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.
Thread the Needle
Hold 5-10 seconds, 10 repetitions each side
Child’s Pose Stretch
Hold 45-60 seconds