Back pain is one of the most common gym woes, and it has the power to not only ruin your workout, but make every part of your day difficult if you aren’t careful. Luckily, knowing the common causes of back pain can give you a good idea of what not to do in the weights room.

Here’s a look at how to avoid hurting your back in the gym. Good form isn’t just a way of targeting the right muscles as well as possible; it’s also key to keeping your body in proper alignment and reducing the risk of injury.

When performing a deadlift, for example, you should maintain a flat back, and aggressively tense your core muscles during the lift to provide protection against the shearing forces exerted by the weight. Failure to do so will massively increase your risk of a back injury.

If you’re ever unsure about your form don’t hesitate to ask a personal trainer at your gym.  Whether you’re suffering from a nagging pain or simply a tightness getting out of bed, unwind your spine with these quick moves that will undo the damage of a day at the desk.

Banded Cat Camel:

How to:

  • Relieve hunched shoulders by working the muscles around your thoracic spine.
  • On all fours, wrap a band around your back and hold it under both hands.
  • Drop your glutes to your heels.
  • Push your ribs away from the floor as you exhale and flex your spine.
  • Inhale and raise your eye line as you extend your back.

2 sets of 12 reps, 60 sec rest

Related article: 5 Exercises To Relieve Hip Pain And Strengthen Your Hip Flexor

Tall Kneeling Banded Rotation:

How to:

  • Enhance your balance and strength with rotation moves.
  • Place a band around a pole, stand at arm’s length away and hold one end in both hands.
  • On your knees with your torso upright, face the pole with your torso twisted, but keep your hips forward (A).
  • Now, rotate your torso in the opposite direction (B). Return to the start.

2 sets of 10 reps each side, 60 sec rest

Related article: The 8-Minute Back Exercises That Help Prevent Back Pain And Eliminate Fat

Prone Scorpion:

How to:

  • Tightness in your lower back and hips will make you more prone to injury.
  • Lying face down with your arms spread on each side, kick your right foot up towards your left hand.
  • Hold for two seconds, pushing your knee towards the floor.
  • Return your leg to the start position, before repeating on the opposite side.

2 sets of 6-8 reps each side, 60 sec rest

Related article: 5 Lower Back Bodyweight Exercises To Ease Off Back Pain And Strengthen The Surrounding Muscles

Dumbbell Articulations:

How to:

  • Going slow and light with a dumbbell will improve your strength and mobility in squats and deadlifts and take unnecessary pressure off your lower back.
  • Standing tall with your legs spread wide, hold the weight between your hands overhead.
  • Maintain control, and keep your hands as far away from your centre as you can as you rotate one way.
  • After a full rotation, repeat in the other direction.

2 sets of 5 reps each side, 60 sec rest