Back pain is a common problem. Exercise should be a solution or at least helpful to our health. It should not hurt us.
The first thing to help protect your back is to do a drawing-in maneuver. Gently pull your belly button towards your spine. Once you are able to do this effortlessly and can hold it for 10-20 seconds, start doing it with every exercise. This engages your core muscles and helps to stabilize your spine. This is important to do with all exercises, but especially with heavy loads such as squats and lunges.
Regardless, if you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or if you are active and spend a lot of time in the ready position (i.e. hip flexion), this leads to muscle imbalance and back pain. So don't forget to train posteriorly. Focus on hip extention, back extention, even shoulder extension exercises to ensure good posture.
Your back health is very important and can hurt for several reasons. Exercise should help your back not hurt it, so always:
- stay in a pain-free range of motion
- stay hydrated
- use the draw-in maneuver
- don't lift loads that you cannot support with your core
- train your extensors to counter any imbalance
- utilitze exercises in all planes of motion