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Advanced Strength Exercises for Lower Back–Your Best Insurance against Back Pain

“Young athletes . . . can reduce their risk [of back injury] by strengthening muscles in the abdomen, as well as hip flexors and other muscles that support the back. . . . Typically, however, coaches prefer to focus … on muscles needed for the sport instead of on injury prevention.”—Dr. James L. Moeller, chairman of sports medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan.

While the above quote deals with lower back injuries in young athletes, it well applies to prevention of any injuries and for athletes of any age. This is what I have been telling you in several articles and books on sports training.

In my article “Beginning Strength Exercises for Abdomen and Lower Back” you have learned about the easiest exercises for the abdomen and lower back. Those exercises, especially the lower back exercises, are not enough to build as much strength as it takes to counterbalance the kicking muscles attached at the front of your spine and to stabilize your lower back. They only prepare you for the more intensive and more functional strength exercises for the lower back—such as the good morning and the deadlift. Both these lifts are very similar to movements that happen in everyday life and in fighting. The good morning is similar to taking something heavy on your shoulders, straightening up, and then putting it down—like loading and unloading bags of flour. A deadlift is what you do when you lift something heavy off the ground. In the case of fighting, one of the ways to deal with someone who pulls you down to the ground or has you on the “guard” is to lift up the opponent—a movement like a deadlift and a power clean—and slam him or her to the ground.

New article posted on teaches how to correctly perform the good morning and the deadlift. To learn all the “small” details that make the difference between getting stronger or just wasting time, read the article at

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