Why Should You Strengthen Your Erectors?
Do you want to strengthen your erectors, also known as your back strap muscles? You should! Because those muscles hold you up! Your erectors ensure you are stable, strong, and aligned. Weak erectors can lead to poor posture and back pain.
Strengthening your erectors helps with mobility and rotational ability. Activating your erectors is a great warm-up exercise before a squat or a deadlift for those of you who like to strength train. It is also important to know how to properly engage these muscles if you are into, well, anything active to be honest.
What Do the Erector Spinae Muscles Do?
Your erector spinae muscles are located on the side of your vertebral column and extend along your entire spine. These muscles extend and laterally flex your spine and keep the spine erect or upright.
Benefits of Having Strong Erector Spinae Muscles
Your erectors play such an important role in posture, mobility, and strength. They also play a role in core strength as well. Here are some of the benefits of having strong erector spinae muscles:
Healthy and strong posture
Lower risk of neck, shoulder, and low back pain
Improved strength and mobility
15 Exercises to Strengthen Your Erectors
Step 1: Face a wall. Try to get as close to it as possible without falling over (if you fall get back up)
Step 2: Place your hands over your head, keeping your elbows straight.
Step 3: Slowly sink into a squat maintaining a neutral body position.
Step 4: Feel those erectors light up.
Step 1: Ensure you have a barbell (Start out without adding weight or add light weight).
Step 2: Position your feet hip-width apart and angled slightly out. You want the middle of your feet to be under the bar.
Step 3: Grip the barbell shoulder-width apart in an overhand grip with your knuckles facing forward.
Step 4: Bend your knees and lift your chest.
Step 5: Brace your core, push through your feet, and lift the bar driving your hips forward until you are standing. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Then, slowly lower to bar back to its starting position.
Bent Over Row
Step 1: Hinge at your hips and grab a bar with your hands (your local gym will have these). Your grip should be wider than shoulder-width apart and your palms should be faced down.
Step 2: Activate your core and lift the bar off the ground until it touches your sternum, drawing your elbows back. Remember to squeeze your shoulders towards one another.
Step 3: Lower the bar back down.
Step 1: Lie down on a mat and bring your hands up to your ears (or temples, whatever you prefer) and your elbows out next to your body.
Step 2: Activate your core and glutes and lift your shoulders and chest off the ground.
Step 3: Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Step 4: Lower down slowly.
Step 1: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet about hip-width distance apart.
Step 2: Draw your belly button in towards your spine and lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Keep your neck in a neutral position. Squeeze your glutes at the top.
Step 3: Lower back down slowly.
Step 1: Get into a tabletop position on a mat with your knees hip-width distance apart and your palms about shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Extend one arm out in front of you while lifting the opposite leg behind you at the same time. Your body will form a straight line from your extended arm to your raised leg. Keep your hip points level and draw your belly button to your spine.
Step 3: Hold and switch sides.
Reverse Snow Angel
Step 1: Lie down on the ground with your face down and your arms at your sides in a superman position. Your palms should be face down as well.
Step 2: Lift your arms until your thumbs touch over your head and then bring your arms back to your sides.
Step 3: Repeat.
Step 1: Start in a superman position.
Step 2: Bend your elbows and pull your arms back to your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your head in a natural position.
Step 3: Return your arms back to the starting position and repeat.
Step 1: Lie down on the floor face down with your legs out and your arms extended out in front of you.
Step 2: Keep your head in a natural position, activate your transverse abdominis, and lift your arms and legs off the ground. Engage your legs and glutes and squeeze your shoulder blades towards one another.
Step 3: Hold and then lower back down slowly.
Banded Row Pull
Step 1: Loop a band around a pole and grab it with an underhand grip. Your grip should be about shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Step back until your arms are fully extended and there is some tension in the band. Keep your head in a neutral position, activate your core, and bend your knees.
Step 3: Pull the band towards your belly and bring your hands apart. Stop when you get to your belly button and return to the starting position.
Seated Pull Down
Step 1: Get a band and grab the middle of it with both your hands.
Step 2: Lift the band over your head with your arms extended and your palms turned away from each other.
Step 3: Bend your elbows and separate your hands as you lower the band towards your chest.
Step 4: Hold and then return to your starting position.
Wide Grip Pull Up
Step 1: Stand underneath a pull up bar in a neutral position and reach up and grab the bar. Your thumbs should point towards each other, and your grip should be wider than your body.
Step 2: Pull your body up towards the bar, engaging the muscles in your arms and back.
Step 3: Pause and then lower yourself down to the starting position.
Step 1: Head to the gym and find a TRX trainer or purchase one for at-home use.
Step 2: Hold onto the handles of the suspended TRX trainer in each hand and step back. You should get to a point where your arms are in a straight line and your feet are about hip-width distance apart.
Step 3: Engage your core and lean back. You will look like you are in a plank position but suspended in the air facing up.
Step 4: Turn the TRX handles in, so your palms face one another.
Step 5: Bend your elbows and pull your chest towards the handles activating the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and arms.
Step 6: Hold and then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
Hip Hinge (Good Morning)
Step 1: Stand up with your feet about a little more than shoulder-width distance apart and your toes pointed out.
Step 2: Shift your weight to your heels and push your hips back while you hinge forward at the hips.
Step 3: Lower your torso until it is almost parallel to the ground.
Step 4: Come back to your starting position by activating your glutes and pushing your hips forward to rise.
Step 1: Lie down and place your palms on the ground directly underneath your shoulders. Hug your elbows into the sides of your body. Ensure your neck is in a neutral position.
Step 2: Press your pubic bone into the ground. Inhale and lift your chest off the floor making sure your roll your shoulders down and back. Keep hugging your elbows into your sides.
Step 3: Release down.