The lower back is an often-neglected part of the body. Most fitness routines make little mention of lower back muscles, though it is very important to include them in your exercise regimen. Your lower back muscles help support your other muscles while you exercise, and thus need to be developed.

Many people suffer from lower back pain because they use their lower back muscles improperly when lifting heavy objects; bend in the wrong manner; have joint problems; and of course, are simply getting older. Though painkillers and rubs may offer temporary relief, it is always better to implement a lower back exercise routine into your daily exercise program. This is sure to provide much more relief than any painkiller or balm can offer.

With lower back exercises, the lower back muscles not only become stronger, but also tend to become more flexible. Once you have strengthened your lower back muscles, most lower back pain naturally diminishes. 

It is very important that you know the proper way to do lower back exercises in order to maintain your overall health. It is always better to perform lower back exercises at the end of the training routine, as the lower back muscles are the muscles that have to help during other exercises.

One lower back exercise requires you to lie on your back, with your legs extended and arms placed overhead. Starting with your left leg, lift it, and the opposite (right) arm, hold for one count, and pause. Then switch. A single count includes the lifting of the arm and leg simultaneously. While doing this lower back exercise, the head must be lifted off of the floor a few inches, while maintaining drawn shoulders and engaged abdominals. Do five to 10 repetitions on each side to feel the effects of the exercise.

The lower back extension, a version of a sit-up, is a great lower back exercise where you lie on your chest with your arms extended in front of you. The body is then stretched like a straight line from the hips, extending the arms as far forward and the legs as far backward as possible; then return to the original position. This lower back exercise should be done for eight to 20 repetitions while moving slowly and with the abdominals engaged.

Another lower back exercise is the cat stretch, where you start on all fours while having a flat back. The spine is then flexed like a cat does, with your chin and tail tucked. Hold this position for one count and return to a position where the back is flat. This is repeated at least five times.