Now Is The Winter Of Your Discontent

calvin-hobbes-shoveling-snow

Happy Friday friends! Boy has it been a while. Now that the dust has settled and the big move complete, expect our regular schedule to resume as well as new and big things close on the horizon.

But I digress; let’s get to the article at hand!

If you’re up here in the North East then like me, you’ve been slammed with snow. It’s as if all of a sudden winter woke up, and realized it was late for work, speeding down the freeway, spilling its coffee and crashing into the guard rail because it was texting, throwing its contents ALL over us.

So, needless to say, snow removal has been the activity most of us are undertaking in lieu of other physical exertions.

Anyone who is anyone and has spent a day shoveling snow can tell you a few things.

  • After a metric butt load of shovel strokes, even fluffy snow feels like an elephant.
  • Lower back pain or tightness is sometimes inevitable.
  • “Eff” Snow.

Today, in an effort to help alleviate the stress of this grueling task and to help any of you in the future who live in the New England area or any area that gets snow really, we are going to discuss the proper mechanics of shoveling efficiently and effectively to reduce the prevalence and intensity of lower back pain and tightness from this necessary and evil task.

Warm Up:

  • Warm your body and muscles up first, cold tight muscles are a recipe for injury in ANY situation.
  • Arm Circles for the shoulders.
  • Forward and backward chest height arm swings for the back and chest.
  • Stretch your hammies!
  • 20 – 30 seconds of jumping jacks.

You’re all warmed up? Awesome! Let’s look at some key points of improper snow removal first.

Improper Techniques:

  • Bending at the lower back.
    • If you bend at the lower back when doing anything, you’re asking for an injury. If you do it with a weight on the end of a shovel, you’ve pretty much put a bullseye for injuries square on yourself.
  • Twisting the torso to throw snow.
    • It may not seem like it, but when holding a load at the end of a lever, twisting your torso will put a lot of stress and pressure on muscles in the lower back to try and maintain core integrity. DON’T DO IT!

Good, now you know what NOT to do. So the only place left to go, is proper technique!

Proper Snow Shoveling Technique:

  • Face the intended strike destination of the shovel head with your hips squarely.
  • Push rather than lift whenever possible.
  • Bend at knees and hips with spine straight and chest puffed out with shoulders back.
  • Place bottom hand as close to blade as handle will allow when lifting.
  • Turn hips squarely and face destination of a snow toss.
  • Lift with Legs, Core, and Shoulders; NEVER YOUR BACK!
  • ALWAYS enjoy a hot cup of cocoa when finished.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, go out there, give a metaphorical middle finger to the feet of snow piled up in your drive way and shout “I’ve got a secret weapon you dirty rat!” then proceed to dominate it with super amazing skill and technique. Enjoy the reduced amount of stress in your back, and appreciate your earned rest afterwards.

Was this article helpful? Let me know what you thought and I just might put it into a video for visual aides.

Advertisements

One thought on “Now Is The Winter Of Your Discontent

  1. I appreciate all the important techniques for tackling the snow problem. I employed said techniques during the last blizzard, much relief to my back and torso.
    Scott

Get in on the action!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s