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Limited Range of Motion Lumbar Extension Strength Training


    Patients with lower back pain who have lower range of motion use isometric testing and exercises to strengthen their lower back. The study, “Limited Range of Motion Lumbar Extension Strength Training” is from the Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Range of motion in lumbar extension strength training are explored.


    This study 33 men and 25 women ages 30 + – 11 years. All subjects were randomly assigned to one of three training groups or a control group that did not do any of the exercises. The training was once per week for 12 weeks and included one set of 8-12 repetitions of different resistance lumbar extensions until volitional fatigue.

    Group A (n = 18) trained from 72 to 36 degrees of lumbar flexion; group B (n = 14) from 36 to 0 degrees of lumbar flexion; and group AB (n = 16) from 72 to 0 degrees of lumbar flexion. Before and after training isometric lumbar extension strength was tested at 72, 60, 48, 36, 24, 12 and 0.  Each isometric test had a 10 second rest period to avoid any muscle exhaustion.

    The results of this study showed that the training groups did the more training they were likely  to increase their isometric lumbar extension strength. The research indicates that individuals, including many suffering from low back pain (LBP), who have limited range of motion (ROM) in their lumbar spine can still derive benefits from lumbar extensor exercises. Despite a constrained ROM of just 36°, individuals can build strength without negatively impacting other aspects of their ROM. Nonetheless, it is recommended to incorporate full ROM exercises to uphold long-term flexibility and joint mobility.