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Simple/Safe Low Back Exercises?

What are some simple/safe exercises for the low back/hamstrings?

I am helping out a 60 year old man build a workout program. I can’t give him much in-gym instruction, so I want to keep what he is doing relatively simple and safe for him. Originally I told him to do 45degree hyperextensions, but his gym doesn’t have it.

He’s comfortable doing squats as he has done them in the past a long time ago. But I don’t think it’d be a good idea to have him do deadlift/goodmorning variations considering the limited instruction I can give him, and I don’t think he’d be very comfortable with them anyway.


If it was me, I would have him do seated good mornings without a bar. All he has to do is sit on a bench so his legs straddle the bench, feet on the floor, then bend forward. The only instruction I would give him is keep his back arched and only go as low as he can while maintaining this arch. He can start with just his body weight for whatever set/rep scheme and if he needs some weight he can hold a plate on his chest.

Lying back extensions are a very good lower back exercise.

Try pull-troughs and standing good mornings while holding a weight plate across his chest. And as somebody’ve already said, lying back extensions really torches the lower back

Pull-throughs are probably the easiest to “get” just by watching. The only thing you really have to be explicit about is not to pull with your arms, and personally I don’t find that’s even really necessary.

planking and bird-dogs, then RDLs.

I’d skip the lying back extensions as you probably don’t want to practice hyperextension.

45’ Back Raise.
Sumo Deadlifts?

Romanian deadlift with moderate weights.

Taught properly this will also have the bonus of grooving good movement patterns for every day life.

Thanks guys! He certainly wouldn’t do pull-throughs and I think the sumo DLs are a bit much, but the rest fit perfectly.

Great ideas guys!

ME deadlifts.

Nah, seriously, get him to do some hyperextensions. Just stress to him that he should only come up to parallel and if possible to do it near a mirror so he can check this.

I would go with good mornings. Start light, of course. GMs have been very good for me- even when my back was totally fucked up. If he has the mobility to squat, GMs should not be too bad for him.