“I am not trying to scare you, but if you aren’t cautious with your exercise form, you may be injuring your lower back.”

Joe Zhang

Olive Branch

Personal Trainer


Today, Joe Zhang, personal trainer at Olive Branch, will show you some examples of basic exercises.  Learn to keep your back straight!


Back Squats  

back squat

Function: This is an awesome exercise for your whole body because not only does it enhance your strength and conditioning, but also increases your bone density which helps to stave off osteoporosis.

Common mistake:Rounding out the lower back when you are doing the squat. Spinal erector muscles aren’t engaged, causing your spine to form a convex shape. This will cause excessive force on your intervertebral disc and is one of the main causes of lower back pain!


 One Arm Row 

one arm row

Function: Enhances your strength in your trapezius, latissimus dorsi and your biceps muscles. This exercise can also help to improve posture if your shoulders tend to roll forward.

Common mistake: Rounding the back when pulling, causes more pressure in your lower back, and increases risk of injury in your lower back and takes tension away from your trapezius and latissimus dorsi!


Stiff-Legged Deadlift

stiff-legged deadlift

Function: Enhances strength in your hamstrings, buttocks, upper, lower back and core muscles. This exercise is very demanding on your metabolic conditioning and improves stability in your spine, which can prevent injuries.

Common mistake: Rounding your back when you are doing the stiff-legged deadlift moves pressure to your intervertebral discs again. Due to the potential load used during this exercise and the tendency for the back to round out, this exercise requires very strict form to ensure safety.




Function: A common and easy exercise for your core to enhance stability.

Common mistake: Some people may let their lower back to sag when their abdominals are fatigued. Not only does it increase pressure in their lumbar vertebra, but the core muscles aren’t being worked as hard anymore.

Finally, Joe recommends doing a “Superman” isometric hold for 1 minute (progressively make it longer) to slowly build more muscle in your lower back, so your back can keep straight while doing the aforementioned exercises.




Stay strong, and stay safe!


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