by Apple Therapy

Our bodies are capable of lifting a great deal of weight, but the greater the weight, the greater the chances of injuring your body. You might not think of lifting as an art form, but look at all of the sports that require a very specific technique for lifting. Whether performing a “dead lift” with weights, or lifting a fellow ice skater in an Olympic competition, these athletes have perfected their methods to achieve these ‘lifting’ feats with as little chance of injury as possible. It only makes sense that in everyday situations, when faced with the task of lifting heavy objects, we should also use the proper lifting techniques.

Why is proper lifting mechanics important?

It makes moving and lifting easier. By putting less strain and stress on your body, you’ll be able to conserve energy, have less fatigue, and experience fewer injuries. The areas of your body most apt to get injured are:

  • Lower back
  • Neck & shoulders
  • Knees
  • Ligaments & Joints
10 tips for proper lifting mechanics

There are many names for the various lifting techniques, like: the basic lift, the power lift, the half kneel lift, the overhead lift, the golf pick-up, and more. We’ll be happy to talk techniques at your next appointment, but let’s focus on a few basic principles and tips that will help reduce stress and strain on your body.

  1. Keep objects close to your center-of-gravity. Hug the box. The farther out the object is from the center of your body, the more strain it puts on specific muscles.
  2. Lower your center-of-gravity. Widen your stance. Keep your feet farther apart as you bend your legs to pickup an object.
  3. Bend at the knees, not the waist.
  4. Lift with your legs. You’ve got two legs and one lower back. Use your legs to help with the lifting, rather than just your back.
  5. Keep your back straight. Align your back with neck and hips.
  6. Roll or pivot, push or pull an object if possible. This requires less effort and strain on your muscles.
  7. Contract your stabilizing muscles before pushing, pulling, or lifting. This helps protect your ligaments and joints from strain and injury.
  8. Turn with your feet. Try not to turn with your torso while holding an object, but instead turn with your feet. Or better yet….
  9. Face the direction you’re going to move the object. Avoid any turning, position yourself to move in one direction.
  10. Don’t lift it, if it’s too heavy. Seems obvious but you can save yourself from injuries by reconsidering.

Adhering to some of these techniques may help you avoid injuries and remain healthy while lifting and moving heavy objects. In the event that you experience pain by straining your muscles, ligaments, or joints as a result of improper lifting, contact Apple Therapy and we’ll work with you to get you on the path to recovery in no time.