3 Simple But Crazily Effective Lower Back Workouts at Home to Try

Exercises, Fitness

Legs, arms, glutes, abs—these are the body parts you might usually focus on when you’re working out. However, you’re missing a major zone that is actually vital for your overall fitness and mobility. It’s your lower back! If you aren’t already doing lower back workouts, today is the time to start. With all the bending you do, from tying your shoes to picking up toys on the ground after a long day, your lower back needs some extra attention.

Just think about it. When you sit down, your entire upper body puts pressure on your lower back. If you don’t have perfect posture (we’re all guilty of slouching now and then), then your lower back is being strained even more. On top of that, incorporating lower back workouts into your home or gym routine will help you tone any stubborn lower back fat too.

We know what you’re thinking: “But I have lower back pain so I shouldn’t mess with it much.” Actually, that’s not really true. According to researchers, even chronic lower back pain can be helped with exercise.[1] So now that you know a few facts, let’s explore the benefits of lower back workouts and the best routines to try at home. There’s something for every level, so whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pilates guru, we’ll find something for you.

What Are Lower Back Workouts?

Woman doing bridge pose on a blue yoga mat.
Not working out your lower back will make you more prone to lower back pain and even injury.

Now that you know lower back workouts are something you should consider including in your routine, let’s discuss what exactly are lower back workouts. Basically, lower back workouts target the muscles above your butt and below your upper back or shoulder blades. The muscles run along all sides of your spine, so they’re important in maintaining posture and balance.

As mentioned before, these muscles take a lot of stress throughout the day. Normal activities like bending down, sitting, and even sleeping can throw off your lower back and make it stiff. Not working out your lower back will make you more prone to lower back pain and even injury.[2] On the contrary, working out this area will help these muscles handle the daily stresses and safely support you on your way.

Fun Fact: Your lower back consists of five vertebrae. Your spine has a total of 33 altogether.

Lower back workouts aren’t complicated and don’t have to require weights or special equipment. Actually, most of these workouts can be done at home. There’s even a likely chance you’ve done some of the exercises before. Additionally, while lower back workouts target your muscles in that area, they almost always require some leg or glute movement as well. So, you’re getting double the benefits when you choose a lower back workout.

4 Benefits of Lower Back Workouts For Fitness

No matter where you’re at in your fitness journey, lower back workouts can help you in daily life and add support to your other workouts as well. If you’re not already sold on the benefits of lower back workouts, check out a few more main reasons why you should target this area.

1. Improves your posture and flexibility

Woman doing lower back workouts at home.

Bend down and try to touch your toes. Maybe your hands are grasping your feet, or barely dangling near your knees. Either way, your lower back is mainly responsible for this forward bending movement, as well as other movements like this you do on a regular basis.

Along with flexibility, your lower back is what supports your sitting, bending, or standing postures. A strong lower back will help you feel more agile and maintain a healthy posture. One study found a correlation between flexed spinal posture and weaker back muscle endurance.[3] Meaning that the weaker your back muscles are, the higher the chances are your posture will suffer.

2. Protects you from possible injuries

Woman doing side leg raises in her home.

If you bend raw spaghetti it will break in half because it’s stiff. But cooked spaghetti will bend and twist with ease. With that in mind, you want your lower back to be like cooked spaghetti so that you can move and twist without injuries. Lower back workouts not only build muscle and burn fat, but they also increase mobility. This will allow you to stretch deeper than before and reduce your chances of getting a workout injury in the process.

3. Alleviates your back pain

Woman doing dead lifts in the gym for lower back workout.

Chances are you’ve had some form of back pain in your life. Usually, our lower back is less stretched out and taken care of than our upper back (because our arms move our upper back muscles a bit more). That being said, working out your lower back can encourage a stronger, more flexible core to support you in daily activities.

Even researchers agree that working out your lower back muscles actually reduces your risk of having lower back pain.[4] But if you currently have severe pain, consult with your doctor before starting a fitness routine to be safe.

4. Helps you burn lower back fat

Woman using exercise balls for lower back workouts.

When you build muscle mass, you’re simultaneously burning fat in the surrounding area. That’s why weight training can be just as, if not more, beneficial as cardio for losing weight.

