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More Safety Tips for Heavy Lifting — an article on the Smart Living Network
October 5, 2010 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

More Safety Tips for Heavy Lifting


There are two kinds of heavy lifting: lifting associated with objects for work or moving, and lifting that is performed while training with weights. No matter what youre picking up, lifting heavy things is one of the easiest and fastest ways to injure your back. Besides the pain accompanied by it, a back injury can take days or weeks to fully heal, leaving you off of your feet in the process. The best way to deal with any back problem is to prevent it altogether. Use the following safety tips to protect yourself on your next lift.

Lift Smartly

Do not lift more than you can handle. This first precaution is obvious, but also frequently ignored. Test the item you are going to lift in order to see if it is too heavy for you. An object is too heavy if you are straining when carrying it. Get help from another person, or use a dolly or forklift. Look around and know your surroundings. Plan on having enough room to lift the item and visualize where you are going to put it down. Do not try to carry anything heavy over slippery terrain or uneven surfaces, such as rocks, ice, or wet ground. Always remain facing an object when lifting as twisting can pull the muscles in your back. Leaning over to pick something up is a good way to injure your back and cause sharp, intense pains. Instead, bend down at your knees and lift with your leg muscles, not your back. Slow, even movements work best; never try to quickly jerk an object while lifting it. Also, make sure that the object is in a place that you can reach. Trying to extend your arms too far and lift will only increase your chances of injury. When you are carrying something heavy, keep it in between your shoulders and your waist to lessen the strain placed on the back. Only lift objects that are packed and balanced properly and provide an area where you can use a tight grip. In addition, your back should be straight, not arched when lifting or carrying. If you are moving or lifting a lot of objects, take a lot of breaks. Give yourself time in between lifts to recover. You can also do stretching exercises to prepare your muscles and joints before lifting and while you are waiting for the next lift.

Lifting and Weight Training

Many of the same tips above also apply to training with weights. Stretching and warming up is essential and should be done before, during, and after every workout. When you perform each exercise, use the proper form, and never cheat by swinging. Maintain slow, controlled movements throughout the entire exercise. For heavier weights, it might seem like a natural instinct to hold your breath. However, this can be extremely dangerous. Breathe in when lowering the weight and exhale when exerting the strength to lift it. If a weight is more than you can handle by yourself, have someone help you by holding the bar. This is called spotting, and is done by all levels of athletes and bodybuilders. A great idea is to exercise with a trainer or a friend so you can help them as well. Observe the condition of the weights and equipment you are using. Check for defects, loose handles or fasteners, and faulty support on benches or seats. Resistance training is an excellent way to challenge your muscles and inspire them to grow stronger if the lifts are done safely. Whether you are lifting objects or weights, remember to put your health first and stop at the first sign of any pain. Sources:

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