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8 Workout Machines for the Lower Back & Great Back-Supporting Exercises

31st March 2023

If you are suffering from back pain or lower back pain, you are not alone. There are an estimated 10 million people in the UK experiencing various degrees of musculoskeletal problems related to their back.

You may be thinking that it makes intuitive sense for you not to work out your back when you’re experiencing pain, the truth is that by strengthening your back muscles, you’re much more likely to relieve the pain and reduce its occurrence. Because the lower back is made of dozens of muscles, you need a targeted approach to your workout.

This is why in this article, you’ll find out what are the best workout machines for lower back, how to tone your back if it’s a bit flabby as well as what exercises you can do to address your back pain. Let’s get started!

What gym machines work out the lower back?

Whether you have started accumulating lower back fat or you have lower back pain, there are specific workout machines for lower back that you’ll find in the gym. These machines work out different parts of the over a dozen muscle groups there, and you’re much more likely to strengthen the muscles around your spine, giving you better posture, more strength when lifting and reducing pain overall. So, without further ado, here are some of the best workout machines for lower back.

  1. The lateral pulldown machine

  2. If you want to build muscle in your upper back, the lat pulldown machine is your best friend. Specifically targeting the latissimus dorsi, this machine is great for beginners who are looking to work their way up to heavier resistance. These machines typically have a lateral bar that you pull down through cable attachments linked to different degrees of heavy weights, the bar can also be in the form of a D- or a V-handle. Ultimately though, these machines help you work out your shoulders, traps, forearms, biceps as well as the hand and wrist muscles. It’s excellent for the upper back, shoulders and arms and it can significantly help you strengthen your muscles as you add heavier weights the more you get used to the machine.

  3. Seated row machine

  4. The seated row machine, much like the name implies, involves sitting down on the machine, which mimics the motions of rowing through the use of cable pulleys which you then pull in a rowing motion to work out by using one or both arms at the same time. Because you are using your arms and back muscles to pull the adjusted weights and resistance, this machine also provides an exceptional back workout. Targeted muscles with this machine include the rhomboids (upper back), traps, biceps and forearms.
    Assisted pull-up machine

    If you’re thinking of pull-ups when looking at this machine, you’d be quite right. Yes, pull-ups may have a bad reputation because they require a lot of upper body strength to pull your entire weight off the ground, hold it, release and repeat, the assisted pull-up machine helps you gradually ease into the motion of doing pull ups by counterbalancing to reduce your overall body weight. This means you can build up your pull-up sets and repetitions with time without starting in the deep end of doing what may currently seem as impossible pull-ups.

  5. Back extension machine

  6. Also known as the hyperextension bench, this is not exactly a “machine” per se, but it’s excellent for targeting the lower back muscles including the erector spinae (muscles that run along your spine). This is excellent for promoting better posture and enabling you to bend with ease. This piece of gym equipment also nicely targets your glutes, hamstrings and calves as well, which is quite a bonus as you’re working out more muscle groups at the same time. The nice thing about this machine is that it also comes with a seated variation for seated back extensions.

  7. Rear delt fly machine

  8. This is mainly an upper back/shoulder-strengthening machine but it doubles up as a back-training movement. Ideally, you want to use this machine when your back muscles are stronger or you’ve warmed them up using some of the other machines mentioned so far.

  9. Cable machine

  10. The versatility of these workout machines for lower back cannot be overstated. With them, you can choose from a variety of different exercises including the seated cable row (targeting the upper back, forearms and biceps), the cable face pulls, bent-over cable flys, and lat pulldowns.

  11. Elliptical trainers

  12. You may be wondering why we are including what is typically considered a cardio machine in this list. The answer is simple. Elliptical trainers are not only low-impact cardiovascular machines that are easy on your joints and provide continued support with each movement but they also don’t put pressure or shock on your bones as they move from the legs up towards the spine. This machine is excellent for your back because when you place your hands on the handlebars and start moving, you can adjust the resistance you are essentially going to be pulling with your arms, shoulders and upper back.

  13. Vibration plate

  14. And last but not least on our list of workout machines for lower back, we have vibration plates for whole-body vibration. If you’re wondering what this piece of equipment has to do with back pain or lower back pain, the answer is – quite a lot. The high-frequency pulses and stimuli that are emitted from the machine as you either stand, sit or lie down on it make your muscles contract at a faster rate than if you were to work them out using other machines or exercises. This means that in the space of a few minutes, you have literally doubled your workout. And if you do exercises in conjunction with the vibration plate, your workout just doubled in effectiveness!

How do I tone my lower back?

Having covered some of the most important workout machines for lower back, it’s also a good idea to see if there are other ways you can tone your back, shred flabbiness in the area, build muscle, build strength and overall, reduce your back pain. Luckily, there are a couple of useful exercises that we’ve identified, which you can do. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones below.

  • Lower back hyperextensions
  • Weighted back hyperextensions
  • Superman pose
  • Swimmers exercises
  • Good mornings exercises
  • Forearm plank
  • Renegade rows
  • Cobra
  • Child’s pose
  • Double knee-to-chest stretch
  • Lower back rotation stretch

What are the 5 best exercises for your lower back?

If you are looking for exercises and not specific workout machines for lower back, here are our top five:

  1. Kettlebell swing: great for the lower back muscles and for greater overall body stability.
  2. Planks: if done correctly, your core, glutes and back will be strengthened
  3. Bird dog: it’s a simple stretch but you use nearly all of your core’s stabiliser muscles to stay balanced
  4. Cat cow/Mad cat: a great one to stretch out your entire back and give you some tension relief
  5. Bridges: whether a glute or a supine bridge, it’s excellent for muscle strengthening and improved posture

Final thoughts

Back and lower back pain doesn’t have to be a life sentence. In fact, by using the right workout machines for the lower back or doing the right exercises targeting the area, you can strengthen your musculoskeletal structure and reduce pain altogether. For those looking for a low-impact machine that you can start off gently on and then work your way up to more strenuous exercises, the vibration plate is the answer. It’s something you can do in the comfort and convenience of your own home and it’s great to use in conjunction with other healthy exercise alternatives to work out the back muscles.


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