Lift without causing injuries – Full guide
Have you ever injured yourself from heavy lifting?
Do you know someone who has been injured from a heavy lifting incident?
Have you started a new job which requires you to lift heavy lifting?
Or you may just be understandably concerned about developing an injury due to heavy lifting in your personal life?
If you said yest to any of the above, keep reading and we will guide you through the proper lifting techniques.
Why is it important to lift correctly?
There are various reasons why it is important to practise proper lifting techniques. Firstly, proper form works the appropriate muscle groups making the lifts easier and more effective. More importantly however, lifting properly reduces the risk of short and long term back, hip, knee and shoulder injuries allowing you to lift without causing injury. Improper form while lifting can cause muscle strains, tears, joint pain and back problems. Therefore, practicing proper form when lifting at work, home or the gym will minimise the risk of developing and injury. But what is proper form and how do achieve it?
Steps to lifting properly
Step 1: Ensure that your environment is clear of obstacle and hazards before your lift
Step 2: Keep a wide base of support.
Make sure that your feet are shoulder width apart. This will ensure balance and appropriate loading during your heavy lift.
Step 3: Squat down while keeping heels planted on the ground and bending knees
When you are ready to lift the object, squat down in front of the object, whilst bending at the hips and knees. Try and keep your heels on the ground as it will provide a greater base of support and increase your balance.
Step 4: Place your hands on the object and find an even and solid grip
Maintaining a solid and even grip will ensure that load is dispersed evenly throughout of falling and the risk of dropping the item is minimised.
Step 5: Maintain a straight back
When you start you lift upward, ensure that you maintain a good posture. This is achieved by keeping your back straight, your chest out and your shoulders back. Poor posture can lead to back pain, injury and reduced strength.
Step 6: Slowly lift while maintaining good posture
Slowly lift the object by straightening your hips and knees. Stand up tall and breathe out. Avoid twisting or bending your back as you lift.
Step 7: Keep the load close to your body while lifting and walking
Keeping the load close to your body will make the lift easier as the centre of mass of the object is closer to your body, thus decreasing the load on your spine and minimising your risk of injury.
Step 9: Apply the same principles as before when placing the load down
The Don’ts of Heavy Lifting:
- Don’t bend and twist your back
- Don’t lift when there are obstacles and hazards nearby
- Know your limit and don’t try and lift something that is too heavy for you to lift
- Don’t obstruct your view when lifting and walking
- Don’t use a weak or partial grip
- Don’t jerk or try to lift too quickly
Following this advice, you now will be able to lift without causing injuries and with better efficiency. If you would like further in depth advice about how to lift without injury please book in with one of out talented Accredited Exercise Physiologists. Book online or call us on 07 3352 5116 to see our Exercise Physiologist today!