they are not an abdominal exercise. 

Incline bench to strengthen lumbar with extensions

Photo: inclined bench for hyperextensions.


Place yourself on the lumbar hyperextension bench : Place your feet on the padded roller. Extend your body in front of the platform and place it parallel to the ground. Cross your arms over your chest.

Lowering : Inhale and lower your body as straight as possible.

Ascent : Raise your straight body again in a controlled manner until it is once again parallel to the ground. Exhale at the end of the movement. Feel how you strengthen your lower back as you reach the top.

You can hold a weight plate between your arms to make lumbar hyperextensions more difficult. You can do some sets of 10, 20 and even up to 30 repetitions. The more you control the movement, the more you will concentrate the effort in the lumbar area. Include hyperextensions in your lumbar and abdominal strengthening exercise routine.

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Reverse hyperextensions

Reverse bench hyperextensions for the lower back

This is a not so well-known exercise, but we consider it interesting to include it in our list. To do this, you need to place your body upside down on the Roman chair or hyperextension bench, a weight bench, or a special machine. There is a reverse hyperextension machine that is loaded with plates, although it is not very common to see it in commercial gyms. This exercise works the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors.

Reverse lumbar hyperextensions with legs bent

This version is performed on a weight bench with the legs bent.

Take the position : Lie down on the machine. If you are going to use a hyperextension bench or Roman chair, do not place your legs on the support, but rather facing the opposite direction. You can grab the round area of ​​the stand or the roller with your arms for support. You can also do this exercise on a flat weight bench. The important thing is that your legs hang over the edge of the bench.

Ideally, you should place your hips at the end of the pad or bench so you can flex them freely without stretching your lower back too much.

Execution of the movement : Support the central area of ​​your body well on the bench or support and stretch your legs. Take a breath and lower your legs slowly. Lower yourself until you feel your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back contract. Then, you have to lift your legs vigorously until they pass slightly above your hips. The heels can even be a little above the buttocks. It's best to hold for a second at the top of the movement, release the air, and then lower your legs again.

Try to use a little explosiveness to lift your legs from the starting position to the final position. But don't shake your lower back to lift your legs. Allow your legs to easily bounce back to the starting position after the first repetition.

The video shows reverse hyperextensions in the Roman chair.

Reverse hyperextension machine for lumbar strengthening

Special machine for doing reverse hyperextensions.

By the way! You can convert this movement into a lower back exercise with a dumbbell. Just hold a dumbbell between your legs to add difficulty, but don't use excessive weight that could compromise your technique!

Romanian deadlift

Romanian deadlift to exercise the lower back

This exercise is a deadlift variation. It is one of the best exercises for the lower back and glutes. It also strengthens the femoral muscles. In this case, the deadlift is done with straight legs. When the execution of this movement is technical and precise, muscle activation increases in the lower back, hamstrings and glutes. You will need a barbell and some plates.

Start : Use a weight that allows you to complete at least 15 repetitions (for heavy sets, we already have the conventional deadlift). Start by standing in front of the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the bar at shoulder height with your hands slightly outside your feet. While standing, stand tall and hold the bar with your arms straight.

Execution : Take a breath. To properly isolate the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back in this exercise, you must lower the bar while keeping it close to your legs. Pull your buttocks and hips back to feel the tension in your hamstrings and glutes. Your legs may be slightly bent on the way down (not completely straight). However, if the leg bend is excessive, you will convert the exercise into a conventional deadlift (this is not what we are looking for).

How low should you lower the bar?  Remember that each person has a different level of flexibility. For this reason, not everyone can lower the bar to the same height. The bar should be below the knee or even close to the foot. When lowering the bar, don't arch your back too much.

End of rep : Return to the starting position to stand upright and exhale to complete one rep.

This is the best video on the deadlift technique to isolate the lower back . Pay attention to the movement.

If you do it correctly, you will also notice the work in the lower back area. This is a good  exercise to strengthen the lower back .

