While the lower back may be the easiest part of your back to acquire mass, it is also the easiest to injure. Think about all of the people with factory jobs spending all day picking up heavy boxes. These people will have very developed backs from doing this all day and they aren’t even weight lifters or bodybuilders.
The way people get injured isn’t necessarily the injured. I swear, you hear people all the time say all this shit about deadlifts being bad. This could not be further from the truth. It is the way you perform the exercise. If you pick the bar off the ground with your back rounded like crazy, then yeah, of course you are going to get injured.
Like mentioned above, this may be the easiest muscle to get built up. Obviously, the deadlift will be the best exercise to utilize to achieve this goal. It can also be dangerous since a lot of people just never figure out the form. Either that, or they will try to go too heavy to inflate their ego and sacrifice form in doing so. Here’s a hint: if you have to round your back in order to deadlift 500 lbs, then you should probably lower the weight. Drop the ego and use the right form, please.
The lower back is bundle of muscles and tendons, usually referred to as the Erector spinae. The muscles of the erector spinae are paired and run more or less vertically, extending through the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, just to the side of the vertebral column.
This large muscular and tendinous mass varies in size and structure at different parts of the vertebral column. In the sacral region it is narrow and pointed, and at its origin chiefly tendinous in structure.
The lumbar region is larger and thicker, but is eventually divided into three columns, which gradually diminish in size as they ascend and insert into the vertebrae and ribs. You can feel along either side of your spine and you will find where these muscle run, starting just above your hips.
The function of your lower back is quite simple. It is basically the most important part of your back because it is where all of the stress is placed. Think about those days where you are sitting down all day. Whenever you get up, you will feel some lower back stiffness. If your back is weak, you may slouch which will cause even more stress on your back. This is why it is important to strengthen your lower back muscles.
In additional to the exercises listed below, every exercise you perform from a standing position will work your lower back. That includes overhead press, shrugs, standing triceps press, kettlebells, and most Olympic lifts. Train from a standing position as often as possible in your workout.
Conversely, if you have a weak lower back you might have a more difficult time maintaining proper form and posture when training in a standing position. This is most often the case with new or beginner athletes. If your lower back is weak, be sure to train using the exercises listed below to strengthen your lower back, before trying to support heavy weights from a standing position.
Choose either squats or deadlifts as your starting exercise and go heavy. Then include rack-pulls, good mornings, back extensions, or Supermans to follow up. Supermans are also often used for physical therapy and to warm-up before a back or leg workout. Rack-pulls may be used in place of deadlifts as the first heavy exercise of the day.
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