Why is it important to lift correctly and properly?
Lifting and bending over are a frequent task in life. Whether moving, doing yard work, or picking up some rowdy kids we all know the strain that can be put on the low back, and have all heard stories, or have stories of our own, about “throwing the back out”. Lifting incorrectly can strain muscle, sprain ligaments, or even rupture a disc. We use our back and neck for the majority of daily tasks. Injuring your back can be debilitating to your quality of life. Lifting incorrectly is one of the most common causes of low back pain. Here are tips and tricks on how to lift properly and some warm up exercises to reset your lifting technique.
- Feet- Slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Toes pointed minimally outward (~10-15 degrees)
- Knees- Should never go past the toes. Pay close attention so that knees do not cave in or out.
- Hips- Bend trunk forward at the hips (not low back) and “sit back”
- Low Back- Keep spine neutral. No excessive arching or rounding at any point throughout the movement.
- Head/Neck- Keep eyes on the object being picked up. Keeping the head looking up promotes excessive arching of the neck and low back.
Warm-Ups/Tips & Tricks:
Door-frame Squats: This exercise is great for those who are having trouble hip-hinging/sitting back into their hips. Build confidence and strength with these before transitioning to a full squat or chair squat.
- Grip onto one side of a door frame with both hands
- Sit back while stabilizing with arms
- Sink into a deep squat. Be mindful of form and positioning.
- Contract the quadriceps and glutes to lift back to a standing position
Face-the-Wall: Great exercise to stop those with excessive forward translation of the knees over the toes.
- Position with toes ~6 inches from a wall
- Sit back on hips (be mindful not to touch the wall in front)
- Sink into squat
- Contract the quadriceps and glutes to lift back to standing position
Chair: Gives a target to aim for as well as some support before transitioning to a full squat.
- Place a chair (or similar surface) 2-4 inches from the back of the thighs slightly higher than the back of the knees.
- Sit back as if going to sit in the chair
- Lower down until lightly touching the chair
- Contract quadriceps and glutes to lift back to standing position
If you have been hurt lifting, please seek professional help. Resetting squatting patterns, strengthening your core, and completing a McKenzie protocol are important to a rehabilitation program. If you injured your back lifting or are struggling to improve with your current program, give us a call!
To schedule an appointment please call the office at (815)-717-6483, or schedule online at your convenience. For future updates, hours, and news about MVP Chiropractic follow us on facebook!
Written by Dr. Kyle Bastean
Edited by Dr. Michael Veerman