Back fitness involves more than targeting back muscles for strengthening.
While it's true that the multitude of muscles around your spine need to stay in shape in order to manage pain, another part of back health and fitness is pelvic alignment. Whether it's good or bad, your pelvic alignment will likely translate up to your low back and either support or interrupt the integrity of your spinal curves.
Believe it or not, it’s the muscles around your hips that are mostly responsible for pelvic alignment. These muscles include your quadriceps, outer and inner thigh muscles and the hamstrings. Each plays its own unique role in balanced alignment of the pelvis, and therefore good posture as well as reduced or eliminated low back pain.
Hip Bridge Exercise - a Must for Hamstring Strength and Back Fitness
The hip bridge is an absolute staple strengthening exercise for creating and maintaining a healthy low back. Not only does it stretch your quadriceps - which most of us need because we sit so much - but it can be very challenging to your hamstrings, as well.
In the hip bridge exercise, your hamstrings (and, depending on your technique, your gluteus maximus, as well) are charged with supporting most of your body weight while it's in the air. This can get very intense, particularly if you're new to hamstring strengthening.
But strong hamstrings can help pull the pelvis down in back. This is a good thing for most people. Many of us have a condition called anterior pelvic tilt, where the pelvis is pulled forward by large girth tugging your pelvis forward, weak hamstrings, or both. An anterior pelvic tilt can accentuate your normal lordotic curve, possibly creating tension and/or pain in your low back muscles.
One of the best things you can do for your hamstrings when you perform hip bridges is to attempt to keep your pelvic position level while it's in the air. With this extra mind-body effort, you'll likely develop a balanced strength in your hamstrings, which may translate to less pressure on your spinal structures and more balance between the low back muscles.