Lower Back Calisthenics – Ultimate Guide

Do you want to work out your lower back but don’t know where to start? Lower back calisthenics is the perfect way for you to target and strengthen your core, improve balance and flexibility, and increase your range of motion with just your own body weight.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the knowledge and information needed in order to understand this unique exercise style as well as ensure that you are guided throughout every step of the way.

Overview of Lower Back Muscles

Our lower back is comprised of a complex network of muscles that work tirelessly to support our spine and facilitate movement.

Some of the most important muscles in our lower back include the erector spinae, transversospinales, and quadratus lumborum.

These muscles work together to play a crucial role in activities like walking, running, and twisting.

In addition, these muscles are also responsible for supporting our core muscles and stabilising the spine. It is important to have strong lower back muscles in order to prevent injury as well as maintain proper posture.

7 Lower Back Calisthenics Exercises




The Superman exercise is an excellent and highly recommended way to strengthen your lower back muscles. By engaging in this exercise regularly, you can effectively reduce pain in the lower back, improve your overall posture, and significantly increase the strength of your core muscles.

How to do them: Start by lying flat on the floor with arms and legs extended. Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground as if you’re flying like a superhero.

Make sure to keep your neck in line with your spine and hold for 10 seconds before releasing.

Slowly lower your body back into the starting position to complete the rep.

Repeat for reps.

Hip Bridge


The hip bridge exercise helps to build stability in your lower back, hips, glutes, hamstrings, and core while also improving your balance and coordination.

It’s an effective way to boost your performance during sports as well as everyday activities such as bending down to pick up something from the ground.

How to do them: Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels close to your glutes.

Then, press your hips up towards the ceiling while keeping your arms straight at your sides.

Squeeze your glutes at the top of the motion before slowly lowering back down.

Repeat for reps.

Bird Dog


The Bird Dog exercise is a great way to strengthen the core, lower back, and legs simultaneously.

This exercise helps to improve balance and stability as well as increase the range of motion in the hips. It can also help to decrease lower back pain by strengthening weak muscles that are often neglected during other exercises.

How to do them: Start on all fours with your core engaged and hands directly below your shoulders.

Extend one leg out behind you while simultaneously raising the opposite arm forward.

Pause for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.

Repeat on both sides for reps.

Dead Bug


The dead bug exercise is a great way to strengthen the core muscles of the lower back. This exercise works by engaging multiple muscle groups at once, including the transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, hamstrings, glutes, latissimus dorsi, and erector spinal muscles.

It helps to improve stability in the spine while also helping to improve posture. The dead bug exercise can help reduce the risk of back pain and injury due to its low-impact nature.

How to do them: Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Engage your core, then slowly extend one leg out straight while keeping the other knee bent and in place.

Then, lower the opposite arm behind your head and reach towards the extended leg. Hold this position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.

Repeat on each side for reps.

Hip Hinge


This movement helps to strengthen the posterior chain muscles, including the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes, which are key for daily activities.

Additionally, it can also help to improve mobility in the hips and spine which can help reduce the risk of injury during physical activity

How to do them: Stand with feet hip-width apart and core engaged. Push your hips back while keeping your knees bent and core tight.

Keep your torso straight as you lower down until your chest is close to parallel to the ground, then slowly return to the start position.

Repeat for reps.



The plank is a great full-body exercise that works your core, arms, shoulders, back, and legs all at once. It helps improve posture by strengthening the muscles in the upper and lower back as well as the abdominal muscles.

Doing planks on a regular basis can help build strength, balance, and stability in your core muscles, improve your posture, and reduce the risk of back pain.

How to do them: Begin in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. (This can be done with your hands or forearms planted on the floor.)

Engage your core and glutes as you hold the plank while keeping your hips and lower back from sinking.

Hold for time.

Back Extensions


This exercise does require equipment, but you can do it with just your body weight to receive the benefits.

Back extensions are an exercise that works the core, strengthens the spine and helps improve posture. This exercise can also help increase flexibility in the lower back muscles and relieve tension.

How to do them: Start by lying face-down on the machine, positioning your feet securely in the footpads and hands near the headrest.

Keeping your body straight, slowly bend forward at the waist until you feel a stretch in your lower back. When ready, exhale and squeeze the abdominal muscles to bring your body back up to the starting position.

Repeat for reps.

Hanging Leg Raises


Hanging leg raises are a great exercise to strengthen your core and lower back muscles. The motion of raising and lowering your legs while hanging from a bar activates the hip flexors, and abdominal muscles, and helps to improve posture.

Regular practice of hanging leg raises can help strengthen the abdominal muscles, especially the lower abdominals, as well as improve hip mobility and core stability.