Romanian Deadlift with Dumbbells

How to do the Romanian deadlift with dumbbells to strengthen your lower back

Are you looking for  exercises for lower back with dumbbells ? This is another variation of the deadlift that you can do in the gym . The execution is like the barbell deadlift, but two dumbbells are used.

Start : Stand up, grab a heavy dumbbell in each hand, look straight ahead and take a deep breath.

Execution : Place your arms in front of you with your palms facing your body (and touching your legs). Without releasing the air from your lungs and keeping your arms straight, begin to bring your glutes back and tilt your torso forward to descend. Keep the dumbbells close to your legs and lower them until they are below your knees. The legs will remain straight, although they may be slightly bent. In the lower part of the movement, notice how the hamstrings and lower back stretch.

Raise the dumbbells again with your arms straight and keeping them close to your legs. Exhale when you are upright.

For greater comfort, you can rotate your shoulders as you go up so that your arms are on either side of your body in the final position (rather than in front of your body). Then, you can return your arms in front, pronated, to descend on the next repetition. Of course, never bend your arms. These should always be straight throughout the movement, even if you choose to rotate your shoulders.

Good morning with a bar to strengthen the lower back

Good morning exercise technique with a bar to strengthen the lumbar spine

Good morning with a barbell is one of the perfect exercises to strengthen the lower back , as well as other muscle groups of the posterior chain such as the glutes, hamstrings and even the upper back and trapezius. To do this, you will need supports such as squat racks or a power rack to place the bar.

We establish the position : We will place the bar on the supports. We will grab the bar at the same distance as if we were doing a barbell squat. We will load the bar on our trapezius and take a few steps back. You should separate your legs shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outward. We will slightly bend our knees.

We will move the glutes back : It is advisable to tighten the shoulder blades and abdominal muscles. We will bring our elbows inward so that the bar fits firmly to our body. Afterwards, we will bring the glutes back so that the body leans towards the ground. We will not stop directing the glutes backwards. We will bend our knees only slightly. The chest should be almost parallel to the floor. We should feel how the hamstring muscles contract. It is not necessary for your knees to bend too much on the way down.

We will direct the glutes forward : Keeping our back straight, we will slowly move our hips forward. We will continue to move our hips until we are standing or erect again. At the top of the movement, we will contract the glutes strongly. We will continue doing repetitions.

Good Morning, an exercise to isolate and strengthen the lumbar waist

At the top of the movement, it is important to keep your glutes and back firmly contracted. As for breathing, we will take a breath at the top (before starting the repetition) and hold it during the descent. We will expel the air when we are upright. This exercise is fantastic for the lower back .

One Leg Romanian Deadlift

Romanian single leg deadlift, lower back exercise

This version of the deadlift increases the complexity of the classic exercise, but in addition to working the hamstrings and lower back, it improves stability. The unilateral deadlift emphasizes loading on only one side, challenging your balance and strengthening your back muscles at the same time. Thanks to the dumbbells, you increase the activation of the hamstrings, which leads to the development of symmetry and functionality. The single-leg dumbbell deadlift not only promotes muscle strength and definition, but also improves coordination and stability. 

Start : While standing with your feet together, hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your legs.

Execution of the movement : Support the weight with your left leg and slightly bend your left knee. Now, raise your right leg behind your body. Flex your hips so that your body is parallel to the floor and lower the weight toward the floor.

It is important to keep your back straight. When you reach the bottom of the movement, your body and right leg should be almost parallel to the ground (the weight should stay a few centimeters off the ground). If your hamstrings are tight, you may not be able to lift your leg very far.

Return to starting position : Keeping your abs tight, push through your left heel to stand up straight and return the weight to the starting position. Place your right foot against your left foot, but try to keep most of your weight on your left foot. Stop in this position and squeeze your glutes. Do several repetitions on one side and then switch to the other side.

Breathing : You have to take a breath before lowering your body, hold the air throughout the descent and release it when you stand up again. 

