Did you know that even though most people say that they lift with their legs, they actually still lift with their back? If your weight is mostly on your toes when you are lifting or carrying something then most likely you are compressing the discs of your low back. Just because you bend your knees does not mean that you are lifting properly. Below is a list of things to remember when lifting
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart and first bend at the hips while sticking your butt out as far as you can. A great way to practice is by pulling a chair up to the back of your legs and try to keep in contact with the chair during the entire squat.
- Remember to contract your core. The best way to remember how to feel how to do this is by doing a plank which would require similar muscles.
- Avoid turning or twisting during the lift because this is one of the most common ways people will injure their backs. Try and keep the object as close to you as possible. The weight of an object will increase the compression on your lower back exponentially the farther away from your body an item is.
If you do feel a pull, pop or strain and experience pain during a lift, it is important to get care as quickly as possible. Make sure to use the R.I.C.E (raise, ice, compress, elevate) method and not to slouch on the couch when you get home, as this will irritate your symptoms as well.