Lumbar muscles are important for the body's daily balance. This is why we must strengthen them, but not necessarily with the exercises that we think. Jeff Cavaliere has explained everything.
The lumbar are small muscles in the lower back area that come in contact with the pelvis, and which are very important for protecting the spine. An area which is often not muscular enough, the evidence being it is not uncommon that back pain is located in the lumbar region. One bad move or lifting something too heavy can definitely cause an injury.
And who has come to save us once again? Jeff Cavaliere of course. On his Youtube channel, the sports coach explained how to build muscle in the lower back to avoid having problems in the future, but especially how have a well-balanced body to be in better shape everyday.
Be careful with certain exercises
One would think that the deadlift is a perfect exercise to develop the lumbar muscles, since it uses the back. This is a mistake according to Jeff Cavaliere. ‘The deadlift is not a movement of extension of the back but rather a movement of the hip leading to an extension of the hip and a contraction of the glutes (at the end of the movement). The lower back is rather little used with isometric contraction of the lumbar muscles that only allow the bar to be held up,’ he explains in his video. In other words, although the deadlift is a great exercise for the whole body, it does not work the lower back enough.
It's the same for the kettle bell swing, which is once again an exercise that engages the hips well before working the lower back. There is also the Good Morning, but again Jeff Cavaliere explains that this exercise is not suited to everyone in view of the difficulty and the technique it requires.
What exercises to do for the lower back?
To be sure to succeed in strengthening your lumbar muscles without hurting your back the perfect exercises are bent over raises. But beware, contrary to what one might think, it is necessary to twist the back during the descent and come back up until the spine is in a neutral position. There is no point in stretching too high, at the risk of hyper-extension, which - as you know - is very bad for the functioning of a muscle.
It is possible to also do two other exercises without equipment. ‘If you have weak lumbar muscles, you should consider using a few sets of hip raises with your feet up or Superman exercises with the weight of the body in order to engage and use the lower back muscles with low intensity but with extra volume,’ says Cavaliere.
How to do the exercises?
1. High hip raises: With the shoulders on the floor and feet raised on the heels, lift the glutes up to engage the lower back and hold the position for one second. Then return to the original position. Careful, the movement must not be done using the heels but with the glutes.
2. Superman: Lying on the belly with arms and legs outstretched. Raise your legs and shoulders slightly, keeping your arms straight. Hold the position and release. No need to extend too high to avoid going into hyper-extension.
Check out the video above for more tips!