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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Snow Shoveling Posture

This seems appropriate today

I'm hoping that we're all snuggled up under a blanket with hot cocoa right now.  I know we don't want to think about shoveling the snow later.  But... How should one shovel snow in order to lessen the strain on the body?

Since the snow isn't nice enough to come up to our arm level, we need to bend down to shovel it. Herein lies the key to correct shoveling posture. Do we bend at the hip or at the knee? Which one of these pictures looks more correct?

   

If you said the second, you're right! Although it's easier to bend over from the hip and pick up the shovel with our arms and shoulders, it puts excess strain on the low back, neck and arms. In the second picture, however, essentially performing a squat motion is going to cause the least strain on the body. The knees bend, the shoulders come down directly over the hips and the rear is dropped behind. The arms are kept at a close range to the chest, keeping pressure off the upper arm muscles and engaging the core. Then lift up from the legs and glutes, pushing with force from the core to move the shoveled snow.

Sounds easy, right? Well anyone who's ever squatted with weight will tell you it's not. :) The good news is, with a bit of practice, you'll find that shoveling can be an exercise for your glutes, quads and abs, NOT your lower back and upper arms, which shouldn't be throwing the weight of a shovel-full of snow anyway.  Want some good news? Snow shoveling can burn around 350 calories per hour – so I think that's an excuse for an extra hot chocolate as a completion reward!

If you find that your posture is perfect when shoveling, and your muscles still ache, you're not the only one. That's the perfect time to come in for a session – massage therapy can ease muscle pain and increase recovery time. I'll see you in my Westport office!

 

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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT