Target the back side of your core with these exercises exercises to strengthen lower back muscles that you can complete at home or the gym.
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Your abs and obliques aren't the only part of your core that deserves your attention. If you've been focusing all of your effort on the front side of your core, you might want to start asking yourself "how can I strengthen my lower back muscles?"

You want to make sure that you're also strengthening muscles in your back, such as the erector spinae muscles, which run along the length of your spine, including your lower back. Doing so can help you avoid a muscle imbalance that might result from only focusing on those frontal core muscles. Doing so will also help you maintain good posture, and that added core strength can pay off by aiding you in everyday tasks and helping you avoid injury. (Next: Read more about your posterior chain — the muscles that run along the whole back of your body — and why they're important.)

If your next question is "how do I strengthen my lower back at home?" you're in the right place. This workout from Nike master trainer Rebecca Kennedy combines five of the best exercises to strengthen lower back muscles into one 10-minute workout, and all you'll need to do it is a set of dumbbells. (Want to hit the upper back too? Try this 10-minute upper back workout.)

Ready to get strong? Get started.

10-Minute Workout to Strengthen Lower-Back Muscles

How it works: Perform one round each of the following five moves for the indicated number of reps.

You'll need: A pair of dumbbells

Front Squat

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding dumbbells to shoulders.

B. Keeping weight in heels, bend knees to lower butt toward the floor.

C. Straighten knees to return to starting position.

Do 10 to 12 reps.

Prone Y-W-T

A. Lie facedown, arms extended forward, biceps by ears.

B. Widen arms to create a "Y."

C. Draw elbows down next to ribs, then extend arms straight out to sides, keeping them lifted toward the ceiling throughout the movement.

D. Swing arms around to return to starting position.

Do 10 to 12 reps.

Deadlift

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart with knees softly bent, holding dumbbells by sides.

B. Hinge forward at the hips until torso is almost parallel to the floor.

C. With a flat back, lift torso and press hips forward to return to starting position.

Do 10 to 12 reps.

Rolling Spine Plank

A. Start with hands feet on the floor, keeping back and legs straight. This is downward dog.

B. Lower hips toward the floor and roll through spine into a high plank.

C. Press hips up toward the ceiling to return to downward dog.

Do 10 to 12 reps.

Cat-Cow

A. Standing on all fours, contract belly button toward spine to round back toward the ceiling, letting head drop toward the floor.

B. Bring belly toward floor, arching back and looking toward the ceiling.

Do 10 to 12 reps.