Strong Spinal Erectors

Article written by Jay Stadtfeld for

As a site dedicated to making you big and strong, it should be obvious we here at Lift Big Eat Big like to move heavy objects – either for time, distance, or maybe just to pick it up and simply put it right back down. Training for your respective sport requires a lot of due diligence in the gym, the kitchen, and everywhere else you go. It should be obvious that in order to move heavy weight, you have to have strength in every part of your body. One of these parts happens to often be called your “core” by commercial gym goers. In an effort to put the kibosh on that term, I’m going to focus on a particular part of that region today: your erector spinae. More commonly known as your “spinal erectors”.

The spinal erectors are made up of a group of muscles stemming from multiple insertion points in the body, and are mostly used for extension of the spine when standing or bending (think deadlift or squat). Without these muscles being developed, it’s common to see someone arch like Quasimodo when pulling or squatting a substantial weight, which greatly increases the risk of injury.

The issue of not extending the spine properly during an exercise is prevalent in many new clients I’ve taken on over the years. This could be due to lack of exercise, working a 9-5 desk job, and not staying up on doing mobility. Perhaps even a clever combination of all three. The easiest way that I’ve seen to amend this issue is by doing exercises that increase work in their posterior chains, such as Romanian deadlifts, back extensions, and of course overhead pressing, squatting, and deadlifting.