Aims and objectives: To generate gender-specific and broadly based age-related indices for normative lumbar ranges of motion for all planes of movement. Design: This was a repeated measures prospective study of spinal range of motion in a sample of volunteer subjects utilizing a portable modified CA6000 Spine Motion Analyzer (Orthopedic Systems Inc., Union City, CA, USA). Setting: Data collection was carried out in a variety of community locations including fire, police and ambulance stations, offices and community centres. Subjects: A total of 405 asymptomatic subjects (196 female, 209 male) were recruited, aged 16–90 years, from sedentary, mixed and physically demanding occupations. Methodology: Indices of lumbar spine ranges of motion were measured in standing following a standardized protocol for sagittal flexion/extension, coronal lateral flexion and horizontal axial rotation movements. Results: Male and female normative flexion ranges declined by approximately 40% (72–40 degrees) across the age spectrum. Extension declined the greatest, by approximately 76% (29–6 degrees) overall. In lateral flexion male and female ranges declined approximately 43% (29–15 degrees) in each direction (total 58–30 degrees). In axial rotation no age-related decline was observed and ranges of motion remained at approximately 7 degrees in each direction (total 14 degrees) across all the ages of the subject group. Conclusions: Data have been generated that provide comprehensive, gender-specific, broadly based and age-related indices for normative lumbar ranges of motion in all planes of movement. These are applicable to individuals throughout adult life, from adolescence through to old age.