Six Steps for Lifting a Heavy Load:
- Think first: Think about where you are going to put the object and how you will get it there. If it’s too heavy, ask for help.
- Stand Close to the Object: Keep the object as close to your body and center of mass as possible. Your center of mass is located in your hips. As soon as you move away from your center of mass all the weight moves into your lower back.
- Either Kneel or Squat: Do not bend at the waist; this could lead to a severe low back strain or injury.
- Tighten your Core Muscles and Lift Using your Legs: Tightening your core muscles (TrA) stabilizes your spine against the load you are lifting. Using your leg muscles decreases the potential to strain your lower back.
- Don’t Hold your Breath: Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure while lifting.
- Once you are standing: Maintain your neutral spine and keep the object close to your body.
Putting the Heavy Object Up High and Down on the Ground:
- Try not to lift Heavy Objects Over your Head: If you must lift overhead, stagger your feet or ask for help.
- Do not Bend at the waist: Go back into the squat or kneeling position you used to pick the object up.
- Do your Standing Back Extensions: Once you are done, you many want to do 5-6 backward bends to restore neutral spine balance.