The Importance of Conditioning and Strengthening Your Lower Back

Many of your favorite sports, hobbies, and daily activities recruit strength and stability from your lower back . Not only that, but lower back pain is one of the most common reasons to seek pain medications and interventional surgeries in America. Strengthening your lower back is an important aspect of your overall health and fitness, but you shouldn’t assume that your lower back is being properly strengthened and conditioned by non-targeted exercises. According to a recent study, isolated lumber extension strength should be improved through the use of an isolated exercise, such as the MedX cervical and lumbar equipment available at Vertex Fitness, rather than relying on other exercises like powerlifting training.

The Science Behind Isolated Lumbar Extension Strength

A study was put out by the School of Sport, Health, and Social Science in Southampton Solent University and the Faculty of Physical Education of Federal University of Goiás, Brazil studying the training habits and lower back strength of powerlifters. The study was called “A comparison of isolated lumbar extension strength in competitive and non-competitive powerlifters, and recreationally trained males“.
According to this study, “Low back strength has been shown to significantly impact performance in a plethora of sports. Aside from its effect on sport performance, low back strength is strongly associated with low back pain. A sport that heavily involves the lower back musculature is powerlifting. The present study looked to compare isolated lumbar
extension (ILEX) strength in competitive and non-competitive powerlifters and recreationally trained males. Thirteen competitive powerlifters,10 non-competitive powerlifters, and 36 recreationally trained males were tested for isolated lumbar extension strength (ILEX)…this study suggests that powerlifting training likely has little impact upon conditioning of the lumbar extensors.”

Isolated Lumbar Extension Training Increases Lower Back Strength

In addition, “However, Fisher, et al. reported that following a 10-week intervention trained males performing the Romanian deadlift (RDL) exercise showed no increase in isolated lumbar extension (ILEX) strength despite significant increases to their RDL 1-repetition maximum (RM). In contrast, a group training using ILEX showed significant increases in ILEX strength as well as in RDL 1RM. Low back strength is evidenced to impact performance across a variety of sports (including golf, weightlifting, powerlifting, soccer, ballet, etc.). Furthermore, since deconditioning of the lumbar extensor musculature appears closely related to low-back pain, it might be important for competitive athletes and coaches who are looking to maximize performance and minimize risk of injury to consider lumbar extension strength.”

As the study shows, it’s not enough to practice your regular training regimen without specifically targeting your lower back muscles using the kind of equipment that Vertex Fitness is now proud to offer.

To read the rest of the study:

(PDF) A comparison of isolated lumbar extension strength in competitive and non-competitive powerlifters, and recreationally trained males. Available from: [accessed Jul 10 2018].


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