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
Some summer projects involve moving a lot of heavy rocks, or stones, or patio stones. To do these safely you will have to learn how to move heavy objects and avoid injury.
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.
- If you cannot do this or do not want to hire someone, follow the steps below.
Setup and Positioning
- Leverage the item up when possible. 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.
Lift the Object
- 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.
Return the Object
- When bringing the load back down reverse what you did in the lifting.
- If it is essential that the object be placed in an exact location, you can transition to a squat position with your forearms resting on your 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.
Learn to Squat
Make the squat exercise a regular part of your exercise program. It will help you when you lift heavy objects and in many daily activities.
The squat has many significant benefits including strengthening your hip bones and muscles. It is especially important to strengthen the femoral neck.
There are several types of squat exercises (they vary depending on your prescribed exercise level) in the Exercise for Better Bones program.
Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis
It is really important to do activities of daily living with proper form. However, you need to do more than that if you have osteoporosis. Exercise is an essential ingredient to bone health. If you have osteoporosis, therapeutic exercise needs to be part of your osteoporosis treatment program.
But what exercises should you do and which ones should you avoid? What exercises build bone and which ones reduce your chance of a fracture? Is Yoga good for your bones? Who should you trust when it comes to exercises for osteoporosis?
A great resource on exercise and osteoporosis is my free, seven day email course called Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis. After you provide your email address, you will receive seven consecutive online educational videos on bone health — one lesson each day. You can look at the videos at anytime and as often as you like.
- Can exercise reverse osteoporosis?
- Stop the stoop — how to avoid kyphosis and rounded shoulders.
- Key components of an osteoporosis exercise program.
- Key principles of bone building.
- Exercises you should avoid if you have osteoporosis.
- Yoga and osteoporosis — should you practice yoga if you have osteoporosis?
- Core strength and osteoporosis — why is core strength important if you have osteoporosis?
Enter your email address and I will start you on this free course. I do not SPAM or share your email address (or any information) with third parties. You can unsubscribe from my mail list at any time.
Activities of Daily Living
Visit my page dedicated to Activities of Daily Living.