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Question about Lower Back Training

   My gym has a standard back extension "bench" and also a Life Fitness back extension machine. I usually keep my reps in the 10-15 range on the bench, but I feel like I should be taking advantage of the machine and going much heavier. My question is, is there any reason why i shouldn't be doing reps of 4-6 on the machine? I feel like most people would advise against low rep extensions, so I'm just curious what you guys do.

going heavier should be fine as long as you keep good form, but have you heard of deadlifts,rdls or good mornings

I never even bother directly working the lower back. Deadlift variations and squat variations work well for me.

I agree, that your low back gets sufficient work with most of the basic compound lower body movements…squats, deads (both conventional and sumo) and others, IF you have a healthy low back to begin with. If not…that’s a whole other issue.

However, here are a few more exercises that will not only improve the overall quality of your program, but boost low back strength…

  1. Box Squats with a 1-2 second pause…this one’s a major posterior chain movement **Box height is at or just below a 90 degree hip angle…the lower the box, the more posterior chain involvement
  2. Standing BB military press and push press…especially when accentuating a slower negative
  3. 45 degree angle back extensions + DB Extensions…you hold a DB against your chest as you pull yourself to the top, then extend your arms straight over head (keeping a neutral spine alignment by keeping your chin level) and resist on the way down. Excellent for increasing tension on the erectors. all levels of the traps, rear shoulder girdle musculature, etc.)
  4. Glute-Ham Raises and Reverse Hypers (if available at your gym)…great for low back strengthening WITHOUT loading the spine…same with most unilateral lower body movements

[quote]PJS2010 wrote:
going heavier should be fine as long as you keep good form, but have you heard of deadlifts,rdls or good mornings[/quote]

…yes those are staples in my training…

Thanks for the advice. I do SLDLS, squats etc. but I do those lifts and other variations on leg day because I’m trying to bring my hamstrings up. I also like to work the lower back directly with isolation moves on back day (along with abs), and I wanted to make sure that there is no mechanical or physiological reason why low, heavy reps would be detrimental.

[quote]thoughts1053 wrote:
I never even bother directly working the lower back. Deadlift variations and squat variations work well for me.[/quote]

this = win

Most people don’t need direct lower back work because most have a strong lower back to begin with. What people should focus on is more glute and hamstring work.

Why not do 4-6 reps with machines? Some exercises don’t lend themselves to low rep work and can actually be dangerous if performed for low reps.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
Most people don’t need direct lower back work because most have a strong lower back to begin with. What people should focus on is more glute and hamstring work.

Why not do 4-6 reps with machines? Some exercises don’t lend themselves to low rep work and can actually be dangerous if performed for low reps. [/quote]

Hey Brick, do you work with anyone that has a hard time activating their glutes – would you agree this can be caused by an anterior pelvic tilt?