T Nation

Lower Back


#1

Hello CT,

i would like to hear your advice on this topic : how to strengthen your lower back muscles and make them more endurable!

(I mean all the back muscles for heavy deadlift , rows , squats , Zercher lifts , overhead presses = so lower back and erectors)

I think that the 'lower back' muscles are the reason why I can't train more frequently. I mean when your quads or calves or pecs are fatigued/sore, you can still train big movements, however when your" lower back" muscles are fatigued you CAN'T really touch a barbell.

I remember from one of your articles (lessons from cross fit ?) that you recommended to make every training session something for the lower back. Is that the best strategy?

(My training is 1 big movement and than 1-3 assistance exercises + light pump work for 5-6 days a week)

Thanks in advance,
Aki:)


#2

I use several movements for the lower back (not counting the big lifts like Romanian deadlifts, goodmorning, zerchers, etc.).

  1. Strict goodmorning
  1. “Rolling” back extension. On the back extension bench. It’s like a regular back extension but instead of lifting your torso up and down while keeping the lower back arched, you are “rolling your spine” on the way down, while bending forward, and “un-rolling” and extending on the way up (I’ll make a video).

  2. Arched back extension. This is you normal back extension where you keep your lower back arched during the whole movement.

  3. Back extension machine.

I try to do at least one per session. Sometimes two. I like to start every workout with light arched back extensions (3 x 10, no added weight, slow tempo) and finish the session with a loaded movement (one of the 4 with added resistance for sets of 8-10 reps).


#3

Okay thank you CT, i will start too with a daily lower back exercise. Waiting for the vidoe to point 2 :stuck_out_tongue:
Thank you CT!


#4

What’s your reasoning behind starting every workout with light extensions?


#5

[quote]Akidara wrote:
What’s your reasoning behind starting every workout with light extensions?
[/quote]

Just a good warm-up while doing some extra work… former habit from my Olympic lifting days where we started every workout with back extensions and jumps


#6

Coach Thibaudeau,

You mentioned a “rolling back extension” above and it sounds fairly similar to the exercise done in the second video that ATG posted here (and called a “Jefferson curl” on Facebook) : http://bit.ly/1D29Gv9 (wasn’t sure if I should embed a 3rd party’s video here). And both seem similar to an exercise I think (but am not sure it was here) I read you talk about, where you stand on a plate or block and do sort of a rounded back deadlift using a light kettlebell and sort of “rolling” at the top. Does that sound familiar or am I completely mis-remembering (apologies if so)?

Basically I need improve my back stability and thoracic mobility so I don’t get so bent over in top sets of front squats (though I’m sure it’s also ankle and hip mobility that is contributing to this). I’ve seen lots of both good and bad suggestions out there. I like Zercher squats, but I feel that they are best for strength and less so mobility, while using the peanut and rolling are good for mobility but not strength. I’m wondering if these “rolling” type back exercises, done light and slowly progressing, add an element of strength and mobility at the same time. Or am I thinking about this the wrong way?


#7

[quote]smithdon wrote:
Coach Thibaudeau,

You mentioned a “rolling back extension” above and it sounds fairly similar to the exercise done in the second video that ATG posted here (and called a “Jefferson curl” on Facebook) : http://bit.ly/1D29Gv9 (wasn’t sure if I should embed a 3rd party’s video here). And both seem similar to an exercise I think (but am not sure it was here) I read you talk about, where you stand on a plate or block and do sort of a rounded back deadlift using a light kettlebell and sort of “rolling” at the top. Does that sound familiar or am I completely mis-remembering (apologies if so)?

Basically I need improve my back stability and thoracic mobility so I don’t get so bent over in top sets of front squats (though I’m sure it’s also ankle and hip mobility that is contributing to this). I’ve seen lots of both good and bad suggestions out there. I like Zercher squats, but I feel that they are best for strength and less so mobility, while using the peanut and rolling are good for mobility but not strength. I’m wondering if these “rolling” type back exercises, done light and slowly progressing, add an element of strength and mobility at the same time. Or am I thinking about this the wrong way? [/quote]

The back extension I mentioned is exactly the same action as the Jefferson curl which I also use from time to time, mostly as a warm-up drill.


#8

Ah, ok, thank you Coach. I’ll give it a try as a light warm-up for a few slow, controlled sets.