Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Lift Heavy Objects Correctly

One of the easiest ways to awaken an old injury is through improper lifting. This can mean lifting something too heavy, or simply standing wrong when grabbing onto something light. Whether it’s back pains from years ago, muscles that simply aren’t ready to work that hard, or a lack of knowledge that triggers something new, picking things up correctly can prevent them all. And considering the difference between poking a resting pain or letting it sit in peace, a little know-how is more than worth the effort. 

Before you hurt yourself on an impromptu favor, be sure to check out the ins and outs of picking things up. 

First, know your weight limit. 

Someone small shouldn’t attempt to haul heavy objects alone, no matter how often he or she works out. No amount of trying to impress others can undo a serious lifting injury, so be sure to evaluate just how much something weighs before attempting the lift – whether alone or with others’ help. 

Next, adopt the proper stance. This means feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. As they say, you’ll use your legs, not the back to lift, so setting them up properly is key. 

Added tips: 

  • Keep the back flat
  • Put yourself as close to the object as possible
  • Tighten the abs for extra support
  • Grip the item (firmly) with your entire hands, not just your fingers or palms
  • When moving, keep your body straight. Don’t twist or bend, but move your feet and legs with the object.

Finally, make the lift and move accordingly. Use your entire leg power and push the weight down through your feet as you pick each item up. This tactic is great for building muscle strength, while preventing injury in the process. If needed, perform stretches (as many as needed) after the fact to prevent soreness. Stretching will also keep the body loose, better preparing it for its next lift.

Before picking up your next heavy object, remember to plan your way to proper lifting procedures.