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Three tips before you shovel the snow

1. Warm Up

Warming up the body and elevating the heart rate is warranted prior to any intense physical activity. Think about athletes in this regard. Prior to an athletic event, athletes will prepare for competition through warm-up exercises. This could involve light calisthenics such as walking up and down stairs. Anything can be done to increase the heart rate and warm up muscles.

2. Be Realistic

Understanding how much physical work your body can accomplish is a wise strategy to employ prior to shoveling. You need to be honest with yourself about your fitness level if you have a large area and a large amount of snow to shovel. Ask yourself if you can realistically accomplish this task in one attempt. A more realistic view for some people may be to divide the job into a few smaller efforts or recruit more help to accomplish the task.

3. Use Good Form

As with any physical task, using good form is vitally important to reduce risk of injury and improve performance. The same is true for a physical task such as shoveling snow. It is important to keep a neutral spine while shoveling snow by:

  • hinging (bending) at the hips and not at the spine;

  • rotating through the hips and not through the spine.

These are just two points to good form, but I think these are the two most important.

It is challenging in a short article to describe proper form during a physical activity. Teaching or describing form during movement is best done in person. If you have any questions about how to safely shovel snow this season and would like to have me help you with any questions concerning your form, please don’t hesitate to contact the office at 217.787.8200.


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