The lower back is one of the most injured areas of the body. Here are a few ways to help keep you healthy and active.

Evaluate yourself. Stand with your feet square and hands on your hips. Tilt your hips all the way forward, arching your lower back (like you’re trying to stick your butt out), and then all the way back (this should engage your abs). Now find the middle ground. This is where your hips should be at all times. Women are especially guilty of having improper pelvic positioning.

Be aware. Hip positioning can be the difference between perfect form, or putting your lower back in a compromising position. Surprisingly enough, abdominal strength and endurance both play a huge role in supporting your lower back. Throughout your workout, re-evaluate your hip placement to ensure you’re maintaining proper form.

Strengthen it. Incorporate exercises into your workouts that target your lower back. Try deadlifts, back extensions, and supermans to help strengthen this area.

Keep proper form. Whether it’s a squat or a plank, be sure to evaluate your form and keep everything properly aligned. Generally, when we get tired we fail to engage our abs and lower back, and that’s when we become the most susceptible to injury. Making that conscious effort to keep proper form can make all the difference in the world.

Take the time. When we fall off the horse, we’re always told to hop right back on. But sometimes, our bodies need time to recover. Don’t forget the basic recovery methods of rest, ice, and compression.

Get it fixed. Whatever your choice is, whether it’s chiropractors, physical therapy, or massage therapy, make sure you’re getting to the root of the problem, not just fixing symptoms. Generally the root of the problem comes back and results in injury or muscles weakness.

Stretch. Having tight hips and tight hamstrings can pull on the soft tissue throughout your body and put additional stress on your lower back. Some effective stretches or doing yoga can be exactly what you need to reduce the strain and tension in your back. iFit Daily has some great yoga practices to keep you limber and healthy.

Becca Capell
iFit Head Trainer