If you feel your back muscles need definition and strength, the best you can do is add some erector spinae strengthening exercises to your workout routine.
The erector spinae or spinal erectors are important muscles in the body. They're located in the middle and lower back and run parallel to the spine on both sides. These muscles stabilize the back and are responsible for helping you stand straight, rotate, extend, and bend painlessly.
Regular practice of erector spinae strengthening exercises not only enhances strength and improves the functioning of the spine, but they also reduce the chances of back pain and injuries. They boost your overall strength too so you can lift heavier more powerfully and efficiently.
Best erector spinae strengthening exercises
Try the following six erector spinae strengthening exercises to train and strengthen the back and posterior chain muscles:
This is one of the best erector spinae strengthening exercises that particularly targets the lower and upper back muscles, including the erector spinae, trapezius, and rhomboids. Moreover, it works the glutes, shoulders, and core muscles too.
To do a superman:
- Lie facedown on an exercise mat, and keep your arms extended straight in the front. Position your legs behind extended straight.
- Pull your stomach away from the mat towards the spine, and remember to engage your abs throughout the exercise.
- With your glutes and back muscles engaged, lift your opposite leg and arm off the floor, and hold the position for a few seconds.
- Return to the starting position, and repeat the exercise.
2) Plank row
It's one of the most effective erector spinae strengthening exercises that strengthens the middle, lower, and upper back muscles, including the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius. This exercise also strengthens the core muscles along with your arms and glutes.
To do a plank row:
- Assume a standard plank position with your arms extended and legs straight behind you.
- With the core muscles engaged and back straight, lift your left arm, and perform a rowing motion by pulling your elbow behind.
- Pause at the top before returning your hand on the floor.
- Repeat the motion on the right side, and continue alternate arms for a few more reps.
Deadlift is considered the king of all exercises that targets multiple muscle groups at once. It's one of the most powerful erector spinae strengthening exercises that's sure to boost your back’s strength and power and improve the functioning of the posterior chain muscle.
To do a deadlift:
- Place a barbell on the floor, and stand upright with your feet at a hip-width distance. Ensure that the spine is straight and the feet are facing forward.
- Hinge down at your hips, and hold the barbell with one hand out and the other in while maintaining a neutral spine.
- Lift the barbell by pressing your heels on the floor, and once it passes your knees, pull your back while also pushing the hips forward.
- As you thrust your hips, lift the barbell as high as you can before lowering the bar using the same form.
The birddog is basically an abs exercise, but it’s also among the most important erector spinae strengthening exercises. Besides the abs and spine, this exercise also works the gluteal muscles, thighs, and lower back.
To do a birddog:
- Take a position on all fours with your knees underneath your hips and hands under the shoulders.
- With your spine neutral and upper and lower back straight, lift your right arm and left leg straight into the air while stretching them long.
- Keep your gaze down on the floor, and lengthen the back of your neck.
- Lower back your leg and arm, and do the motion with your opposite arm and leg. Continue the exercise for a few more reps.
5) Dumbbell good morning
It's one the most productive erector spinae exercises that target the backside of the body, including the lower back, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and obviously the erector spinae. This is a compound move that’s sure to boost back and leg strength.
To do a dumbbell good morning:
- Stand straight, and hold two dumbbells tightly. Keep the knees bent and feet positioned at a hip-width distance.
- Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level, and make sure to keep your palms facing towards you.
- With the knees bent and hip hinged, lower your torso till it gets parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position, and repeat the exercise.
6) Bent-over row
One of the best erector spinae strengthening exercises, the bent-over row improves trunk stability and targets the entire back muscles.
To do a bent-over row:
- Place a barbell on the floor, and stand straight with your feet wider than your hip-width distance.
- Bend down by pushing your hips back, and hold the barbell using a shoulder-width grip.
- Lift the barbell to knee height, and press it up between the sternum and navel. Ensure to keep the back straight at all times.
- Slowly lower the barbell down while keeping the same position, and continue the exercise for a few more reps.
Now that you know about these amazing erector spinae strengthening exercises, include them in your routine to keep your back and spine healthy and protected from pain and injuries. Aim for 12 reps and three sets for each exercise, but be careful, especially if you have any back problems.