How to Get a Strong Low Back | DO THIS EVERY DAY!
Today I think this is going to be an incrediblyhelpful video because I’m going to show you what you need to do every day to startbuilding a stronger lower back. Right away bells are probably going off saying“Every day? For your lower back? That’s probably not a good idea for yourlow back.” There’s a reason why it is, because youdon’t do the same thing every day. But there’s one thing that’s missing frommost people’s training.
That is any concentrically focused lower backwork. What I mean by that is, you need to take amuscle through its range of motion and strengthen it through its range of motion and not justrely on isometrics. Isometrics alone don’t do it. When we do a lot of our bigger lifts, isometricsare mostly what are happening here. Deadlifts. A lot of guys will say “Deadlifts shoulddo it all.” We can cover our entire low back needs becauseof deadlifting. I agree, in a way, but not for most people.
Why? Because they’re not deadlifting heavy enough. When we do a deadlift – which should bea staple of everybody’s training, and it should occur on a weekly basis. You should be doing your deadlifts at leastonce a week. What you want to see in a properly performeddeadlift is, you get in this position ready for your initial pull, and your low back isin a certain position. It should be protecting your lumbar spine.
So, you should have a slight arch there. When we pull up, we’re using our legs toget off the ground. We’re stabilizing, getting tight up top,we’re using that straight arm scapular strength to get into this position here, and as wepull, we’re using our legs. Now, from this position here, this is hipdrive. This is coming from the glutes. From her, drive through extension. If you start lifting your low back from there,first of all, your legs are going to lag. They’re not going in drive with the movement.
They’re lagging behind. But second, you’re loading your spine ina way that this lift was never intended to do in the first place. It’s putting more stress on your spine thatway. What you’re looking at is more of an isometrichold of the lumbar spine throughout the lift. There is a little bit of concentric shorteningthat happens from the very top. Not talking about overextending. I’m talking about just at the very top.
So, a portion of the weight that you’relifting here is going toward the concentric shortening of the lumbar paraspinals. However, it’s not a high amount. Let’s call it 10%, to throw an arbitrarynumber on it. It’s very little. So, unless you’re deadlifting 500lbs you’renot getting enough weight applied to the lumbar spine or applied to those paraspinals to helpstrengthen them. Again, if you’re doing that, that’s agood start, but it’s not enough because it’s not frequent enough.
You’re not going to be deadlifting everyday. So, we need some other options. So, what we do is, we have some other options. We have a kettle bell swing. It’s a great conditioning exercise. One of the best ways to condition. It also helps us to build, not just stamina,but endurance in our lumbar paraspinals, but again, for the same idea. We’re basically coming down, right hip hiking,and then as we come through it’s an extension through the glutes. I’m not lifting here with my back.
I’m not coming down with my leg and liftingwith my back. That’s not a swing. A swing is a hinge, and a hinge through. Hinge, and then back through. So, the same thing is happening here, in thatwe’re not getting this active, concentric shortening here, but more of a stability thatwe’re holding, and getting a small percentage that gets carried over. But now, with an 80lb kettle bell, you’reusing far less than you were over here. So, the trade off is volume. Your volume would have to be higher here.
Thank God, it does fit in well as a conditioningexercise that will allow you program it for higher times in volume. But again, that works as an option that couldfall into your conditioning days. So, we’ve got our heavy deadlifts occurringon a pull day, or a leg day, or a back day. Then we’ve got these filling in the gaps. Now, some people would say “What about thegood morning, Jeff? You’ve talked about the Good Morning before. Is that a good option? Are you getting anymore concentric shorteningthere?” There’s a big problem with the Good Morning,guys.
Not the exercise itself, but that most bodiesaren’t capable of doing it properly. I, for one, am not capable of doing it properly. So, I don’t do it. What you do is get in position here and youhave to hinge. You’ve got to try and keep this bar, likewith a deadlift, as close to your center of gravity as possible. What most people do is, they start leavingforward this way. All that distance between my center of gravity,which is my hips, and this bar out in front of my body places an enormous amount of stresson your low back. Most of which, we can’t handle. So, you need to be able to have a great hiphinge to sit backward as we drive down.
Then we come up out of that. Now, what happens here, because the low backhas to be into this slightly arched position here, and we go back and sit back; you needto have tremendous hamstring flexibility, which is where my limitation is. I can’t get any further here without allowingmyself to roll forward and create some damage. So that is not one of the best exercises. We move onto the other option. The other option is one of my favorites. This is a hyperextension. It gets a bad title because it’s not a hyperextensionif it’s done properly.
This is what you can work in more on yourpush days, in addition to your leg days. So, you’re filling in the gaps to buildout a more comprehensive volume for your low back. So, you get into the position here on theglute-ham, and what we’re looking at is going into a flexed position here. Allowing my low back to flex. People say these are no good. Don’t ever extend if you have stenosis inyour low back. That’s horrible advice.
This actually opens you up. And because we’re going to do what I’mgoing to say next, it doesn’t place additional stress on the lower back because we’re notgoing from here to a hyperextended position. You never do this on this exercise. That is creating too much narrowing of thespace in your low back, which is something you don’t want. What you do is go from a flexed position toneutral. That is extending. That is concentrically shortening these muscleswhen they don’t get the opportunity to do this at any other point.
This is your opportunity, this is your besttime to be able to do this and use your deadlifting to complement this, to create the ultimateplan for having a more stable, and strong low back. You do your hyperextension without the ‘hyper’part. Just to extension and down. What’s cool about this is, we can load itwith a plate. I talked about building up with a 500lb deadlift,let’s say 50lbs of concentric action there. Now we’ve got 35lbs up, and down, up, down,and up. So, we’ve got that option. We can also take weights, as I’ve shownbefore. Down, up, and even at the top here, row.
Get the spine to work together at all levels. Up, row. Up, row. It will light you up like a Christmas tree,but it’s what you need. You haven’t done enough of this. You’ve been throwing away the opportunityto concentrically shorten the lumbar paraspinals. The last thing you can do – because you’renot always lifting weights. The days that we’re off and doing our correctiveexercises, the low-key stuff. Get on the ground. Bridging. Get to a high position here. When I go to bridge, don’t just push throughthe heels.
If we’re trying to work on our lower backa little more, you can see we’re posteriorly rotated right now. We have our low back in flexion. We’re going to drive into extension withthe low back. And down, into extension with the low. The nice thing here is you’re getting yourglutes to work with you. So, they’re complementing the entire posteriorchain extension. Like that. You do a set of two, just to continue to keepthe activity and awakening the muscles in the low back that haven’t been used forso long. You have another option here with the Supermans. Hands down, legs down, lift up, hold, intothe low back, to the glutes, and down.
Up, hold for a couple seconds, then down. Again, a couple sets on those non-trainingdays, more as corrective, and you put it all together, you’ve got a game plan that allowsyour muscles in your low back to be used, maybe for the first time in a long time, andto be trained completely. Not just isometrically, but now adding someconcentric forces and stretches to complete their development and help take the stressof your lower back right now. Guys, I hope you’ve found the video helpful.
If you’re looking for a program that mapsout different opportunities of when the best time to do this heavy stage stuff, and whatthe volume should be, we work them all into our training approach. I believe when you’re training like an athleteyou can’t afford to overlook things like this. We work them all in. All our programs are available over at ATHLEANX.com.
In the meantime, if you’ve found the videohelpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know when you start to incorporatethese, if they really start to help your low back pain go away, and your lower back itselfto feel a lot stronger. I’ll be back here in just a couple of days with for you. See you.