How’s my Lifting?

We’ve heard it time and time again, “you are going to hurt your back if you lift that way!”

But, It’s true! There is a huge amount of force directed at your lower spinal discs, muscles, and/or ligaments in your low back when lifting incorrectly. Sometimes our jobs or our daily activities require us to lift heavy objects more often than we would like!  So, what can we do?

Read below for some quick tips and picture demonstrations below.

  • Spread your feet apart to give your body a wide base of support, shoulder width apart
  • Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting
  • Bend at your knees, not at your waist or back
  • Activate your stomach muscles as you lift the object up or lower it down
  • Hold the object as close to your body as you can
  • DO NOT twist your back while you bend to reach the object, lift the object, or carry the object. Instead stagger your feet or even kneel.
  • Squat as you set the object down, you can stagger your feet or even kneel

A diagonal squat lift is good for lifting medium weight objects from the floor or for lifting objects out of awkward spaces. To perform a diagonal squat lift, position yourself close to the item with your feet staggered widely around the item to be lifted. Pull in your belly muscles to stabilize your spine and place one foot ahead of the other in a staggered stance

Pick up the item, keeping it as close to your body as possible.

Make sure you have a firm grip on the item so it does not slip and avoid twisting your trunk when carrying the object.

 

A power lift is good for lifting heavy objects off the floor. To perform a power lift,  position yourself close to the item with your feet about shoulder width apart.

Pull in your belly button to stabilize your spine and squat down by bending your knees.

Pick up the item, keeping it as close to your body as possible

Make sure you have a firm grip on the item so it does not slip and avoid twisting your trunk when carrying the object.

 

A Golfer’s pick-up is ideal for lifting light items from the floor. Position yourself close to the item you will be lifting. Reach down with your dominant hand while balancing on your opposite leg. Gently tighten your belly muscles and keep your back straight as you pick up the item. Avoid twisting your trunk throughout the movement.

This is only a short list of tips to help you with your lifting technique. Still have more questions? Follow along with any RET clinic on social medial all month for more tips and relevant exercises!

RET Physical Therapy Group has been “Your neighborhood physical therapy clinic,” since it was founded in 1973. The company is made up of 24 locations in the Puget Sound area that are all locally owned and operated by a team of physical therapists focused on a single purpose: to provide consistent, quality patient care within neighborhoods and communities. For more information, visit www.retptgroup.com

 

 

 

 

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