How to Do a Proper Pushup for Lower Back Strength

a young man doing pushups

Pushups are great exercises for improving your pectoral, upper-body and arm strength. If done with proper form, they can also benefit your core muscles, including your abdominals, obliques and lower back. If you suffer from back pain or are just looking to strengthen the muscles in your lower back, a regular routine of pushups can successfully work out this area.

Lie face down on the floor with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Face slightly ahead of you rather than down, contract your abs and quads and clench your gluteal muscles together until your body forms one straight line from your neck to your feet. This is the proper pushup form that will allow you to strengthen your lower back.

Lift yourself off the ground by fully extending your arms in a slow, steady motion. Pull in your abdominal muscles as you rise.

Hold your position briefly once you reach full extension, then lower yourself back down until your chest touches the floor or your elbows reach a 90-degree angle to the floor.


Keep your abdominals braced throughout the duration of the pushup. Letting your stomach dip will lower the effectiveness of your workout, while letting your back arch may result in back pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, incline pushups, where you begin with your arms on a chair, bench or wall, will take the pressure off your back as you perform the pushup. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise routine.