14 lower back arch mobility drills to strengthen the lower back. Great for back health, back strength and overall athleticism.
ower back pain, discomfort and stiffness are some of the most common problems people experience whether you workout or not.
The biggest problem with people who workout is that they are overly simplistic with their approach to their lower back musculature.
Like many other muscles, the lower back muscles such as the quadratus lumborum have many different functions. This means that in order for the muscle to stay healthy and functional, it needs to be trained in it's all functions in it's all range of motions.
One big compound exercise like the deadlift is often not enough because it only targets a small aspect of the lower back.
This time we are focusing on the ARCHED lower back where the lower back is often the stiffest and the least mobile. It's usual to have mobility in the round lower back, but not in the arch.
These drills will also stretch the anterior side of the body: abs, obliques and the hip flexors.
For other lower back mobility exercises, check out these videos & articles:
Other good exercises include the hyperextensions, reverse hyperextension and different kinds of deadlifts.
One of the active flexibility drills of the Movement 20XX training course is the stiff legged deadlift done with different leg widths and angles. You really want to hit the back, glutes and lower back from multiple different angles to strengthen the chain at the highest level.
Lower Back Arch Mobility Drills
Keep your hips off the floor and feel a nice stretch in the lower back. The cobra stance is a very versatile position which can be turned into many different drills.
In the cobra leg raise, raise one leg at the time while extending your lower back. You should feel a nice sensation in one side of the lower back. Remember to do both sides for complete strengthening work.
In the cobra walk you take the cobra stance and like the name suggests, you move forward and backwards while keeping your hips low. The cobra walk will work your lower back arch in a dynamic fashion.
Hang from gymnastic rings, TRX or from a barbell. Your hips should be low and the placement of the legs should be relatively far away in order for the exercise to feel properly in the lower back arch.
Similar to the cobra stance, you twist to different sides by doing cobra hang twists. This will strengthen the sides of the lower back.
Cobra hang is also excellent for stretching the sides and the ribcage.
Active Arch Hanging
Hang on a bar or on rings, arch your lower back and then start doing the following drills.
In the hanging side twist you merely raise the hips with the strength of your lower back and obliques.
The hanging hip circles are an advanced version where you rotate the hips in circles while hanging from the bar. This will target the lower back, obliques and abs.
All of these drills are significantly harder than the cobra stance drills, which is why you should first master them first.
Bend backwards by arching your whole back. By bending to different sides you can change the stimulus of the back bend.
Back bends are a great way to mobilize the lower back arch and they are perfectly safe to do as long as you stay within your limits.
You will target the lower back musculature but also the abs and obliques.
Once you get stronger, you can start adding weight via dumbbells and kettlebells to further increase the resistance of the exercise.
Round Flexion - Arch Extension
The key here is to keep your lower body tight so you only flex and extend from the core.
Done right, you will work both the abs and the lower back. You should aim to extend (arch) and flex (round) as much as possible for the best results.
Train hard, stay safe.