How to do them: Begin by hanging from a pull-up bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and glutes as you slowly raise your legs up toward the bar, making sure to keep them straight.

As you lower your legs, focus on maintaining control of the movement and keeping your core engaged to keep from swinging.

Repeat this motion for reps.

Upside-down Deadlifts


A more advanced exercise that can help work out your lower back is the upside-down deadlift or the inverted deadlift.

The inverted deadlift strengthens your grip, core, and lower back while improving stability in your upper and lower body.

How to do them: Start by grabbing the pull-up bar at shoulder distance. Then, kick your legs up while keeping them straight until you are at a 90-degree angle with the floor and your head is down and your feet pointing up.

Next, lower your back while still keeping your legs straight until it is parallel to the ground and your legs form a 90-degree angle with your core.

Finally, engage your core and raise the legs back up until your body is in a straight line from head to toe.

Repeat this exercise for reps.

Why Work Out Your Lower Back?

  • Maintain a Healthy Posture
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Increase Range of Motion
  • Strengthen Core
  • Reduce Tension in the Neck and Shoulders
  • Improve Balance

Working out your lower back is one of the most important aspects of a comprehensive fitness routine. The lower back muscles, including the lumbar spine and erector spinae, provide stability and support for our entire body.

A strong lower back helps to maintain good posture, reduce tension in the neck and shoulders, and make everyday movements like bending down or lifting objects easier.

Regular exercise of the lower back also helps to improve flexibility and range of motion, reduce stiffness and aches, and enhance overall fitness levels.

Lower back exercises don’t just focus on strengthening this area; they can also be used to increase core stability, improve balance and coordination, and support other muscle groups.

By targeting the muscles in the lower back, you will be able to reap the benefits of having a stronger core and improved physical performance.

Drawbacks of Lower Back Exercises

Lower back calisthenics can be beneficial for strengthening and stabilising the core, but it’s important to remember that over-exercising in this area can lead to muscle imbalances.

Excessive training of the lower back muscles can create tightness in the hips, glutes, hamstrings, and surrounding muscles. This can put extra pressure on the spine, leading to joint and muscular pain.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that some lower back exercises involve motions that can put extra stress on the joints. Be sure to use proper form and light weights to avoid causing any injury.

It’s important to keep a balance between exercising and stretching when working the lower back muscles. Doing regular stretching exercises after each workout will help you maintain flexibility and prevent muscle imbalances from developing.

Lower Back Stretches

These stretches can be done in the morning, after a workout, or before you go to bed to alleviate tension.

Child Pose


The child pose stretch is a great way to soothe an aching lower back. It helps to increase flexibility in the spine, hips, and groins while relaxing all the muscles of the lower back.

How to do them: Start by kneeling on all fours with your spine in a neutral position.

Then, sit back onto your heels bringing your chest forward and down towards the floor. You can rest your forehead on the ground or keep it lifted if more comfortable.

Hold this position for several breaths and repeat as necessary.

Sphinx Stretch


The sphinx stretch is a great way to release tension in the lower back.

It helps to open up the chest and shoulders, increase flexibility in the spine, and extend the abdominal muscles. This stretch is also known for helping to relieve stress by calming down both mind and body.

How to do them: Start by lying on your stomach with your hands underneath your shoulders.

Gently press into the ground and lift your chest off of the floor until you feel a slight stretch in the lower back.

Hold this position for several breaths and repeat as necessary.

Seated Spinal Twist


Seated spinal twists are a great way to stretch and release tension in the spine.

How to do them: Start by sitting with your legs extended in front of you, and feet flexed on the floor.

Bend one leg up, crossing it over the other bent knee, and twist your torso towards that side, while looking over the shoulder.

Place your right arm behind you for support and use your left arm to deepen the stretch.

Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Is the Lower Back Part of Your “Core”?

Yes. Many athletes think of the core as just your abs, but the core is more than just that. The core muscles are the abdominal muscles, obliques, lower back muscles, hip flexors, and glutes.

Strengthening these areas is essential for stability, balance, and overall athleticism. When all of these muscles work together, they form a protective brace around the spine to provide support and help improve performance in sports or everyday activities.

Final Thoughts

While certain exercises may offer more benefits than others, all of them should be performed correctly in order to avoid any injuries or unnecessary strain. Additionally, the stretches suggested are a great way to provide some additional relief from pain or tension felt in the lower back after exercising.

All in all, following a lower back calisthenics guide can add up to an effective and safe routine for your body and your mind too!


Gordon, R., & Bloxham, S. (2016). A Systematic Review of the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain. Healthcare, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4020022



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