One of the best ways to bulletproof your body is to have a strong core. It'll help prevent injury and even boost your performance on other exercises.
When you hear “core muscles,” many people think of abs. However, the lower back is also part of your core musculature. Your lower back muscles are quite important. But many training routines don't work them enough.
Many people who sit at a desk all day or those who do heavy physical labor for work may experience low back pain.
Poor posture is also common due to many of our daily habits that affect the lower back.
So how do we fix that? Working your lower back muscles is an excellent place to start.
In this article, we'll break down the best lower back exercises with dumbbells. Using dumbbells is an excellent way to get a low-back workout. You won't need much equipment and can do these exercises anywhere. We'll also give you a full low-back workout routine for lifters of all skill levels.
If you're ready to get a great low back workout, let's get started.
Why is Lower Back Strength Important?
As we mentioned, lower back strength and the health of your lower back are quite important.
Low Back Pain is a Common Issue
Research has found that lower back pain is a huge problem in Western countries like the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 60-80% of people experience low-back pain at some point in their life. Low back pain in Western countries is due to how our lifestyles often put stress on the low back.
Research on Low Back Strength and Pain Reduction
One of the ways we can prevent low-back pain is through proper exercise. One study followed 106 middle-aged working men who reported having low-back pain. These men performed lower back exercises twice per week for 12 months. After those 12 months, they saw, on average, a 39% decrease in low-back pain.
Improve Performance and Prevent Injury
Those who are doing intense training, like heavy squats, deadlifts, etc., should also train the low back. Working your low back could help:
- Improve form on heavy exercises
- Increase work capacity
- Prevent injuries from occurring
To put it simply, pretty much everyone can benefit from working their low back. In general, exercise will benefit your overall health and well-being. Doing exercises to strengthen the low back can be a great first step.
What are the Benefits of Doing Lower Back Exercises with Dumbbells?
Dumbbell exercises can be a very efficient way to train the lower back.
One benefit of dumbbells is that they can be accessible pretty much anywhere. You can buy a simple pair of dumbbells to do these exercises at home.
You'll also have access to dumbbells at every commercial gym and even places like hotel gyms. This gives you no excuse to get your lower back workout in.
Dumbbells' other main benefit is that they give you a more free range of motion. You can do exercises with dumbells at different angles that feel best for your needs. This can be especially beneficial for those who have low back pain.
Top 10 Best Lower Back Exercises with Dumbbells
Here are the top 10 lower back exercises you can do with dumbbells.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift uses the low back to brace the weight throughout the movement. You'll also get a nice bonus of working your hamstrings quite a bit.
- Hold the dumbells in front of you, bend your knees slightly, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Push the weight back in your hips, and lower your upper body until your back is at a 45-90 degree angle.
Dumbbell Bent Over Row
The dumbbell bent over row will work your whole back. You will use your low back to brace while the rowing motion hits your upper back and lats.
- Push the weight back in your hips while lowering your upper body to a 45-degree angle.
- Hold the dumbells to your sides and pull them up toward the side of your stomach.
Dumbbell Good Mornings
Good mornings; use your full core to brace, including the low back. They're a great exercise to warm up with before a leg workout since they also activate the hamstrings.
- Hold a single dumbbell up to your chest, putting one hand on each side.
- With weight back in your hips and knees bent slightly, lower your upper body to a 45-90 degree angle.
Dumbbell Back Extensions
The dumbbell back extension targets your low back directly. It's an excellent movement to include toward the end of a back training session.
- Laying flat on the ground, hold up the dumbbells at the sides of your head with your arms bent at a 45-degree angle.
- Without using your arms, lift your upper body slightly off the ground until you feel a stretch in the low back.
Dumbbell Bird Dog Rows
If you want to get more dynamic with your exercises, the bird dog row is a great option. These require a lot of core stability, which will be great for building the low back muscles.
- Holding the dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand and right knee on a bench.
- Extend your left leg behind you while rowing the dumbbell up toward the side of your stomach. Do the opposite for the other side.
If you're familiar with a kettlebell swing, this is the same thing with a dumbbell instead. You need to keep your low back braced to maintain form while swinging, so it's great for building your core.
- Wrap your hands around the middle of a single dumbbell.
- Push the weight back in your hips, bring the dumbbell down between your legs, then swing it up to shoulder height.
Dumbbell Renegade Rows
The renegade row is another great core builder that requires a lot of stability. You'll also work your abs a good amount on this one too.
