Intervertebral translations and rotations are likely dependent on intervertebral stiffness properties. The objective of this study was to incorporate realistic intervertebral stiffnesses in a musculoskeletal model of the lumbar spine using a novel force-dependent kinematics approach, and examine the effects on vertebral compressive loading and intervertebral motions. Predicted vertebral loading and intervertebral motions were compared to previously reported in vivo measurements. Intervertebral joint reaction forces and motions were strongly affected by flexion stiffness, as well as force–motion coupling of the intervertebral stiffness. Better understanding of intervertebral stiffness and force–motion coupling could improve musculoskeletal modeling, implant design, and surgical planning.