Low Back Exercises, Where to Begin?

Antelope Valley Patients and Friends,

We are all aware of the importance of exercise for low back health, especially considering that 85% of U.S. adults suffer from low back pain at some point or another. Open any fitness magazine and you’ll see hundreds of exercises shown. So, where do we begin?

To begin, a little anatomy review is helpful. Good “low back” health is also thought of as good “core” health. The core involves 29 unique muscles that attach to the lumbar spine, the pelvis, and the hip and is where the body’s center of gravity is located.

Muscles of the torso are divided into two categories:

  • The Stabilization System, which refers to the inner, deeper muscles and…
  • The Movement System, which refers to outermost muscles

As implied by their names, the inner, deeper muscles provide stability thoughout the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. Once they do their job and provide support to the spine, the outer muscles can then create physical movement.

Why is this important to know? If you only train your Movement System without addressing your Stabilization System, you will inevitably have low back issues. This has been proven over and over. Just a like building a house requires a strong foundation, so does building your core!


Bottom line: Begin by becoming familiar with the different exercises that train each of the systems discussed.

An example of the former would be, for example, FRONT & SIDE PLANKS. An example of the latter would be PULL-DOWNS. In general, on your exercise days, focus on warming up your deep core muscles early in the workout, and only later perform the rest.


Rick Duenas, DC, NAMS-CPT

If you have any questions, feel free to Contact Us.