Lifting improperly can lead to a plethora of problems. Whether you are lifting a small child or helping your neighbor load his moving truck, employing proper lifting techniques can help you avoid both acute and chronic back problems.
Plan Before Lifting
Knowing where you are going and making sure you have a clear path to your final destination will mean fewer awkward movements while holding something heavy.
Lift Close to Your Body
Keeping the object balanced and close to your body will make you a stronger and more stable lifter.
Keep Feet a Shoulder Width Apart
Keeping your feet too close together is unstable; too far apart, and your movement may be hindered. If your feet are a shoulder length apart, it will give a solid base for lifting.
Lift With Your Legs
Your legs are stronger than your back, so use that to your advantage. Bend your knees and keep your spine straight. Raise and lower yourself by bending your knees. You may even want to practice this motion before lifting the object.
Tighten Your Stomach Muscles
If your stomach muscles are held tight, it will help keep your back in a proper lifting position.
If an object is too heavy, or an awkward shape, it is best to find someone to help you lift it.
Wear a Belt or Back Support
If your job requires you to regularly lift heavy objects, or if you lift often at home, a back belt can help you keep a proper lifting posture.