How to Do the One-Leg Romanian Deadlift with Dumbbells

The single-leg deadlift works the hamstrings, lower back, and glutes. Additionally, this movement requires quite a bit of balance. Maybe you can use a single dumbbell instead of two and lean one arm lightly against a wall or sturdy object to stay in place.

Do you want to learn another good exercise for lower back that is not on this list?:

List of exercises to strengthen the lower back at home PDF

So far we have seen the exercises that we can do to strengthen the lower back in the gym . All of them required certain special material. Next, we will provide you with a list of exercises for lower back with body weight. You can do them to strengthen your lower back at home , as they won't require any equipment (except maybe a basic gym mat on the floor). Some are simple stretches and others are strengthening movements. They are exercises appropriate for men and women, and people of all ages.

The gluteal bridge

Glute bridge exercise to strengthen the lower back at the gym

It is an exercise to strengthen the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. It involves lying face up on the floor and raising your hips, which increases the activation of the posterior chain muscles. The benefits of this exercise are that  it improves lumbar stability and prevents injuries. If you need to do  exercises to strengthen the lower back due to a herniated disc , you can start with this simple posture (after consulting your trusted doctor).

Start : Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet shoulder-width apart. This will be the starting position.

Execution : First of all, fill your lungs with air. Contract your glutes and abs and push through your heels to lift your hips a few inches off the ground. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the position for a second, exhale, and then slowly lower your hips back to the starting position.

You can do this exercise with added weight, for example, holding dumbbells, barbells, or plates above your legs.

Abdominal plank on the floor

Plank, lumbar and abdominal exercises at home

There are  exercises to strengthen the lumbar and abdominal muscles at the same time. Although you thought that the plank was only for the abs, this position also requires a lot of work on lumbar stability. So practice this exercise to gain strength in your lower lumbar back. 

Start : You should start as if you were doing a push-up, but there is a difference. You have to lie face down with your forearms and toes touching the floor. Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders and your arms should be facing forward. The head will be relaxed and look at the ground.

Muscle activation : Keep your back aligned with your legs and never relax or lower your abdomen. Contract your abdominal muscles and draw your navel toward your spine. Keep your body straight and firm, forming a straight line from your ears to your feet without lowering or bending your body. Breathe deeply while holding the pose, but do not relax your body.

Also, make sure your shoulders are down (don't pull them up toward your ears). And the heel should be on top of the ball of the foot. As for the duration of the plank, you should hold the posture for 10 seconds and gradually increase the time to 30-60 seconds. Then, you can rest on the floor to avoid exhaustion and move smoothly to the next set.

The plank can become your main ally at home as an exercise to strengthen the lumbar spine. You only need your body weight to do it!

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Cat stretching

Cat pose, lumbar stretch

This is more of a back stretch. You quickly get used to doing it. The cat pose (or also cow pose) is a very beneficial type of stretching for the spine.

Start : Kneel on the floor with your feet, hands and knees fully supported. Arch your body, bringing your upper back up, like cats do when they are angry. 

Maintain the position : Hold the position with your back arched for about 5 seconds. Then return to the starting position.

Try to sink or bring your stomach towards the floor by bringing your back inward. Hold this position for 5 seconds as well. Return to the starting position.

Put these  exercises into practice to strengthen your lower back at home .

Abdominal drawing-in maneuver

Lumbar exercise, abdominal retraction maneuver

Notice how, as you exhale and pull your navel toward your lumbar spine, the curvature of your lower back disappears.

This is a physical therapy exercise that will help you have a strong abdominal wall and a pain-free lower back. Use this simple movement to stabilize your spine. In English, it is called "abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM)" . Basically, it consists of sinking the navel towards the lumbar spine.

Start : Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Your spine should remain in a neutral position. Draw your navel inward while imagining that you would like to bring it towards your spine. Inhale.

Execution : Exhale while contracting your abdominal muscles and continuing to pull your navel toward your spine. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then relax your body. Rest for 15 seconds until you contract your abs again and draw your navel in (another repetition that will last 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise up to 10 times with 15 seconds of rest between each time.

This is a hypopressive exercise for abdominals and lower back. 

