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Lower Back and Hip Strengthening Exercises

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
The squat is performed with a barbell across the back of the shoulders. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

The hip and lower back muscles work in union to keep you nimble. If the hip flexors become tight, they can affect the tilt of your pelvis, which in turn can affect your lower back and your gait. Even the smallest and most deeply buried of all the hip flexors -- the psoas -- needs to be stretched and strengthened on a regular basis to keep your lower trunk strong and long.


The squat works many muscles of the legs, hips and core. This exercise is most typically performed with a barbell held across the back of the shoulders, but might be completed with dumbbells, other implements, or simply with your own body weight. Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Unlock your hips and push your buttocks back as you bend your knees to lower your body toward the floor. This should occur in a manner similar to what you would use to sit on a toilet. Once your upper leg is parallel with the floor, press through both feet to extend your legs and return to a standing position.

Good Morning

The good morning works several muscles of the legs and core, but is particularly intensive for the muscles of the lower back. This exercise is completed with a barbell held across the back of the shoulders. Begin standing with your feet hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Unhinge your hips and lower your chest toward the floor, keeping your back flat at all times. Once your chest is just below parallel with the floor, rise back up to a standing position.


The deadlift works the muscles of the hips and lower back in addition to those of the legs. The deadlift is most often completed with a barbell that is held close to the body by hands in a pronated grip just wider than the hips. Begin in a squatting position with your feet shoulder width apart, heels flat against the floor and your back flat. Pressing through both feet, extend your ankles, knees and hips to lift the bar off the floor and rise into a standing position. Once standing slowly push your hips back and flex your hips, knees and ankles to lower the bar back down to the floor.

Glute/Ham Raise

The glute/ham raise works the muscles of the lower back, hips and posterior of the upper leg. The exercise actually gets its name from two of the muscle groups that are stressed during the activity. Glute refers to the gluteal muscles of the hip, and ham refers to the hamstrings of the posterior upper leg. This exercise is performed on a unique piece of equipment designed specifically for this exercise and named as such the glute/ham machine.

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