When you are working around the house or on the garden, you need to learn how to move heavy objects and not experience back pain or a compression fracture. This is especially important for people with osteoporosis, osteopenia or who have a history of low back pain. In the video I demonstrate a number of lifting techniques that will reduce your chance of injury or fracture.
How to Move Heavy Objects
Here is how to move heavy objects safely and reduce your risk of an injury:
- If you are unable to or are uncomfortable with doing a squat to lift a heavy object, you should hire someone to do your heavy lifting. Otherwise:
- Leverage the item up when possible. i.e use a sturdy stick under the corner of a rock to allow you to get a better grip and get it up a few inches.
- Get in as close as you can to the object you plan to lift.
- Widen your stance.
- Remember to take in a breath before you start and exhale as you tighten your pelvic floor and deep abdominals to brace your back.
- To protect your neck, keep you tongue relaxed and resting at the roof of your mouth.
- As soon as you lift the object, support your forearms on your legs as a transitional position.
- Continue to push with your legs as you bring the object as close in to your body as you can safely do.
- Use a sturdy resting point in moving the object when possible.
- Avoid rotating your spine while holding the object. Move your feet in the same direction as the load.
- During the transition from point A to B keep the heavy objects as close to your body as you can and when possible rest it on your body.
- Keeping the load against or very close to your torso reduces the load on your spine.
- When bringing the load back down reverse what you did in the lifting.
- If the exact location of the object being lowered is critical you can transition to a squat position with your forearms resting on our thighs. This is a more restful position for your back and allows you to fine tune the final resting position of your object.
- Plan the move and prepare the area to make it easier on your spine.
How to Move Heavy Objects Video Demonstration
- If you have to move heavy objects from the ground and you are not able to squat, I would pay someone else to move the object.
- If you’re comfortable with your squat, then you want to get in as close to the heavy object as you can.
- Go into a nice, deep squat.
- Make sure your support is balanced, your feet hip width or greater apart.
- As soon as you lift the object, the sooner you can get your forearms onto your thighs, the faster you’re going to be loading your legs rather than your back.
- In this first part of the lift, I am going to load my back a little bit so I really have to be sure to brace with my deep abdominal muscles..
- Now, I’m going to leverage the rock up so that it brings me into a better position, and then get myself onto my forearms as soon as I can.
- From there, I’m dependent more on my leg strength.
- I found myself moving this stone back and forth quite a few times.
- Initially, I was going from the ground to the ground.
- Then, I got wise and decided to put something a little higher, so the chair was used as my destination point. I didn’t have to keep taking the rock from a low point to another low point. This reduced my squats in half.
- The other thing is that we’re often tempted to do when lifting heavy objects, to get rid of them as fast as possible. One of the temptations was to take the rock and just rotate with the rock into this position without moving my feet.
- I find a lot of my clients come to see me because they have done this move and strained their back.
- When we are lifting heavy objects, it’s really imperative that we move our feet in the same direction as the load.
- Having said that, bring the heavy objects as close to your body as you can and rest them on your body. This places the load through your body and not just through your arms, which then gets translated into much more weight through your back.
- Repeat the sequence in reverse when lowering your load. Bring it in close and drop it down onto your forearms. This is a more restful position for your back.
- As soon as you can get that load onto the ground and not just into your arms, the easier it is on your spine.
Make the squat exercise a regular part of you exercise program. There are several types of squat exercises (they vary depending on your prescribed exercise level) in the Exercise for Better Bones program.
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