Your lower back is responsible for so much daily movement, especially when you're strength training. So what are the best lower back exercises? This part of your body is essential for stability, posture and form, so it's vital that you get the most out of it with the most effective lower back exercises.

Let's take a look at the best of them.


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Deficit Deadlift
  2. Hyper Extensions
  3. Good Mornings
  4. Rack Pulls
  5. Seated Back Extension
  6. Superman

Deficit Deadlift

Man performing deficit dead lift

The only place we can really start with such a vital muscle is with a vital exercise. The deadlift is renowned as a reliable full-body strength builder. It's a huge compound exercise that uses your entire posterior chain, including your lower back. Variations like the deficit deadlift completely change the focus to make your lower back the main player.

The deficit deadlift follows all of the main principles of the standard deadlift, but with the addition of a few inches in height by standing on a weight plate or something similar. Once you’re on it and have a solid deadlift form already, reach down to grab the bar resting over your feet, lift upwards until past the knees, and drive the hips forward. Repeat for however many reps are desired for your set style.

Hyper Extensions

Woman performing hyper extensions

It's not all about weights either. With the right bench or even the right furniture at home, hyperextensions are among the best exercises that can do astounding things for your lower back. That makes them much safer to perform than many other exercises that have a lot of room for injury-causing mistakes.

To perform them, you need to use your lower back to lift the weight of your torso. Ideally, lay on the bench with your upper body unsupported by the bench. From there, relax your back, allowing you to bend over the bench to wherever you can. It depends on the bench, but the lower your angle is, the harder this will be. Then, contract your back to bring yourself back to a straight spine again. Each one of these is another rep, but it will not be an easy ride.

Good Mornings

Person doing good mornings exercise

A great exercise that is 100% lower back-focused comes from a combination of deadlifts and hyperextensions, and they're good mornings. These essential mean that you're using your lower back to lift the weight just as you would with any other curling exercise.

To put that into context, all you do here is bent your lower back. Don't curl your back, as it has to be straight from the lower back upwards, but things at your hips almost as if you're aiming to make a right angle. From there, contact your lower back until you're standing straight. That's the whole thing, and whether you hold dumbells, barbells, or even nothing at all, it will get your lower back in great shape and ready for anything.

Rack Pulls

Woman performing rack pulls in a smith machine

With the use of a power rack or even a smith machine, you can easily start to incorporate rack pulls into your lower back exercises. The addition of the bars or pegs to limit where you need to pick up the weight from means that you isolate your lower back during the lift, rather than needing your hamstrings like with a deadlift or bad form with good mornings

Seated Back Extension

Woman exercising on lower back machine

The seated back extension is one of the less effective exercises on the list, but its practicality still gives it a deserved place. Although it's advised to stay away from complete machine-assisted exercises because of the reduction in muscle activation aside from the one muscle needed, it's still safe for the lower back and can give good isolation.

Like all exercises, however, this is still an easy one for you to get wrong. To do the seated back extension, you need to adjust the seating position, headrest and weight so that it's correctly set up for you. Then, once you're good to go, simply contract your back to push the bar. The good thing about this exercise is that the precise weight selection means that you have more control than other exercises.

Superman

Man performing superman exercise

The superman exercise is a lower back exercise that can be done pretty much anywhere at any time. It’s great for flexibility and stretching but is still an effective way to strengthen your lower back in a practical way.

To do it, lay flat on the floor with your arms raised. Then contract your lower back so that you are lifting your legs and arms to curve your whole body. Hold for the best contraction, relax and repeat. That's all there is.

Again, we can't stress enough the importance of safety when exercising your lower back. The slightest mistakes can have detrimental effects, so get your form perfect before using larger weights. It's also essential that you train your lower back to prevent injuries when you're training other areas, so make sure you don't neglect it. Talk to a medical or fitness professional for more guidance.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.