We all try to avoid hurting ourselves shoveling. This article discusses the correct technique.
How To Shovel Snow With No Back Pain
By: Leon Turetsky (NASM-CPT, NASM-CES), Last Updated: December 21, 2019
Today you will learn the 3 steps to shovel snow with no back pain, as well as 3 mistakes you need to avoid. We recommend you watch the video first and then check out the pictures below to see each technique.
Step 1 - Hip Hinge
– Keep your spine and neck in a neutral position (There should be no movement in the spine).
– Hinge from the hips only – Let your butt go back first.
– Slowly bend your knees as you keep hinging.
* Most importantly do not round your back as you do this.
Step 2 - Lift with Glutes & Legs
– After digging in, make sure to squeeze your glutes and core.
– Now use your legs and butt muscles to stand up.
* Make sure to NOT extend through the low back as you stand up.
Step 3 - Small Step Forward & Dispose
– Put one foot in front of the other.
– Bend the knees slightly and then use your legs to dispose the snow in front of you.
NOW THE MISTAKES TO AVOID
Mistake #1 - Rounding the Spine (when bending down)
When you round your spine you put pressure on your spine’s discs. Especially when you are lifting weight, it is better to not round the spine, but instead keep it straight the entire time – which will prevent injuries.
Mistake #2 - Lifting with Back
Most people will tend to lift the snow using their “back muscles” instead of their butt and leg muscles. This can throw out your back, cause muscle spasms, as well as cause a disc bulge or herniation.
Mistake #3 - Twisting the Spine
Lifting and twisting the spine at the same time is one of the worst things you can do for your back. Instead, turn your whole body to face the direction you want to throw your snow at. Now you will be at a good body position to get rid of the snow – without hurting yourself.