When you target specific muscles and work on building them stronger, such as in lower back exercises, you’re also reducing your lower back fat in the process. This is something that will come naturally with time and a comprehensive, healthy fitness and food journey. Remember that if your goal is to reduce your lower back fat, you can do so with lower back workouts and a healthy diet.

The 3 Best Lower Back Workouts at Home

Changing your posture, flexibility, and lower back strength is easier than you think. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your living room to get started. With these at-home lower back workouts, you can work towards a healthier you without wasting time in a fad class or purchasing an expensive gym membership. You just need some comfy clothes and your self-motivation to get going.

Bridge Pose | 10 reps

Woman doing bridge pose for lower back workout.
  • Great for improving flexibility and preventing injury

How to do it

  1. Lay flat on your back with your knees raised. Keep your arms straight by your side, palm-side down.
  2. Push into your feet and engage your lower back and core to lift your glutes up into the air. Hold this pose in the air for 10 seconds.
  3. Slowly lower your back and butt down to the ground again, while rounding your spine on the way down. Repeat.

Tip: To get a deeper stretch from this workout, try spending 5 seconds raised normally, then spend the next 5 seconds pushing higher into the air with some added “oomph”.

Bird Dogs | 10 reps each side

Woman doing bird dogs for lower back workout.
  • Great for building muscle

How to do it

  1. Begin on your knees and hands on the ground with a neutral spine (aka your back shouldn’t be rounded up or down. Remember to tuck your tailbone to achieve this balance).
  2. Raise your right arm straight in front of you, following with your gaze.
  3. Straighten and lift your left leg up behind you. So, your right arm and left leg will both be off the ground, engaging your lower back and core to keep you balanced.
  4. Lower both limbs back down, then repeat on the other side. Continue for 10 reps each side. Remember to lift the opposite limbs together (right arm and left leg, and left arm and right leg).

Straight Leg Dead Lifts | 15 reps

Blonde woman doing straight leg dead lifts for lower back workout.
  • Great for burning lower back fat

How to do it

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend forward, only hinging at your hips. To do this, keep your back straight and your gaze forward.
  3. Raise back up, again only hinging at your hips, while keeping an active lower back and tightening your glutes.

Modification

To increase the difficulty for this exercise, you can deadlift two water bottles filled with liquid or rocks. So when you bend down, grasp the water bottles with your hands, and rise back up with them, keeping your arms straight down but your gaze still forward.

Expert Tips For Starting Lower Back Fat Workouts

Fit woman on her hands with her feet on an exercise ball for lower back workout.

To get the most from your lower back workouts, let’s learn about the anatomy of your back. If you work out one part of your lower back and not the rest, it could prevent you from building strong, supportive muscles. This would, in turn, reduce the fat you burn too. In short, there are three main groups of muscles that you can target for a comprehensive lower back workout.

  1. Extensor muscles attach to the back of the spine. They work with your glutes to help you stand up.
  2. Flexor muscles attach to the front of the spine and are what helps you bend over and arch your back.
  3. Oblique muscles attach to the sides of the spine. They help you rotate your body and support your posture.

To engage all of these muscles and have the best lower back workout experience, you should remember some things during your movements.

  • Engage your abs during exercises. You should feel a tightness in your stomach while you do most lower back workouts. This is because the two areas are closely related and work together in both back and ab workouts.
  • Tuck your tailbone to maintain a neutral spine. When you’re doing some workouts, you need to have a flat back with no arching. One trick to ensure this is to rotate your butt down, tucking in your tailbone. This will contrast any arching your back naturally does from having a weaker lower back to start out.
  • Remember to stretch before and after your workout. Stretching your lower back out is just as important as the exercise portion. If you don’t stretch, you can put yourself at risk for injury. Spend some time after your workout doing deep, long stretches. Hold stretches for one minute, going a little deeper with each exhale of breath.
Simple and Effective Lower Back Workouts.

Conclusion

With these lower back workouts and tips, you’ll get toned and feel stronger in no time. Your back will thank you for giving it some special attention and repay you with benefits that can last a lifetime. So, next time you’re preparing for some sweat or stretch time, don’t forget to include your lower back into the mix!  

References

  • [1] https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/718376/systematic-review-strategies-using-exercise-therapy-improve-outcomes-chronic-low
  • [2] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913847.1997.11440289?journalCode=ipsm20
  • [3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1356689X05000433
  • [4] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913847.1997.11440289?journalCode=ipsm20

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