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Lower Back and Hip Strengthening Exercises

by
author image Thelma Gomez
Thelma Gomez is an expert in fitness and exercise who has advised professional athletes and celebrities. She draws on her experience to write articles for print and online publications and peer-reviewed journals. Gomez holds a Master of Science in Education degree in exercise physiology from the University of Miami.
Lower Back and Hip Strengthening Exercises
Your hips and lower back often work together when you exercise. Photo Credit ForeverLee/iStock/Getty Images

Strengthening exercises can take a lot of time if you target each muscle group individually. Exercises that strengthen the hips and lower back together not only save time, but are often similar to movements you do in everyday life. Perform strengthening exercises two to three days per week for best results.

Read more: Back Compound Exercises

Perform deadlifts with a barbell or dumbbells at the gym.
Perform deadlifts with a barbell or dumbbells at the gym. Photo Credit jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images

Deadlifts

Deadlifts strengthen your hamstrings, located on the back of your thighs, and lower back muscles that help keep you upright.

Step 1

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing you. Keep your arms straight throughout this exercise.

Step 2

Keeping your back straight, bend forward at your hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your thighs. Hold the dumbbells close to the front of your legs. This is the starting position.

Step 3

Lift your chest and tighten your lower back, buttock and thigh muscles. Stand up straight against the pull of the dumbbells. Repeat 10 times.

Single-Leg Deadlifts

Doing deadlifts while standing on one leg at a time adds more resistance to the muscles in your lower back and outer hip.

Step 1

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, stand on your left leg with your knee slightly bent.

Step 2

Lift your left leg slightly behind you until it is in line with your hips and shoulders. Keep this alignment throughout this exercise.

Step 3

Keeping your back straight, bend forward at your hips until your body is parallel to the ground. Your left leg should lift behind you as it stays in line with your hips and shoulders.

Step 4

Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, then slowly stand back up. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Choose an exercise ball size based on your height.
Choose an exercise ball size based on your height. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Bridges on Ball

Bridging exercises are commonly used for hip and lower back strengthening. Perform this exercise on an exercise ball to further challenge your muscles. Practice this movement with your lower legs on the seat of a chair until you master the technique and graduate to the ball.

Step 1

Lie on your back and rest your lower legs on top of an exercise ball. Rest your arms at your sides.

Step 2

Squeeze your lower back, buttocks and hamstring muscles to lift your hips off the ground, as far as possible. Keep your shoulder blades on the ground. Perform this movement slowly to maintain your balance on the ball.

Step 3

Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, then slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Squats engage your lower back muscles more when performed with weights.
Squats engage your lower back muscles more when performed with weights. Photo Credit Belyjmishka/iStock/Getty Images

Weighted Squats

Squats are known to be a booty-building exercise. Adding weight to your squats works the muscles in your lower back as well as you work to stabilize your spine.

Step 1

Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand. Bend your elbows and rest the weights on the tops of your shoulders. Alternatively, use a barbell across the back of your shoulders.

Step 2

Bend your knees and push your buttocks out behind you as if you are trying to sit in a chair. Do not allow your knees to bend out in front of your toes.

Step 3

Sit down as low as possible, then stand back up. Repeat 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.

Many yoga poses strengthening both the lower back and hip muscles.
Many yoga poses strengthening both the lower back and hip muscles. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Side Planks

Side planks require a significant amount of back and hip strength to perform properly. Make this exercise easier by resting your upper body on your forearm rather than your palm.

Step 1

Lie on your right side. Place your right hand on the ground and press up until your elbow is straight. This will lift your upper body off the ground. Your palm should be directly under your shoulder.

Step 2

With your legs stacked directly on top of each other, lift your hips off the ground. Your neck, back and legs should now be in a straight line. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then relax. Repeat three times and switch sides.

Step 3

Progress this exercise by lifting your left leg toward the ceiling once you are in the side plank position.

Read more: Step-by-Step Directions on How to Do the Plank

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