Protect Yourself from Workout Injuries
Faulty postural alignment during exercise may lead to injury. Keep your knees unlocked and your pelvis and neck in a neutral position. Your knees should be in alignment with your ankles, and your ears aligned with your shoulders. Some people, especially gymnasts or "old school" ballerinas, have a tendency to jut their ribs forwards. This creates stress on the lower back.
Engage Your Core
Studies performed by Paul Hodges at the University of Queensland resulted in a link between lower back problems and core activation. The researchers found that people without lower back problems activated their core muscles a fraction of a second prior to using the muscles required for the movement. Since the deep core muscles are stabilizers, these folks are less likely to injure their lower backs.
In contrast, people with back problems activate their core muscles a few seconds after the exercise has begun, thereby compromising spinal stability. If you have a tendency towards back problems, you'll need to concentrate on engaging your core muscles prior to performing the movement.