Discover the best exercises to strengthen your lower back muscles and ease back pain with this at-home workout.
According to the charity BackCare, back pain affects up to 80 per cent of the British population at some stage in their lives, and nothing is more debilitating than a bad back. Lower back pain in particular is increasingly common among office workers.
However, having strong back muscles will help to reduce lower back pain by improving your posture, preventing slouching and supporting your stomach muscles. So, we’ve rounded up the best exercises to strengthen your lower back.
Related: 10 minute back workout for women
Best exercises to strengthen your lower back:
- Prone back extension
- Stability ball cobra
- Stability ball reverse back extension
- Kneeling row
- Bent-over fly
- Dumbbell swing
Keep reading for full instructions on how to perform the best exercises to strengthen your lower back.
Lower back workout instructions:
For best results, perform the exercises slowly. Don’t speed up as this will cause you to use momentum rather than strength. Never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Reps and sets:
- Beginners: 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions using a light weight
- Intermediate: 2 to 3 sets of 20 repetitions using a light weight
- Advanced: 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions using a moderate weight
- Beginners: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
- Intermediate: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
- Advanced: 3 sets of 20 repetitions
Below, we’ve included full instructions and handy images to help you ace the exercises in this lower back strengthening workout.
Prone back extension
- Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides.
- Keep your palms facing up.
- Lift your upper body and arms off the floor.
- Rotate your palms down and squeeze your shoulder blades.
- Hold the position for a few seconds before lowering your body.
- Keep your feet on the floor at all times.
Stability ball cobra
- Lie with your stomach on a stability ball and position your arms in a ‘Y’ shape, palms facing the floor. This is the start position.
- Keep looking at the floor to avoid lifting your chin too high and putting pressure on your neck.
- Squeezing your bottom, slowly lift your chest off the ball. Draw your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades and turning your thumbs up to point towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position fora count of three to five seconds and slowly.
Stability ball reverse back extension
- Lie with your stomach on a stability ball and place your hands on the floor.
- Keep your legs straight and lift both legs off the floor pivoting over the ball.
- Lift your legs until you form a straight line between your feet, knees, hips and shoulders.
- Your spine should be in a neutral position at the top.
- Hold the top position for one to two seconds to prevent momentum.
- Lower your legs with control until your feet touch the floor.
- Kneel on all fours.
- Hold a weight in your left hand and support your bodyweight on your right arm.
- Pull the weight up towards your armpit.
- Hold the top position for one second before lowering the weight.
- Don’t let the weight rest on the floor.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Stand with one leg in front of the other, holding a weight in
- Lean forward from your waist. Ensure that you keep your back flat.
- With your palms facing each other lift your arms sideways until the weights are level with your shoulders.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades while lifting.
- Lower the weights slowly.
- Stand holding a weight, with your feet planted firmly on the floor slightly wider than hip-width apart and with your toes pointing slightly out.
- Keeping your chest up and shoulders back, soften your knees and tip forwards from your hips, pushing the weight back between your knees.
- As the weight swings forwards, drive through your hips and swing the weight up over your head so that your arm is straight but not locked and your shoulders and hips are level.
- Reverse the movement and allow your body to tip as the weight swings back through your knees.
- At the top of the movement really focus on squeezing your bottom and keeping your shoulder blades braced back.
- Repeat on the other side.