- LOW-BACK STRAINS
A sudden, sharp twinge in your lower back during your workout could be a sign you’ve overdone it. “Squats or deadlifts with improper form wreaks havoc on the lower back,” says associate professor of kinesiology Cindy Trowbridge, Ph.D. “You can suffer strains or, even worse, nerve compression and disk herniation.” Twisting motions or sideways bends can also strain your lower back. HOW TO STAY SAFE: Beginners should first learn how to maintain a neutral back, says Trowbridge.
To find your neutral spine, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your spine should touch the floor under your neck and lower back, which allows the natural curves of your back to absorb shock during exercise. “Get your form correct first before adding weight. Beginner weightlifters should do the leg press or hip sled first before trying squats.” If you’re unsure of proper form, ask a qualified personal trainer for advice.