Proper Lifting To Avoid A Back Injury

Preventing Back Pain When Moving

When you buy or sell a house, most likely you will have to move your belongings.  Whether you hire people or convince your 5 best friends to help you, it is a lot of work. Sometimes you try to get it done as fast as possible. Unfortunately, it is easy to hurt yourself when you are lifting heavy objects or even packing. I want to share with you my 3 tips for moving that will help prevent an injury.  

#1 Stretch

If you exercise, you know that stretching before you do an activity drastically decreases your chance of getting hurt.  We may not think of moving as a workout, but it is similar to weight lifting. There are two muscle groups that need to warm-up before you bend to lift anything. These two muscle groups are your hip flexors (quad and psoas muscles) and your posterior leg (glutes and hamstrings).  

 

There are two stretches for your hip flexors, which allow for a very effective long stretch:  

 

  • A standing quad stretch 

  • A lunge stretch

You want to hold both of these stretches for 30 seconds on each leg.

You will want to activate your posterior muscles, not just stretch them. These are the muscles that should be doing the bulk of the work when you are lifting anything.

For your glutes, simply do an air squat and squeeze your booty when you stand fully up into complete hip extension. Buns of steel baby!!! You want to do about 10 of these to get your posterior leg muscles warm and ready to work.  Click here to see the video.  Being a Boulder Chiropractor I have seen so many people with back pain and neck pain.  Many times this happens when they injure themselves. 

For your hamstrings, you want to do a stretch called “good mornings”. You hinge at the hip and feel a stretch in your hamstrings. The key here is to not hold the stretch for very long. This is an “active stretch”, meaning you want to be moving slowly as you feel the stretch.  Click here to see the video.

#2 Lift with your LEGS

I am sure you have heard this many times before. What does it mean to “lift with your legs?”

This means that when you lift something, you should squat with your legs and stand up. They should be all warmed up since you did the warm-up stretch, right? You DO NOT want to hinge from your hips, bend over and lift. This causes a ton of stress on your lower back and you can sustain a major injury.  

How To Properly Lift From A Boulder Chiropractor

Good!

Bad!

#3 Hydrate

What does this have to do with preventing an injury? Well, if you want your big muscles to work correctly then they need the proper nutrients to do so. When you don’t drink enough water you are prone to cramping and fatigue, especially when it is hot.  

 

Here is a guideline:

  1. One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water.
  2. 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water.
  3. During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.

 

My pro tip: If it is the middle of the summer, try drinking half a bottle of Pedialyte (unflavored if you can handle the taste). This is the best drink you can put in your body for electrolytes. Most drinks that are marketed for electrolyte replenishment have extra sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and chemicals.

I hope you found these tips helpful. My name is Dr. Alison Bremner, owner of Atlas Chiropractic and I have been helping people in the Boulder community stay healthy and pain-free for over 8 years. 

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