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Lower Back Weight Exercises for a Stronger Spine

Are you tired of that nagging back pain? Have you ever looked at your friend and wished you could have a stronger, more resilient core like him/her? If such thoughts have crossed your mind, it indicates that you have the desire to get a healthier back. Like every goal a person sets in life, getting a defined back also takes some effort.

Some of you may be surprised, but lower back workouts are more than just a fitness fad. They are essential for daily movement and posture. Our lumbar spine isn’t as delicate as we think it is. Challenging it with lower back weight exercises can help to reduce any pain symptoms, while improving our athletic and gym performance (9).

This article sheds light on building back muscles with weights and specific exercises. Keep reading to discover some of the best lower back workouts!

What Weight Training Works Lower Back?

Numerous muscles combine to build our lower back. A good lower back workout gets assistance from the glutes to extend the posterior chain from the bottom to upwards (7). It is essential to train these muscles regularly to improve their muscular endurance.

The following are some weight exercises for lower back pain that could help deal with back-related problems:


Performing deadlifts is an incredible way to strengthen most of your muscle groups. However, it can be risky if it is performed incorrectly. Here are the steps to perform a deadlift:

  1. Stand close to a barbell, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend over from your hips, stick your butt out, and slightly bend your knees to reach the bar. Hold it with hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing you.
  3. Keep your back straight from top to bottom. Take a deep breath and tighten your stomach muscles.
  4. Push into the ground with your legs to lift the bar.
  5. Straighten up once the bar passes your knees by pushing your hips forward.
  6. Lower the bar back to the ground, guiding it with your hands.

Pro Tip: Make sure your spine stays rigid and motionless throughout the deadlift. Do not round the upper or lower back as you lift.

Bent-Over Barbell Row

Bodybuilders often use this exercise to bulk their backs. Nonetheless, this technique can increase muscle mass for anyone who knows how to do it. Check out these steps to perform a bent-over barbell row:

  1. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, hands by your sides, behind a barbell.
  2. grab the barbell with your palms facing you, step back out of the rack, brace your core, push your hips back, Bending over with a straight back.
  3. Keep your back almost parallel to the floor. Look down to keep your neck straight.
  4. Pull the bar up to your chest, leading with your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and only move your arms.
  5. Slowly lower the bar back down and repeat.

It is vital to brace your core when you lift weights. Just don’t lift the bar too quickly, and go for a weight that works for your fitness level. If you are a beginner, start with three sets of 10 reps. This can be adjusted based on the weight of the barbells.


Good Mornings

This exercise primarily targets the posterior chain but can also increase strength in the spinal erector muscles and the hamstring (1). This makes them an excellent addition to the lower body strength workout, deadlifts, and squats. To perform this:

  1. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Put your hands behind your head.
  2. Slowly bend forward from your hips, pushing your butt back like you’re closing a door with it. Keep your back straight.
  3. Keep bending until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. brace your core to stay balanced.
  4. Hold for a second, then return to standing.

Studies show that adding weights to good mornings makes your hamstrings and back muscles work harder (4). That said, once you are comfortable doing them without weights, add some to build strength and muscle.

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Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing uses dynamic momentum to pull the body in a hip hinge and loads your lower back simultaneously. Swings are an incredible lower-back builder that works as a conditioning tool. These can increase your heart rate when you get in a delicate rhythm (8).

Here is how you can perform a kettlebell swing:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider) with a kettlebell between your feet.
  2. Bend over, grab the kettlebell, and swing it back between your legs.
  3. Quickly push your hips forward to swing the kettlebell up to chest height.
  4. As the kettlebell swings back down and behind you, tighten your stomach muscles and push your hips back.

Pro Tip: Keep your arms relaxed and allow the weight to move from the force applied to the hips.

Goblet Squat

A goblet squat can be performed using a kettlebell or a dumbbell. You can add more weights if you want to take it to the next level. 

The steps to perform a goblet squat are:

  1. Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Hold a kettlebell (or dumbbell) in front of your chest.
  2. Bend your knees and hips like you’re sitting in a chair, keeping your chest up and knees over your toes.
  3. Hold when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your balance for 3-5 seconds.
  4. Slowly stand up, pushing through your heels.

Make sure that you maintain a neutral spine through this movement. Keep your gaze towards the front to maintain balance and the proper posture. With this, your thighs and glutes will feel the burn, but the goblet squat will also work your biceps, deltoids, and cardiovascular system as it is full body exercise.  (6).

What Exercises Work the Lower Back?