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The side plank

Side plank, a lower back, hip and abdomen exercise

This is another version of the plank that is also a good exercise to strengthen the lower back . This plank is used to exercise the oblique abdominals, but it also requires great strength in the lumbar spine. 

Home : To do the side plank, lie on the right side of your body with your legs extended from the hips to your toes. Use the elbow of your right hand as support for your body. Place your elbow directly under your shoulder. You must align your head with your spine. Regarding the left arm, it can be placed extended over the body.

Muscle activation : Once you have adopted the position explained, contract your abs by pushing your navel towards your spine. Take a breath right now.

Now, as you exhale, lift your hips and knees off the ground. Your entire body should remain straight, without sinking or flexing. Hold in this position. Here you can breathe as many times as you need. Then, take a breath again and return to the starting position.

Then you can do the exercise with the other side of the body. You should be able to hold the top position of the movement for at least 60 seconds . Try to reach this goal to  strengthen your lumbar and abdominal muscles with this exercise.

Bird-dog exercise

Bird-Dog, lumbar, glutes and abdomen exercise

This curious lumbar and back exercise strengthens the back extensor muscles, which are attached to the back of the spine and allow you to stand up, flex your body and even lift objects. The movement also works the glutes .

How to make the bird-dog?

Start : You have to start on the floor, resting on your hands and knees. The shoulders will be located directly above the hands and the hips will be over the knees.

Execution : Tighten your abdominal muscles and extend your right arm in front of your body; At the same time, extend your left leg behind your body. Try to maintain your balance while doing this movement. If you can, hold the position (with one arm and one leg extended) for at least 15 seconds.

When you return your limbs to the starting position, repeat the movement, this time with your left arm and right leg. You can do about 5 repetitions for each side. Try to do the movement in a slow and controlled way.

If you need  exercises to strengthen your lower back and glutes that you can do at home, this is the best!

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Knees to chest

Bring your knees to your chest to strengthen your lower back

We will explain  exercises to strengthen the lumbar, hip and sacrum . This simple movement, which you can do at home, consists of just bringing your knee to your chest. It is very good for relieving or preventing back pain that occurs as a result of our daily tasks and activities.

Start : Lie face up on a mat and place the soles of your feet on the floor.

Execution and stretching : You have to bring your right knee up to your chest, holding it with both hands (as if you were wrapping the knee). Push your knee slightly toward you, then return to the starting position to switch to your left leg and do the same.

Lower back stretch with knees to chest

- After completing a set of 10 repetitions, do the same, but lift both legs at the same time.

- If you want you can do a small pendulum movement to one side or the other.

Side plank with leg raise

Side plank with leg elevation, reinforcement exercise for lumbar and abdominal muscles

The hip abductors help lift the leg out to the side and away from the body. They also help support your pelvis when standing on one leg. If your hip abductors are weak, this can affect your mobility and balance, or cause lower back pain due to instability.

Perform lateral leg raises to strengthen the lower back, hip abductors and gluteus medius.

Start : Lie on your side with your legs slightly bent and on the floor, as in the side plank pose. To contract your abdomen, pull your navel inward, imagining that you are bringing it toward your spine.

Execution : Raise your top leg without moving the rest of your body. Hold the up position for at least 2 seconds. Do 10 repetitions.

Then, switch sides and do the repetitions with the other leg. You can do 3 sets of 10 for each side. This is an excellent  exercise to strengthen the core and lower back .

Abdominal crunches

Abdominal crunches to strengthen the lower back at home PDF

You thought that abdominal crunches only helped you develop a strong core, right? Well, you should know that this exercise also provides you with better support for your spine and pelvic alignment. You can use the classic "crunches" to strengthen your lower back and abdomen.

Start : Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat and hip-width apart. Cross your arms over your chest or extend them along the sides of your body toward your feet. Take a breath before making any movement.

Execution : Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulder blades off the ground as you exhale. Lower yourself to the starting position.

