Your lower back is one, if not the most important part of the body to focus on to avoid injury. My good old friend the body builder could not stress enough how important it is to prioritize this area. He injured his back once, and was incapacitated for a long period of time, he was eventually well back on his routines. He was lucky, but not the same. You should understand, and don’t take this advice lightly, once you hurt your back you can say good bye to weight lifting for good. This should be the first area of your body that you should work on, specially before starting heavy weight lifting routines.
The plank is an easy workout exercise that you can do at home or anywhere you want. No equipment is necessary and is fairly easy to start, now. The plank, I should include, is not hard to do but the longer you maintain the position the heavier it gets. Assuming you are familiar with the push up, you’ll start from that position, then just go lower to your elbows and forearms. To where you’re forearms are flat on the ground, and your hands are closed with your fists. Your back should be straight and your feet on your toes. Basic stuff if you know what I mean. The real challenge is holding that position, eventually you’re whole body will start shaking before you fall flat on the ground.
Considering you are doing it right you should feel the burn in your abs, legs, back, shoulders, neck, and of course your lower back. If you’re a beginner you might last thirty seconds before you crumble flat on the floor. Eventually though, considering you do this once every day, you should make progress until you maintain the plank for up to five minutes. The beauty of this exercise is that you can warm up major body parts prior to a heavy day of lifting.
The Hyperextension Bench is a machine used to work out your lower back and other abdominal muscles. The way it works, is, by positioning yourself facing down with support on the front part of your upper legs, and behind your legs, specifically on your cabs. This position anchors you solidly on the bench to where you can move up using only your lower back muscles. Targeting every movement directly there. Start off doing some reps to warm up, then gradually add more resistance by carrying a ten or twenty pound disk in your arms.
Do these carefully and slowly, gradually add weight as you feel comfortable carrying it, if any at all.
The Dead Lift
Ah, the so talked about dead lift, a workout that doesn’t just target your lower back, but all of your muscles at once. Such a simple movement, yet so powerful at the same time. This work out is truly to test your limits, but also to simply target your lower back. You simply lift an Olympic bar from the ground. You add a reasonable amount of weight to the bar as to be able to do at least five to eight reps. That amount of weight should be enough to give you enough resistance to improve your strength. Gradually add more weight as you feel fit.
This work out is where people usually get injured because they want to show off their strength to the public. They don’t wear a belt and results in a bye bye injury. Don’t take this simple exercise for granted, take the proper precautions and focus on improving at your own pace. All I’m saying is treat weight lifting with respect and it will pay off.
It should be primordial for your safety to prepare your lower back for heavy weights, and you should always use a belt when doing a heavy rep on the dead lift. If you safeguard your lower back you will thank me later. I’ve seen people quit weight lifting for good because of an injury, safety and proper form should be your priority. Solid foundations for any kind of en devour is what makes the difference between greatness and mediocre. Remember too, that a proper nutrition is necessary to have energy, focus, and make progress.
Picture yourself on how you want to look, and hold this mental image of yourself every day for five minutes. This will program your subconscious to automatically make the proper decisions, and get you use to looking a certain way.