Anatomy of the Lower Back Muscles
Overview of the Muscles of the Lower Back

The lower back muscles are just as important as the abdominal muscles. This page will give you a brief overview of the anatomy of the muscles of the lower back.

There are 2 main sets of muscles that make up the lower back: the erector spinae group and the transversopinalis group. There are 3 muscles in each of the 2 groups, and they all help to stabilize and move the lower back.

The Erector Spinae

As the name suggests, the erector spinae muscles help to keep the spine erect. This band of 3 muscles runs from the pelvis and sacrum all the way up the entire length of the spine.

The 3 muscles of the erector spinae are the spinalis, longissimus, and iliocostalis. The spinalis is closest to the center of the spine and the iliocostalis is the furthest away from the center.

In addition, to keeping the spine erect these muscles will pull the spine backwards (extend the spine).

Transversospinalis Group

The transversospinalis group lies underneath the erector spinae group. These 3 muscles go from the transverse processes of the vertebrae to the spinous processes; that's how they get there name "transverse process to spinous process".

Because the transversospinalis group runs on an angle, these muscles are very important for rotating the spine and stabilizing the spine against rotational movements.

The 3 muscles in this group are the rotatores, multifidus, and the semispinalis. The rotatores are the shortest muscles, and it generally spans 1-2 vertebrae. The multifidus spans 2-4 vertebrae, and the semispinalis spans 3-6 vertebrae.

Exercises for the Lower Back

There are many different exercises for the lower back. You can do movements that involve extension of the spine and/ or rotation of the spine. Click to see all the pictures of lower back exercises on this website.

Core training is also good for the lower back muscles. When the spine must remain stable, the lower back and abdominal muscles work together to stabilize the spine.


The lower back is just as important as the abdominals, so don't neglect the lower back muscles in your workouts.

Yours in Health
Dr. Charles

Return to the Abdominal Muscle Anatomy from the Lower Back Muscles Anatomy

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