Have you heard of the trunk lift exercise? A lower back strengthening exercise, the trunk lift is often used to improve mobility.
Let’s start with understanding more about the exercise before you decide whether or not you want to add it to your workout routine.
What Is the Trunk Lift Exercise and How Do You Do It?
The exercise is a strength-training exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the lower back. Follow these steps to do the exercise:
- Lie face down on the floor with your hands at your sides, palms down.
- Keep your legs straight and together, with your toes pointing towards the floor.
- Engage your lower back muscles and lift your upper body off the ground as high as you can while keeping your legs and pelvis in contact with the ground.
- Hold the lift for 2-3 seconds and then slowly lower your upper body back down to the floor.
- Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
To make the exercise more challenging, you can hold a weight plate against your chest or perform the exercise on an exercise ball.
Muscles Worked in the Trunk Lift Exercise
While you may be aware that the exercise works on the lower back muscles, here’s a further in-depth explanation of the muscles involved in the movement.
The exercise primarily targets the muscles of the lower back, specifically the erector spinae muscles which run along the length of the spine. Additionally, it also engages the muscles of the core, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis, which work to stabilize the spine during the movement.
Glutes, hamstrings, and shoulder muscles are also activated as they work to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Overall, the trunk lift exercise is a great way to strengthen and tone the muscles of the lower back and core, while improving overall spinal stability and mobility.
Benefits of the Trunk Lift Exercise
The exercise has several benefits, including:
Strengthening the lower back muscles
The primary target of the exercise is the muscles of the lower back, which are important for maintaining proper posture and preventing lower back pain.
By strengthening the lower back muscles, this exercise can help improve posture and reduce the risk of developing a slouched posture.
Enhancing core stability
The exercise also engages the muscles of the core, including the abdominal muscles, which can help improve core stability and balance.
Increasing spinal mobility
The movement involved in the exercise can help improve spinal mobility and flexibility.
Preparing for other exercises
The exercise can serve as a warm-up for other exercises that require lower back strength, such as deadlifts and squats.
Overall, incorporating the trunk lift exercise into your workout routine can help improve your strength and mobility, while reducing your risk of lower back pain and injury.
Alternatives to the Exercise
There are several alternative exercises that you can perform to target the same muscle groups as the trunk lift exercise. Here are a few examples:
This exercise is similar to a trunk lift, but involves lifting both the upper and lower body off the ground at the same time.
To perform the exercise, lie face down on the ground with your arms and legs extended. Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground, but do it simultaneously. Hold the position for a few seconds before lowering yourself.
Bird dog exercise is a great way to target the erector spinae muscles and the core.
To do this exercise, keep your hands below your shoulders, while your knees remain below your hips. Slowly extend your right arm and left leg out straight, keeping your back and hips stable. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating on the opposite side.
The cobra pose is a yoga pose that targets the erector spinae muscles and can help improve spinal flexibility.
To perform the pose, lie face down on the ground with your hands under your shoulders. Slowly press up through your hands, lifting your chest off the ground while keeping your hips and legs in contact with the ground. Hold the position for a couple of seconds before lowering yourself.
These exercises are just a few examples of alternatives to the trunk lift exercise that can help target the same muscle groups. As with any exercise, be sure to use the proper form and consult a fitness professional if you have any questions or concerns.