The term “Christmas tree lower back” is a bodybuilding slang describing lean and detailed spinal erectors around the lumbar area. When the fat around the lower back region is reduced to a minimum, the area resembles a Christmas tree. The term emerged in the 70s after Sammir Bannout brought the idea of back conditioning to a whole new level.
What does it take to acquire a Christmas tree lower back?
By definition, to achieve a Christmas tree lower back, you need to develop your spinal erectors and cut down to a very low body fat level. In simpler words – you need mass and leanness. However, it’s not that easy, especially for natural bodybuilders.
When you are a natural bodybuilder getting super lean (5-8% body fat) is very hard. Most natty athletes fail to maintain that condition for an appreciable amount of time. In addition, naturals sacrifice muscle mass to get to that lean state regardless of how “perfect” and “scientifically proven” their diet is.
Most true natural bodybuilders don’t look very impressive after a diet because they lose a lot of their fullness. Steroids users have similar problems too, but they have more muscle mass, and it’s not as obvious – especially to the untrained eye. Yet a combination of size and leanness is still the road to a Christmas tree lower back even when you are natural.
The best exercises for the spinal erectors?
There are two classics – weighted hyperextensions and deadlifts.
If you are doing deadlifts specifically to develop your back, stick with the conventional version instead of the sumo because it places more stress on the area.