- Place two dumbbells on the floor spaced about shoulder-width apart.
- Put your hands on the dumbbells, get into a push-up position, and alternate rowing one dumbbell up at a time.
Dumbbell B Stance Deadlift
The B stance deadlift is a bit more beginner friendly than the traditional deadlift. That said, it still gets your low back involved quite a bit.
- Stand with one foot planted flat and the other foot behind you with your knee bent and heel elevated a bit.
- Keep your back straight, hold the dumbbells in front of you, and bend down until your back is at a 90-degree angle.
The hyperextension is more advanced than the previously mentioned back extension. But it hits the low back muscles in a similar way while also working the hamstrings quite a bit.
- Adjust the hyperextension bench so it rests right at your waistline when lying on it.
- Starting upright with the dumbbells in front of you, bend down like you're trying to touch the ground, then come back up.
Dumbbell Farmer's Walk
The farmer's walk is a great conditioning exercise. It requires a lot of core stability that builds the upper back while walking with the dumbbells.
- Start holding the dumbbells with your arms at your sides.
- Keep your core braced and shoulders pulled back while walking for distance or time.
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Lower Back Workout Routines
Here are three sample workout routines using the best dumbbell lower back exercises. You can perform these once or twice per week. Incorporate these with a complete strength training routine to get the best results.
If you’ve been training for less than 2 years, start with this beginner routine.
|Dumbbell Good Mornings||3||12||60s|
|Dumbbell Back Extensions||3||12||60s|
The intermediate routine will be best for those who have been training for 2-5 years.
|Dumbbell Bent Over Row||4||10||45s|
|Dumbbell Renegade Rows||4||10||45s|
|Dumbbell B Stance Deadlift||4||10||45s|
|Dumbbell Farmer's Walk||3||20m||60s|
Those who’ve trained for 5+ years will get the best results from this advanced routine.
|Dumbbell Bent Over Row||5||8||30s|
|Dumbbell Renegade Rows||5||8||30s|
|Dumbbell B Stance Deadlift||5||8||30s|
Can You Do These Dumbbell Low Back Exercises if You Have Back Pain?
Certain injuries may respond well by keeping the area that's in pain moving. As mentioned earlier, studies have found that strengthening the low back can reduce pain. That said, watch out for any sharp pains or discomfort while training. If you've suffered an injury, check with a doctor before doing these routines or any training.
Will These Exercises Improve Posture?
Working your low back with these exercises may improve posture. These exercises involve bracing your core muscles and retracting your shoulders. This form develops muscles that can help with posture over time.
Will These Exercises Help Get Rid of Back Fat?
You can't target fat loss by working specific muscles. If you're trying to lose weight, you will lose fat throughout the body. It won't just be in the low back or other bothersome areas.
That said, doing these exercises will help build the back muscles and burn some calories in the process. Coupling these routines with a full workout program and eating in a caloric deficit will help you lose fat over time.
That's it for this one. You should now have a good idea of how to build your low back muscles.
Remember, working your low back is important. Doing these exercises regularly can contribute to good overall health and well-being.
Dumbbell exercises are a great option that provides the flexibility to do these routines anywhere.
Also, don't just stop here. If you want to get great results, make sure you do a complete workout routine. That will help you build your entire body to get the physique you want while keeping you healthy.
If you want a routine emphasizing the back, check out our article on building a Dorito-shaped body. The “Dorito shape build” is also known as the V-taper. You need to work your back and shoulders a lot for that build. So it might be just what you're looking for. That article contains a full workout routine you can do.
If you stay consistent, you will get the results you're looking to achieve. Get out there and start training!
Here are a few additional tips for working your lower back effectively.
Can I Do These Exercises Without Any Weights?
Some of these exercises can be done without weights. The exercises you can work your low back effectively with no weights are:
Can I Perform These Exercises with Other Equipment, Such as Resistance Bands?
You can do some of these exercises using resistance bands. Exercises that will be most effective with resistance bands are:
Bent over rows
B stance deadlifts
Can I Do These Exercises at Home Without a Personal Trainer?
You can do all these exercises at home, and you don’t need a personal trainer. Start light and make sure you use good form.
Is it Safe to do These Exercises if I Have a Previous Lower Back Injury?
If you have fully recovered from your injury, you should be ok to do these exercises. That said, check with your doctor before beginning a new training routine.
How Often Should I do These Lower Back Exercises with Dumbbells?
These routines can be done once or twice a week. The low back needs some time to recover, so rest for 2-3 days between training sessions.
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