I've had lower back pain all week and that really impaired my workout today. I did 45 minutes on the stairstepper, then I moved to do legs, did some leg presses and some leg curls. I couldn't really do my full array of leg exercises because I felt too sore. I'm pretty sure the back extension machine is the culprit. I've come to the conclusion that that machine is a piece of shit and I should be doing more deadlifts instead anyways. I finished off my workout with 100 crunches, russian twists with the 2kg medicine ball until I was tired of doing them, then 15 minutes on the rowing machine.
Other than deadlifts does anyone else know some good lower back exercises?
Sorry to hear about the back pain. Some back extension machines are designed really, really badly and can cause more grief than anything else. One gym of mine has one that's very comfortable (but too light in weight), while the other has plenty of weight but a terribly uncomfortable position and therefore sucks terribly.
Time will be much better spent doing deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, good mornings (safely, of course!), hyperextensions (with weight, if necessary), and plenty of squats since they do tax the lower back to some degree. I always tout the reverse hyperextension machine as being excellent, but so few people have access to one that unless you're in a specialized training facility or a gym that caters to hardcore powerlifters, you're unlikely to get the chance to try it. You can still emulate the movement weight-free by finding a high bench or table to lean over so that your hips on down are hanging off of it vertically, then extend your legs straight up so that you're in a prone position with just your front half on the table. Here's a clip of the real machine in action:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTyk_7D_pQA
Here are some alternatives (not always quite as good, but still will get the job done better than nothing!)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwLGUUMBWFghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZekiE2HVr0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Copfwwzm4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge4S24NV26o
Should hopefully give you a few ideas for new ways to work the lower back!