They say ‘no pain, no gain’, but that’s not the case when it comes to your lower back. Protecting your spine during exercise should be top priority, ensuring that you can keep up your healthy lifestyle for years to come.

So what can you do?

Warm up

Make sure you do a proper warm-up routine that can prepare your spine. Choose a routine that moves your spine in all directions – flexing it backwards and forwards, left and right, and moving in rotations. Try basic yoga poses like Cat Cow, roll downs and spinal twists to get started.

Stretching your hamstrings can also help to decrease pressure on your pelvis and ease your lower back.

Strengthen your core

Proper core exercises can prevent strain on your back. These will focus on getting your spine in a good position while also working your abs. Double whammy! A fantastic option here is plank – both front and side. When you’re in the posture, make sure your back is straight and avoid sagging hips.

Try low impact aerobics

Aerobic exercise can kick up your heart rate and boost circulation while at the same time releasing stiffness in the back and improving blood flow to the spine. Try mixing in an aerobics class with your standard gym routine, or add a 10 minute walk on the treadmill.

Watch your weights

Weightlifting can have many benefits for spine health but can also cause muscle strain if you’re not careful. Be aware of your personal limitations and take note of any strain in your back. It might also be smart to rather use less weight and do more lifts, or to use a training machine instead of free weights.