Strengthen your lower back with these how-to exercise videos 

The lower back is often a main cause of pain, especially as you get older. Here is a list of lower back exercises that will strengthen your lower back. With stronger lower back muscles you're also banishing those lower back pains you've always had.

Lower back exercises you can do at home

Stiff Leg Deadlift to make your lower back stronger

  • Take a household weight in each hand, such as tinned food or a similar heavy object
  • Stand up straight with your feet in a shoulder-width position
  • While keeping your legs straight at all times, bend your upper body forwards and downwards until your hands are close to the floor
  • Reverse the motion to the starting position, making sure that your lower back area is doing the work in a comfortable manner
  • Initially, you may find that you cannot bend down as far as the floor - you need to go as far as is comfortable
  • Keeping the legs straight at all times is important to avoid injury
  • Complete your desired set of repetitions

Intermediate Exercises to strengthen your lower back muscles 

How to do a back raise on an exercise ball to train your lower back

  • From a kneeling position, lower yourself face-down over the exercise ball
  • Make sure that your pelvis is in line with the centre of the ball
  • Stretch out your legs behind you
  • For extra resistance, push your feet against a wall
  • Place your hands on the back of your head
  • Slowly raise your torso until your body is positioned in a straight line
  • Stretch your back and hold the position for a second
  • Slowly bring your torso back down towards the ball until you are back in your starting place
  • Repeat the exercise

How to do a back extension to make your lower back stronger

  • Lie stomach down on an exercise mat or a soft floor
  • Your hands can be on the floor, or behind your head to increase the difficulty
  • Keep your legs straight and your feet pointing towards the floor
  • Contract your abdominal muscles. Keep them contracted for the rest of the exercise
  • Lift your chest just a few inches from the floor
  • Your abs should stay flat on the ground throughout the exercise
  • Gently lower your chest back to the floor

Advanced Exercises to help with lower back pain

How to do the barbell deadlift to strengthen your lower back

  • Take your stance in front of a weighted barbell
  • With your back as straight as possible, bend your knees, sit back with your hips and bend forward
  • Grab the bar with a shoulder width overhand grip (use wrist straps if you want)
  • Hold the bar and start to lift by pushing with your heels, and using your legs to bring your torso upright – exhaling as you do so
  • Stick your chest out, contract your back by bringing your shoulder blades back (as if you had been ordered to stand to attention)
  • Return to your starting point by bending your knees as you lean your torso forward at the waist still keeping a straight back until the barbell touches the floor
  • Repeat for number of repetitions you’ve chosen

How to do stiff legged deadlift with a bar to exercise your lower back muscles

  • Carefully grasp the bar using the palms-down overhand grip
  • For a heavy lift, you might want to use wrist straps
  • Always keep your back straight and avoid any jerky movements
  • Adopt a stance with your torso straight and your feet at a width equal to or slightly narrower than that of your shoulders
  • With knees slightly bent and holding the bar at just below waist height, this is your starting point
  • Inhale as you keep your knees stationary, bend at the hips, and keep your back straight, as you lower the bar by making a forward movement until you feel your hamstrings stretch with the bar at a point between your knees and feet
  • Exhale as you extend your hips and straighten your torso, returning to your starting point
  • Repeat until you have completed your set

How to do deadlift with dumbbells to work your lower back

  • Put two dumbbells on the floor and stand behind them with a shoulder width stance
  • Bend your knees, and grasp the dumbbells using an overhand grip
  • Taking care not to round your lower back, rise up with the dumbbells in your hands
  • As you rise, pull your torso in and thrust your hips forward
  • Once you are standing up straight, hold this position for a few seconds before slowly lowering the dumbbells to the floor, bending your legs slightly as you complete the movement
  • Place the dumbbells on the floor, straighten back up and return to the starting position

How to do a stiff legged deadlift with dumbbells to train your lower back

  • Carefully and firmly hold each dumbbell at arm’s length down either side of your body
  • Avoid any jerky movements and don’t try to use dumbbells that are too heavy for you
  • Adopt a comfortable starting position where your legs are the width of, or slightly narrower than, that of your shoulders. Your knees should be slightly bent and your torso straight
  • Keep your knees stationary as you move forward and lower the dumbbells to a point between knee and foot where you feel a stretch through your hamstrings – exhale as you complete this part of the exercise
  • Return your torso to its original position by extending your hips and waist – inhale as you complete this action
  • Repeat the exercise until you have finished your set of repetitions