T Nation

Looking for a Good Lower Back Routine


I am in need of some good exercises to help strengthen my lower back. I was doing deadlifts and extensions along with various upper back exercises but I am not seeing the strengths gains that I want . I have always had trouble doing deadlifts because they usually result in me pulling the same muscle when I try to go heavy.

So I am looking for something to go along with light deadlifts. My lower body and legs are by far the weakest points on my body and I would really like to improve both areas.

My workout schedule varies from week to week but I usually do:
Mon -chest and triceps
Tues/Wed -back and Biceps
Thurs -shoulders
Fri -legs

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


What are you pulling mate? do you stretch regularly and have you seen a professional for their opinion?


I have never tried to max out on deadlifts or squats but I am pretty sure I bench more than I squat and deadlift (if that tells you how uneven my lower body is). My max bench is 220. I am a little guy, around 118lbs. I have not seen a professional. The trainers around my area are not very good and I take most of my advice from my friends who are much bigger than me. I try to stretch a little after doing back but should probably do more.


Wait let me understand this - you have a bad lower back but can somehow bench 100 lbs more than you weigh? How tall are you or better yet, post a video of that 220 bench.


I don't do any direct lower back work, but between barbell rows, squats, and glute ham raises it always gets sore & usually barely recovers as it is. If you are doing these kinds of movements which are going to tax your lower back heavily already, I don't think you need to do a specialized lower back routine. Just guessing from what you've said so far, the issue is probably something much more fundamental

"118lbs. "

how long have you been training and have you gained any weight since starting? if not, this, and possibly this alone is the reason you are not gaining strength.

I would also take a very careful look at form if you are having trouble with your squats and deads. Also, the obvious solution is that if can't deadlift without hurting yourself, just stop deadlifting, at least for the time being until you can get your form sorted out. They are not really necessary unless you are powerlifting - there are other (arguably better) ways to hit those muscles. If you feel like you must continue them, then you need to get some help and there's no way around that (if you've got a video camera, there are some people on these forums that might be able to).


I have a weak lower back compared to the rest of my body. My upper back is decent but my legs and lower back are not comparable to my upper body. I am only 5'3. 220lbs is my max 1 time bench. That was a couple months ago and since then I have not tried to go any higher. I am on the "Ohio State bench routine" trying to improve my bench. Before, I did another bench routine from this site that worked great. My goal is 240.

I have been lifting for awhile but only within the last 3 years I have been taking it more seriously. I have probably only gained 10-15lbs since I have been training hard.

Anybody have any good routines for back that strengthen the lower back?


One exercise that I really love is similar to a back extension, except the pad where your hip/thigh is resting, have your abdomen against it, sort of like a rev. crunch(not the kind where you flex your bent hips/legs). You can load up some nice weights too.
Sort of like this, but not so gay and using a proper back extension bench.


Dawg, you are only 120lbs.

You need to gain weight everywhere, not just focus on your lower back.

Start hitting back and legs twice a week each. Your lower back will pump like a motherfucker at first. I'm talking walking from the car to the front door is going to make you want to lay down and cry. This will subside as you grow stronger.

But more importantly eat more fucking food.


I remember in HS, when I just started lifting weights, all bad ass deadlifting 225, I did it rest-pause style, not on purpose, it was because I didn't know what the fuck I was doing, but anyway, I did like 7 my first set, then 5 or whatever, but I just kept going, and oh man, I've never had more blood pumping in my lower back ever, felt so good.


Firstly, 118 lbs is too freaking small, 5'3" or not. that's a 6 foot guy weighing between roughly 140-150 lbs. Shit, 6 foot basketball players weigh at least 165 lbs at the competitive level and they're still skinny (as well as being very short to play college ball). You need to add at least 20 lbs on your frame to look "normal", and about 40 lbs on your frame to look like you train with weights.

Secondly, This training split is not something conducive to back and leg strength which you admit is your weaknesses. The greatest problem with people not seeing results is their refusal to concentrate on their weaknesses because they don't like it, or are ignorant of how to do it, or are just too damned lazy.

So, your new split is this

Day 1--back and legs

Day 2--chest and shoulders.

Day 3--back and legs

Day 4--chest and shoulders

Workout 4 days a week and pick different exercises for each day. at 118 lbs there is zero need to focus on biceps. None.

Include good mornings on 1 of your leg days, and deadlifts on the other. Also include rack pulls on one of your leg days. Make certain you do the exercises with proper form--especially good mornings. Good mornings are the best lower back builders there are but you need to do them properly at all cost. Don't ever go to failure on good mornings. That is only acceptable for experienced trainees. For you it is too likely to be dangerous in the foreseeable future.


tried back extensions at the end of my leg workout and Matty G it was BRUTAL walking after that lol. All it took was 3 sets of 15 after ham curls, no weight added. :0


Did you try them with your abdomen on the pad?
When you're done them, it will feel like you have Boa constrictors for spinal erectors.
For me, it is quite like what Arnold said, 'I'm cumming!!!!!!!!!!'


Yes i did. Walking was not fun after that :wink: