Protect the back and exercise the spinal erectors! Seriously. The key to a strong, healthy spine is to exercise strength and range in all areas of the core, hips, and back - and the spinal erectors are not to be left out. Read on for some of the best spinal erector exercises for building a pain-free, bulletproof back!
Spinal Erectors - The Muscles
To properly perform spinal erector exercises, it is important to first know what the hell you are targeting. In this post I will be referring to the spinal erectors muscles (also known as the erector spinae, erectors, or backstrap muscles) as shown in green in the image above.
Spinal Erector Exercises For Pain Relief
Now into the good stuff. There are two stages to spinal erector optimization: 1) spinal erector pain relief exercises, and 2) spinal erector strengthening exercises.
1. Spinal Erector Pain Relief Exercises:
Before building a bulletproof back and iron spinal erectors, you first need to get out of any pain you are currently in. This means massaging out any knots and trigger points in the spinal erector muscles, as well as performing stretches to lengthen the erectors. Once the constant tension and nagging stiffness is out of the spinal erectors, move on to step 2. Here is a great video outlining spinal erector pain relief exercises:
2. Spinal Erector Exercises For Strength:
Spinal erector exercises are a huge element of a well-rounded lower back. Without strengthening the spinal erector muscles, you are leaving your back exposed with a chink in its armor. There are quite a few ways to perform exercises to strengthen the spinal erectors, but only a handful that I recommend to folks currently battling or recovering from lower back pain. The reason behind this is that during lower back pain, the spinal erectors tend to atrophy due to lack of use - and lack of use arises because anything do you that uses them hurts.
To safely and effectively perform spinal erector exercises, do the following 3 movements:
Spinal Erector Exercise 1: The Founder
The Founder is the most basic, do-it-anywhere spinal erector exercise. All you need is 30 seconds and 4 feet of space.
Spinal Erector Exercise 2: Reverse Hyperextensions
Reverse hyperextensions are hands down one of the best and safest spinal erector exercises. This movement is incredibly low risk, low stress, and high activation on the spinal erector muscles.
Spinal Erector Exercise 3: Hyperextensions
Hypers are a little more taxing than the reverse hypers, but will be able to scale higher. Perform hypers after you progress from a few good sessions of the reverse hyper spinal erector exercise.
Spinal Erector Exercise 4: Superman
The Superman is another easy to do, equipment free spinal erector exercise. Like the Founder, the Superman is an isometric hold that lights up the spinal erectors. Try to hold a Superman for 1 minute and your erector will feel a nice burn!
Check out this video on how to perform the novel spinal erector crunch exercise below:
Spinal Erector Exercises - Summary
The spinal erector muscles are ones easily overlooked when training for a well-rounded, pain-free lower back. As someone who suffered years of lower back pain before cracking the code - do not neglect spinal erector exercises. Maybe spinal erector exercises are not one of the missing pieces in your back pain puzzle, but maybe they are. Make sure to exercise every single area of the core, back and hips, and if it is not drilled into your head by now do your damn spinal erector exercises.
If you do nothing else, watch the two videos above on mastering spinal erector exercises. To really master your back and everything going on under the hood with it for FREE - subscribe to Back Muscle Solutions on YouTube!