T Nation

Lower Back Strength/Endurance for MMA


What is the best way to increase strength and endurance in the lower back for MMA? Ive just started doing 20x2 rep deadlifts once a week for strength endurance, not sure if its enough. Anyone have any other ideas on exercises, rep ranges, or training frequency of the lower back?


I don't think there is a best way but there are lots of different ways:

CT outlined a mechanical drop set that sets off my lower back - snatch grip DL, RDL, sumo squat - 6 reps of each with 10 second rest between movements. Rest and repeat.

I've also found 6, 12, 25 with RDL's (6 reps), single leg ham curls (6 each leg) and back extension (try for 25 reps) to be effective at lighting up the lower back.

Overhead squating can be challenging.

Overhead keg runs with stops / weaving.

Slow / paused eccentric deadlifting seems to bring the pain.

1 arm backward sled drag.

1 arm cable rowing.

1 arm farmers walk.

Any back extension will help, bonus if you add a rotation and hold at top. Harder still to use uneven load on shoulders.


Kicking the heavy bag is great. You also want to be working stability based work for the lower back more than mobility.


Sounds good. seems there is many ways to achive form is sloppy this goal. Ill stick with 20rep deads and try add some other backward sled dragging or something. Cable pull-throughs mite even be good for high reps. Ive read that high deadlifts can be damaging for your back?


I think first step is get a new avatar
second step is roll around

third is back extensions, and dead lifts

fourth is consistency


reverse hyper if you have access to one


Whats a new atavar? Il jus keep deadlifting...my goal is to get to 20x3 with 225(100kg). Hopefully my lower back will be bulletproof by then. yea reverse hyper would be great. cant afford it and cant be stuffed ordering it from louie. Think high rep Overhead squats will be good for static core strength.


I would not isolate the lower back per se and concentrate on the entire mid section front and back so there is a balance. I like to do kettlebell swings, turkish get-ups, deadlifting, sitting v sit-ups and plank holds. There is alot you can do. Do you have issues with your lower back?


Had bit of a back tweak before but its ok now, stil catious cause i dont want feel that again. Im doing TGU as part of ground circuit. Deadlifting on weekends like i said 20x2.Sit-ups and planks are also im my program when i do abs at end. Dont have kettlebells - so swings are out, doesnt look like an effective exercise, but thats what i said about TGU. Recently started doing Sumo type squats holding a heavy bag - seems to burn lower back pretty quick and is also specific. Most of my workouts are done in 5min circuits to mimic MMA. Deads and bench are done seperatly because of rest time.


Sounds like you have it covered. Maybe try varying the training on deadlift days. Try going lighter with more reps. Am I reading this correctly 20 sets of 2 reps?


I meant 2 sets of 20reps sometimes i do 3 sets. i use deadlift 405 but i found was too much loading when combining with stairs and running.So now im doin sets of 20 with around 205/225.
Yea think il jus keep doin what im doing...as long as im covering all angles shoud be ok