According to the national data survey, about one-fourth of US adults have reported having lower back pain in the past 3 months. Research has proven that about 80% of adults are likely to experience lower back pain at some point in their lives (2). This means that if you haven’t experienced it now, there is a good chance that you will experience it at some point in the future.

Making lower back calisthenics a part of your regular workout sessions can ensure that your back stays safe now and in the future. Here are some exercises you can include in a lower back workout at home:

Partial Curl-Up

This exercise focuses on engaging the abdominal muscles. The target isn’t to perform a whole sit-up because it may cause back pain in some people. Here is how you can do the partial curl-up correctly:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Cross your arms over your chest.
  3. Breathe out and tighten your stomach muscles to lift your head and shoulders off the floor.

Focus on exhaling and pushing your lower back into the floor when you curl your shoulders upwards.

Cat Camel

The cat camel exercise is a gentle spine mobilization (3). It works on stretching and strengthening the core. This can help to relieve the low or mid-back pain. The steps to perform the cat camel pose are:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Tuck your chin and tighten your stomach muscles, pulling your belly button towards the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds.
  2. Slowly lift your head while dropping your belly button down towards the floor, arching your back. Hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat, switching back and forth between the two positions slowly.

The Cat-Camel exercise is a great way to fix or prevent bad posture, especially for people who work at a desk or sit for a long time.


Knee-to-Chest Stretch

Knee-to-chest stretch is often considered an easy lower back workout at home. This movement can increase your joint flexibility and help reduce stiffness related to spinal arthritis (11). To perform a knee-to-chest stretch, you have to:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  2. Lift one knee towards your chest and hold it with both hands below the knee.
  3. If lifting both knees, lift one first, then quickly the other.
  4. If lifting both knees together, hold them below the chest.
  5. Gently pull your knee(s) closer to your chest.
  6. Relax your legs, hips, and lower back as you pull.
  7. Hold for a few seconds.
  8. Lower your leg(s) back down.
  9. Repeat on the other side.

Perform this stretch around 10 to 15 times daily. You can do it one or two times as needed.

Read more: The Simplest Lower Back Calisthenics Guide for Beginners


Mermaid is a graceful yoga pose that offers several perks for the mind and body. It is a deep hip opener pose that can stretch your quadriceps, hip flexors, and groin muscles. Here is how you can perform this pose:

  1. Sit down and take a deep breath in through your nose, then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Imagine your belly button moving towards your spine.
  2. Raise one arm towards the ceiling, keeping your back straight.
  3. As you breathe out, lean to the side and stretch your arm over your head, making a “C” shape with your body.
  4. Breathe in and come back up straight. Breathe out and lower your arm.
  5. Repeat on the other side. Do this 3 to 5 times on each side.

If you have any medical conditions, it is best to discuss them with a healthcare professional or a qualified yoga instructor before you attempt this pose. 

Seated Spinal Twist

Seated spinal twist is a form of restorative yoga that encourages spinal mobility. Regularly performing this pose can tone your belly and massage your internal organs (10). Often performed at the end of a sequence, this pose is relaxing and stimulating.

The steps to perform a seated spinal twist are:

  1. Sit with your legs straight.
  2. Cross your right leg over the left, and put your foot on the floor.
  3. Put your right hand on the floor by your hip.
  4. Breathe in and raise your left arm.
  5. Breathe out, twist to the right, and bring your left elbow down to the outside of your right knee.
  6. Take 4-5 deep breaths in this position.
  7. Switch legs and repeat.

Pro Tip: Keep your back straight and tall as you twist. If reaching your elbow is too hard, put your left hand on your right hip.

Apart from the ones mentioned here, you can find many exercises that can be included in a lower back workout. You can research the correct forms online and curate a routine that complements your fitness level.

Plus, getting help from a certified fitness trainer is always an option. A study published in JAMA showed that people who received personalized guidance from a physical therapist had better and longer-lasting results than those who followed a general exercise program (5). If regular workouts are complex, you can look for chair exercises to relieve lower back pain. They are relatively easy for beginners and are pretty effective too.

What Bodyweight Exercises Work Lower Back?

Regarding pain management, we always request our readers to seek help from a medical professional. Nonetheless, some people may experience stiffness in their lower back because of a sedentary lifestyle or individual factors like age, gender, or bone density. You can create a special workout routine to help yourself deal with these problems.

Below, we have discussed quick steps to perform lower back strengthening exercises that could help ease your discomfort.

Bird Dog

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips.
  2. Slowly lift one arm forward and the opposite leg backwards, keeping them straight and level with the floor. Squeeze your buttock muscles to help.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm and leg.