You can do about 10-15 controlled repetitions of this exercise. Make short movements. It is not necessary to raise your torso completely; Just lift your shoulder blades off the ground and raise your head a little.

Leg and torso stretch while sitting

Torso and lumbar stretch while sitting

Here is a stretching exercise for the hamstrings, abductors, and extensors of the middle and lower back. Carry out the following steps:

Start : Start by sitting with both feet on the ground and extend your body in front of you. Your feet should be far enough apart so that your legs form a "V."

Execution of the exercise : Bend your left leg so that it touches the right knee, and let the left knee move away from your body.

Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips and stretch the toes of your right foot forward. Now, she slowly rotates her spine and brings her hand to her right ankle or shin. At the same time, he lowers his head as close to his right knee as possible. Hold for 30 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Then repeat with the other side. You can do 5 or 6 repetitions of 30 seconds each.

It is one of the recommended exercises to  strengthen the lumbar and cervical spine .

The Superman

Superman to strengthen the lumbar back and spine

This is one of the most used postural exercises in physiotherapy . With the Superman, you will strengthen the lumbar area and improve spinal stability. The movement is inspired by Superman's flying pose. You can simply do this pose on the floor at home to work your back, glutes, and extensors.

Start : Lie face down on the floor. It is best to do it on a comfortable surface such as a mat or gymnastics mat. Now, he extends your arms forward and your legs back like Superman when he is flying.

Execution : From the previous position, you have to slightly raise your arms and chest off the ground, as well as your legs. The only part that should touch the ground will be the lower abdomen. Hold this position for a few seconds and feel how your lumbar muscles contract. After a few seconds, you can lower your arms and legs to the ground again (do it in a controlled manner).

The Superman exercise effectively strengthens the back muscles, which by default improves posture and also helps prevent pain and injuries. You can do 4 series, holding 30 seconds in each one.

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Kneeling back stretch

Lumbar stretching and strengthening while kneeling

Stretching is one of the best exercises to strengthen the lower back . Therefore, here we teach you a posture that works the quadratus lumborum and the erector spinae. You should feel the stretch in your lumbar spine and belly. You will not require any equipment to do this simple exercise.

Start : You will start on your hands and knees, placing your shoulders just above your hands. Tilt your head down (over your hands), arch your shoulders, and let your lower back point toward the floor. When you adopt this position, you have to hold it for 5 seconds.

Cat pose to strengthen the lower back

The first part of the exercise is done as the cat pose.

Second part : Next, bring your lower back back, placing your glutes as close to your heels as possible. Extend your arms and keep your body in this position for 5 seconds.

Kneeling Back Extension

The second part of the movement is a stretch with the arms extended and bringing the gluteus towards the heels.

A tip is to look towards the floor so that the neck is at the same level as the spine. You can do 10 repetitions of this exercise every day.

Benefits of lumbar strengthening

Regular lower back workouts can prevent injuries . Low back pain is one of the most common discomforts in both athletes and sedentary people. Although lower back pain can be caused by poor posture, it is most likely the result of a sedentary lifestyle, sitting for long periods of time, or having atrophied muscles.

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Strengthening the lower back can improve sports performance both in the gym and in any physical activity. When the lower back is strong, the person will also gain strength in any upper and lower body exercises. A strong lower back will help you in barbell rows, deadlifts, squats, military presses or bench presses. Additionally, if your lower back muscles are developed, you will also have a strong core. In short, you will have better performance and quality of life in general.

Benefits of strengthening the lumbar back muscles

How do I download these exercises to strengthen the lower back in PDF?

If you want to have the lumbar exercises in PDF, you just have to click with the right mouse button. Select "Print" from the list of options. Then select "Save as PDF" in the "Destination" box and, finally, "Save" (the button you'll see below). Consult this exercise page whenever you want: at home, in the pool, the park, the gym...

According to a Harvard publication , strong muscles in the lower back allow our body to twist, bend, and straighten. These actions are necessary for everyday tasks such as picking up an object, making athletic movements, batting, kicking, and others. So start your exercises to strengthen your lower back today and ask us any questions!

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