Beginners to bodybuilding can often find themselves overexcited by it all and acting like a kid in a candy store. “I want big strong quads! I want big strong shoulders! I want big strong biceps!” It’s understandable, because who doesn’t want all of those things? We all do!
But… without doubt the most important muscles to make big and strong are the lower back muscles. Okay, it’s not very glamorous – nobody ever went potty over a lower back muscle. You can’t do any exciting flexing manoeuvres with it. No woman ever shouted to me: “Hey Pete, show us your lower back!” Hell, you can’t even see it when it’s half covered by trousers and by a shirt, but… I know developing a strong lower back is more important than any of the attention grabbing muscles.
That’s because if I didn’t have a strong lower back, by lifting heavy weights to build the rest of my body and I am at huge risk of seriously injuring my lower back. And, I don’t think you need me to explain to you how incapacitating, untreatable, and long-term back injuries can be.
The key to developing a strong lower back is to start off slowly and not be driven by your ego into lifting too heavy weights which compromise good form. Good form is nothing more than a means to work the muscle properly and safely.
Two great barbell exercises to strengthen the lower back are dead lifts, and good mornings. If you have a gym membership, or plan to get one, you may also look for a hyperextension machine to work the lower back muscles in isolation.