The 18 Best Lower Back Exercises

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Ranked based on how effective each exercise is in building muscle strength. Learn More

Top 10

  1. 1. Seated Back Extension

    Photo of Seated Back Extension being performed
    1,862,560 SETS LOGGED
    100 mSCORE

    Seated Back Extension on a machine isolates the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings with controlled motion, reducing injury risk. Unlike traditional extensions, the seated position focuses effort on the lower back, enhancing posture and stability. Adjustable resistance suits all levels, making it key for spinal strength and core stability.

    • Beginner
    • Back Extension Machine
  2. 2. Stiff-Legged Barbell Good Morning

    Photo of Stiff-Legged Barbell Good Morning being performed
    1,734,542 SETS LOGGED
    97.4 mSCORE

    Stiff-Legged Barbell Good Morning is a variation on the more standard Good Morning. Like other variations this exercise primarily targets muscles in the rear chain (backside of the body), but especially the hamstrings, and lower back. The use of a barbell can help to add more resistance to the exercise, as well as help force you to keep your back straight and chest up. Keeping your legs straight will likely limit your range of motion, but can help further recruit your hamstrings.

  3. 3. Rack Pulls

    Photo of Rack Pulls being performed
    592,243 SETS LOGGED
    96.9 mSCORE

    Rack Pulls are an easier variation on the more standard Deadlift. By placing the bar on a rack, you can restrict your range of motion, and start the movement from a higher point. This is great for anyone with mobility limitations, or who simply want to focus on the top part of their range of motion.

  4. 4. Incline Back Extension

    Photo of Incline Back Extension being performed
    450,855 SETS LOGGED
    95.3 mSCORE

    This isolation exercise targets the lower back muscles, performed on an inclined bench. This exercise can help strengthen the lower back, and improve core stability.

    • Beginner
    • Back Extension Bench
  5. 5. Medicine Ball Superman

    Photo of Medicine Ball Superman being performed
    156,906 SETS LOGGED
    94.8 mSCORE

    This is a medicine ball variation of the more standard superman. Like the standard superman, this exercise primarily targets your back, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. The use of a medicine ball allows to add resistance to this usually bodyweight exercise.

  6. 6. Superman

    Photo of Superman being performed
    5,004,614 SETS LOGGED
    90.7 mSCORE

    A bodyweight exercise that involves lying face down and simultaneously lifting the arms and legs off the ground to strengthen the lower back, glutes, and upper back.

    • Beginner
  7. 7. Back Extensions

    Photo of Back Extensions being performed
    3,321,869 SETS LOGGED
    88.1 mSCORE

    This isolation exercise targets the lower back muscles. It’s an effective exercise for developing strength in your lower back, and improve core stability in general.

    • Beginner
    • Glute Ham Raise Bench
  8. 8. Superman Hold

    Photo of Superman Hold being performed
    2,095,194 SETS LOGGED
    87 mSCORE

    An isometric exercise targeting the lower back. By holding this position for the duration of the exercise instead of performing reps, you remove any rest time from the movement. This an effective exercise for improving lower back strength and overall core stability.

    • Beginner
  9. 9. Weighted Ball Hyperextension

    Photo of Weighted Ball Hyperextension being performed
    375,197 SETS LOGGED
    85 mSCORE

    Adding weight to Stability Ball Hyperextensions intensifies the exercise, increasing resistance for the lower back and core muscles. This compound movement enhances strength and endurance, providing a more challenging workout compared to unweighted versions.

  10. 10. Dumbbell Superman

    Photo of Dumbbell Superman being performed
    308,209 SETS LOGGED
    83.4 mSCORE

    This exercise is a dumbbell variation of the Superman. Adding dumbbells allows for more resistance than the bodyweight variation. This is a great exercise strengthening your back, lower back, glutes and hamstrings.

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  1. 11. Superman with Scaption

    Photo of Superman with Scaption being performed
    1,620,429 SETS LOGGED
    80.3 mSCORE

    A variation of the Superman exercise incorporating scaption movement. This exercise primarily targets your lower back, but the added movement also helps to recruit muscles in your upper back.

    • Beginner
  2. 12. Loop Band Superman Press

    Photo of Loop Band Superman Press being performed
    12,235 SETS LOGGED
    42 mSCORE

    This exercise is a more complex variation of the superman. Like a standard superman, this exercise primarily targets your back, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. In addition to the usual benefits of a superman, the added movement gives you more range of motion to help engage your back.

  3. 13. Stir the Pot

    Photo of Stir the Pot being performed
    285,595 SETS LOGGED
    40.9 mSCORE

    A challenging core exercise performed using a stability ball and plank position. This exercise strengthens the entire core, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, while improving stability and balance.

  4. 14. Reverse Hyperextension

    Photo of Reverse Hyperextension being performed
    340,896 SETS LOGGED
    22.8 mSCORE

    This compound exercise targets the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings by using the reverse hyper bench to lift the legs against gravity. The bench provides a range of motion that deeply engages the posterior chain, offering therapeutic benefits by decompressing the spine without axial load. This variation is superior for developing lower body power and improving spinal health, making it a favorite for strength and rehabilitation programs.

    • Intermediate
    • Reverse Hyper Bench
  5. 15. Stability Ball Back Extension

    Photo of Stability Ball Back Extension being performed
    215,655 SETS LOGGED
    21.2 mSCORE

    This exercise is a variation of the more standard back extension. This variation utilizes a stability ball to add more instability to the movement making this a more challenging variation. This is a great exercise for improving lower back strength and core stability.

  6. 16. Stability Ball Hyperextension

    Photo of Stability Ball Hyperextension being performed
    510,902 SETS LOGGED
    20.2 mSCORE

    This exercise is very similar to a Stability Ball Back Extension. Like the back extension, this exercise primarily targets the muscles in your lower back. The use of a stability ball helps to add instability to the movement. This is a great exercise for improving lower back strength and core stability.

  7. 17. Reverse Leg Crossover

    Photo of Reverse Leg Crossover being performed
    492,001 SETS LOGGED
    18.1 mSCORE

    This core exercise focuses on the obliques and lower back by crossing one leg over the other while lying face down, then lifting both legs. It adds a rotational component to the standard back extension, increasing the engagement of core stabilizers and enhancing spinal mobility. The Reverse Leg Crossover is particularly effective for athletes and individuals looking to improve rotational strength and prevent lower back injuries.

    • Beginner
  8. 18. Alternating Superman

    Photo of Alternating Superman being performed
    750,720 SETS LOGGED
    3.6 mSCORE

    This exercise is a variation of the classic Superman, targeting the lower back, glutes, and core by alternately lifting opposite arms and legs. It enhances balance, coordination, and spinal stability more effectively than the traditional version by engaging stabilizing muscles to maintain form and control during the alternation. This isolation move is ideal for improving posture and functional strength.

    • Beginner