Using proper form and maintaining good posture while lifting heavy objects is important to prevent muscle strain and injury. Poor lifting technique is a common cause of low back, neck, and shoulder pain.
It is very important not to bend and round your back while lifting. Bending forward straightens the natural curve of your spine. A forward bend relies on the relatively small muscles of the lower back and does not take advantage of the large, powerful muscles in the legs, hips, and buttocks. You can maintain proper posture by keeping your head up while lifting.
Here are the steps to take to be sure you are lifting safely:
- Stand close to the load. Center yourself over the item with your feet about shoulder width apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your core and spine.
- While keeping your back straight, bend your knees and squat down until you can grab the item. Get a good grip with both hands.
- Use the muscles in your legs to stand straight up. It is important to keep your back straight throughout the lift. Your hips and legs should be doing all of the work.
- Once you are standing, do not twist your body while moving the load. Keep it directly in front of you and take small steps with your feet to change direction.
- When you have moved to the final location, bend your knees while keeping your back straight to squat and put the item down.