Glute Bridge

  1. Start on your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips.
  2. Extend one leg straight out behind you, keeping your thighs level.
  3. Push through your heels to lift your hips, squeezing your glutes.
  4. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower back down.
  5. Repeat with the other leg, alternating several times.


  1. Start on your elbows and knees, placing elbows directly under your shoulders.
  2. Step your feet back one at a time until your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Tighten your thigh, buttock, and core muscles.
  4. Press your forearms and toes into the floor.
  5. Hold for 30-60 seconds or as long as you can maintain good form.
  6. Repeat for 1-3 sets.

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Back Extension

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms stretched out before you.
  2. Lift both your arms and legs off the ground at the same time.
  3. Hold this position briefly, feeling your back, glutes, and hamstrings working.
  4. Lower your arms and legs back to the ground.
  5. Repeat this several times.

Seated Glute Stretch

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Bend your left leg and put your left ankle on your right knee.
  3. Lean forward a little to stretch more.
  4. Hold this position for 20 seconds.
  5. Switch legs and repeat the stretch.


  1. Lie on your stomach on a yoga mat with your arms and legs straight out.
  2. Gently lift your arms, chest, and legs towards the ceiling as far as possible without discomfort.
  3. Look down at the floor to keep your neck relaxed.
  4. Tighten your back and buttock muscles as you hold this position.
  5. Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat, feeling your back, hips, and arms working.

Read more: 10 Exercises To Strengthen Lower Back and Core

How Do You Build Lower Back Muscle?

Building lower back muscles requires proper form, targeted exercises, and consistency. Deadlifts, good mornings, hyperextension, and bird dogs are some exercises you can include in your routine.

Remember to warm up before you begin your exercise. You should also stretch your lower back muscles after the exercise, to prevent injury. If you are a beginner, consider starting with basic moves and gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts over time.

Seniors usually face lower back problems. They can opt for chair yoga for lower back pain. This can improve posture and reduce the risk of chronic back pain.



  • Does RDL work the lower back?

Yes, Romanian Deadlifts (RDL) work on the lower back, especially the erector spinae muscles that run along your spine. These muscles help to maintain a good posture and prevent back pain. Incorrect form, like rounding your back, can exert excessive stress on your lower back and lead to injury. And if you have any pre-existing back problems, you should consult a healthcare professional before including RDL in your workout routine.

  • Is a deadlift good for the lower back?

Yes, deadlifts are a great way to build a strong lower back. They work all the muscles on the back of your body, including your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. But to avoid getting hurt, using the correct form and starting with lighter weights is essential.

  • Should I train my lower back with weights?

Lifting weights can strengthen your lower back, but it is essential to be careful and use the correct technique. Start with light weights and practice proper form before lifting heavier ones. You can try exercises like deadlifts, hyperextensions, and good mornings to work your lower back. If you have back problems, talk to a trainer or physical therapist before starting.

  • Do squats work the lower back?

Squats mainly work the muscles in your legs and butt, not really your lower back. While your lower back muscles help keep you steady during squats, you must do other exercises to strengthen them. Try deadlifts, hyperextensions, or good mornings if you want to focus on your lower back.

The Bottom Line

Including targeted lower back weight exercises can significantly affect your strength, stability, and overall well-being. Note that constant practice and proper form are the keys to unlocking the full potential of these exercises. Prioritize your back health and listen to your body when creating a workout routine. By dedicating yourself to these exercises, you can build a more robust and healthier back, allowing you to enjoy a more active and fulfilling life.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Back Exercises (n.d., physio-pedia.com)
  2. Back Pain (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  3. CAT CAMEL EXERCISE (n.d., transformchiropractic.com)
  4. Effects of load on good morning kinematics and EMG activity (2015, peerj.com)
  5. Effect of Motor Skill Training in Functional Activities vs Strength and Flexibility Exercise on Function in People With Chronic Low Back Pain A Randomized Clinical Trial (2020, jamanetwork.com)
  6. How to Do a Goblet Squat (2022, webmd.com)
  7. How to Strengthen Your Posterior Chain Muscles (2021, healthline.com)
  8. Kettlebell swing, snatch, and bottoms-up carry: back and hip muscle activation, motion, and low back loads (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  9. Manual Therapy Techniques For The Lumbar Spine (n.d., physio-pedia.com)
  10. Seated Spinal Twist (n.d., classpass.com)
  11. What Is Spinal Stenosis? (2023, verywellhealth.com)
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