From someone who’s got first-hand experience, believe it: There’s very little that’s more debilitating in the gym than trying to train around a bad, aching, injured lower back. It’s only when you’re hurt that you realize how instrumental every piece of a working body really becomes to affect full functionality.

In the case of the low back, lumbar stability (or lack thereof) is going to likely frustrate most compound movements, rotation, and more. No fun. When it comes to keeping your size or strength training on track, we need to become innovative so we can train hard, but still respect our injuries and the healing and recovery process.