Whether you’re a gym rat or not, everyone needs to practice good lifting mechanics. Lifting objects off of the floor can lead to serious injuries, no matter how light they are, when proper lifting form is neglected.

In this article, we’ll review some of the top tips for how to lift correctly to ensure that you stay healthy and avoid injury. 

Tip #1: Use Your Legs

As cliche as it may sound, you should always be sure to lift with your legs. Often, many of us are tempted to use our back muscles to lift. Unfortunately, this can lead to devastating injuries such as slipped discs in the spine.

Your leg muscles are big and strong. These muscles should be relied upon for heavy lifting, not your relatively small back muscles.

Tip #2: Keep Objects Close to Your Body

Whenever you’re lifting something, you should keep it as close to your body as possible. This reduces the strain on your muscles, enabling you to have a better mechanical advantage while lifting.

If you lift a heavy object with your arms out in front of you, you’ll quickly realize that the further away the object is, the heavier it will feel for you.

Tip #3: Limber Up First

Whether you’re lifting the groceries off of the floor or going for your personal record in the deadlift, you should always be sure to warm up before any physical activity. You don’t have to spend a ton of time warming up. In fact, marching in place, lightly twisting your trunk, and performing a few other key motions can help to prime your body for the upcoming activity.

By promoting blood flow to your working muscles, you can often significantly reduce the risk of injury. Plus, warming up often makes it easier to lift any object, and decreases stiffness throughout the body.

Tip #4: Ask for Help When Needed

Some objects are simply too heavy to lift on your own. In these cases, you should ask for help. There is no shame in asking for assistance when you need it. In fact, this may save you from an injury that could put you out of commission for weeks, months, or even years.

People are always willing to help when you reach out. Family members, friends, and even neighborhood kids are ready and able to help you move your heavy objects wherever they need to go. This will allow for safe lifting for everyone involved.

Tip #5: Set Yourself Up for Success

Often, when you need to lift something, you can take steps to make the lift easier before you complete it. For instance, you can scoot a heavy box closer to your door before you lift it. This will decrease the amount of time you have to hold the heavy box, decreasing the stress on your body.

Alternatively, you might elect to use a dolly to lift objects. Dollies work great for large, awkward packages. They have wheels and use leverage to greatly reduce the amount of effort required of you.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take a minute and assess your situation before you initiate the lift.

Taking care of your body goes a long way toward decreasing your risk of injury while lifting. Eating well, exercising, and reducing your stress are all great ways to keep yourself healthy. But one of the best ways to do this is through chiropractic care. 

Your local Parker chiropractor at Awaken Chiropractic can help you with all your health goals today. Book your appointment now!

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