Snow shoveling can be hard on your back, not just from moving heavy snow, but also from the postures that are used.
A rounded back places greater strain on the discs, muscles and other structures of the spine. The safer posture is a flat back with the hips pushed back. This is known as a hip hinge.
To work the hip hinge, simply place a stick along the spine touching the head, mid-back and tailbone. Slightly bend your knees and push the hips back. The stick should stay in contact with all 3 points. Go as far as you can without losing contact. The goal would be to feel a good stretch in the hamstrings.
This can be a difficulty move for many. If so, practice the hip hinge pattern on your hands and knees first. With a water bottle across the low back, push the hips back toward the heels maintaining a slight spinal curve. If you lose the water bottle, you’ve lost posture.
Stay within a comfortable range of motion with perfect posture, and absolutely no pain. Perform 10 repetitions to re-establish your hip hinge prior to taking on the snow.
Here is the link to the PT minute video: PT Minute – Snow shoveling and Back Pain
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