By Blake Boulia
Having to shovel snow all winter long in New England is annoying enough, but injure your back doing so and you seriously start considering moving to Florida. This article will walk you through the common mistakes made while shoveling snow, how to avoid them, and three exercises to help aid in your shoveling. Hopefully this guide helps you to stay injury free all winter long so that snow shoveling remains simply annoying instead of painful.
One common mistake made while shoveling snow is twisting your back while you’re bending over or standing up. It is also common to use your back as opposed to using your legs leading to potential back injuries. Other mistakes include picking up too much snow at once and shoveling too much snow without taking breaks. Overexertion is especially common when the shoveler is not physically active and shoveling is their only form of exercise during the winter.
Avoiding these common mistakes means implementing proper technique. To avoid injury you want to bend at the hips and knees while keeping your back flat and core engaged. When standing up you want to use your legs by straightening your knees and hips all while still keeping your back flat and core engaged. When it comes time to toss the snow, toss it to the side opposed to tossing it behind you or over your shoulder. Take breaks as you need them and try to avoid scooping too much snow with each toss. Being physically active in your daily life can also help avoid injuring yourself while shoveling. These three exercises will also help to avoid injury by building the muscles in the back of your legs and challenging your spinal rotation.
Happy (and safe) Shoveling!