1. Hands shoulder width apart on the shovel

This will help increase your leverage and take stress off your back.

2. Brace your core

Keeping your core tight will protect your back and decrease your risk for injury.

3. No twisting

Rotating at the hips when tossing snow is a frequent cause of low back strains and disc disruptions, if you need to “toss” snow turn your hips/feet and do not twist with your back. Extra tip: pushing the snow vs lifting significantly decreases the risk of injury.

4. Bend at the knees and keep your back straight

Often times people will bend forward when shoveling which puts high amounts of stress through the low back. Making sure to bend both the knees and hinge at your hips while keeping your back straight.

5. Shovel multiple times and take rests as needed

As your muscles fatigue from repetitive use, often form with shoveling becomes lax which increases the risk for injury. If you feel yourself becoming tired, take a break and return to shoveling once you have recovered.

6. Stretch before and after

Below are some easy, gentle stretches to help loosen up before/after shoveling.

Cat-Cow Stretch

15-20 repetitions

Thread the Needle

Hold 5-10 seconds, 10 repetitions each side

Child’s Pose Stretch

Hold 45-60 seconds

Rachel graduated with honors from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and in 2017 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. At Concordia, Rachel had the opportunity to take advanced coursework in manual therapy and sport specific training.