T Nation

How to Alleviate Lower Back Tightness?

Been having this problem recently and I think it has affected my DL performance somewhat. Besides using a tennis ball to roll my lower back,what other measures are there?


Your tightness can’t really be answered by any of us, but things that normally cause lower back pain: no core stability, tight hip flexors, glutes that aren’t strong/can’t activate properly, lack of hip/ankle mobility, and lack of hip internal rotation. I would start by reading this article:

also take a look at Eric Cresseys’ “Lower back savers” articles (2)

I am firm believer in seated good mornings. Go light- sets of 8-12. Lean forward as far as is comfortable. As your back loosens up, you will be more comfortable going lower.

I second the tight hip flexors. Your lower back has to hyperextend to compensate for tight hip flexors, and that’s usually where most people feel the pain.


If you can’t do this without calling an ambulance, you’re too tight.


If this soreness is simply exercise induced “pump”, i usually like to do standing ab pulldowns. helps relieve some tightness.

I’ve started doing russian twists off a decline bench recently and they’ve really helped my back feel nice.

That being said, from your description there could literally be ANYTHING wrong with you.

foam roll + Jack’s Blue Heat and I can handle most anything. Throw in some occasional hamstring streches for good measure and maybe some more ab work.

I find the kneeling hip flexor stretch just about useless.

I bend the knee onto a table top, or something fairly high with the top of my foot. Lean back, and then take a dip. The first few times I actually induced lower back pain, but it eventually healed and its 100% again.

ATG narrow stance overhead squats as a warm up before any heavy lower body work have helped me alot. Every time I phase them out my back gets stiff and sore before long. Even going no heavier than an unloaded olympic bar does the trick - do as many sets/reps as needed to go completely arse to calves and sit down there comfortably for maybe 5-10 seconds whilst maintaining a good back arch. Worth a try.