Snow Shoveling Tips

Snow Shoveling Tips

Time is not on our side here...

Look I hate to say it, but based on the past couple of weeks of weather we are likely in for some snow storms sooner rather than later. Which means, unfortunately, it’s time to break out the snow shovel as the kids get a “virtual” snow day. Now, I can’t change the weather conditions for this winter, but I can offer some advice for snow shoveling so that you decrease your risk of aggravating your back.

Lift with your knees

I can still hear my high school gym teacher, Mr Herman, correcting my form every time I went to pick up something from the ground. Luckily, his teachings have held true throughout the years. When you have to lift anything below your waist level, it is good practice to use a squatting motion to reach the object and bring it up, versus bending over and picking it up. This applies to shoveling as well. Bending your knees in a “squatting position” will take the strain off of your back and strengthen your legs at the same time.

Slow Down

If you’re like me, the best way to get through chores is always the fastest way. Unfortunately, when it comes to shoveling, going fast can have some negative consequences. Slow motions help your body to control the shovel loads of snow, which in turn, allows your body to properly move through the motion. Think of it as moving that 100 lb barbie dreamhouse you bought from amazon without checking the package weight. When that package arrives at your door, the last thing you want to do is pick it up quickly. You want to slowly go through the motion of bringing it into the house. The same goes for shoveling. Slow is the way to go!

Use Your Core

Shoveling requires your body to go through a lot of rotational movement, which requires the use of your core and abdominal muscles. However, these are not the easiest muscles to activate. The best way I have found to make sure I am properly using my core, is to focus on keeping my back flat. If I start to hunch over, I reset myself and start from an upright position before going back into shoveling. Doing so takes some of the strain off of my back and ensures I will be upright and standing when I drink that rewarding hot cocoa as soon as I come in the house.

Let’s be honest, shoveling snow can be frustrating. You work for what feels like an eternity, just to have it happen all over again in the next day or so. Just because its a necessity, doesn’t mean it has to cause you pain. Use these tips above to help with shoveling and hopefully you’ll be drinking hot cocoa by the fireplace in no time.

And please feel free to reach out to us at 610-241-2685. Our therapy team is at the ready to provide help as you navigate your different aches and pains this winter.

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