EVERYDAY WEIGHT-LIFTING: CORRECT CARRYING TECHNIQUES

EVERYDAY WEIGHT-LIFTING: CORRECT CARRYING TECHNIQUES

Lifting and carrying items are risky activities that we do as part of everyday life. Those who have to do it for work should receive manual handling training, but that doesn’t apply to everyone.

Whether it is taking the laptop and chargers to work, or extracting a solidly built baby from a cot, we all need to make sure that we work correctly against gravity.

Try these ideas for safer carrying and to improve your functional fitness.

1.      LOOK BEFORE YOU LIFT

Both in everyday life and in the gym, think about what you are doing before you move a weight. Is the item secure? Is it the weight that you expect? Where are you going to put it when it gets too heavy?

Lifting is done with legs, not back. Proper squat technique goes a long way towards correct lifting.

2.      BEHIND YOU! BACKPACKS AND BAGS

You may not be hiking for miles, but a bag full of laptop and gadgets, college books or baby gear (or the baby!) can make it feel that way. If you have to carry items regularly, prioritise function over fashion. A good backpack should have a correctly fitting hip belt to transfer the weight from your shoulders.

Make sure the bag doesn’t waste weight on trimmings. If you are running or cycling, your requirements will be different to make sure that items don’t rattle about or affect balance.

3.      EXERCISES TO BUILD CARRYING STRENGTH

‘Loaded carries’ are simple moves that really make a difference, so try these. Make sure your spine is neutral, your head up, your core engaged and your muscles warmed up. Gripping the weights tightly also engages muscles.

  • Farmer’s carry – grip a dumb-bell in each hand and walk back and forward
  • Overhead carry – raise the weights above your shoulders while walking. Lower in control before you reach total fatigue.
  • Between knee carry – hold the weight between your legs. This will make you waddle so keep your head up and facing forward. The record for this is well over 100kg!

Moving stuff about is an inevitable part of life, so make sure that you are fit for it.

 


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

Comments

Simon J.
23 October 2017

Simon J.

it isn't just women - I see some terrible lifting and carrying techniques at work, even among those allegedly trained. Be careful with the back, people - you only get one!

Debra G.
23 October 2017

Debra G.

backpack hip belts make all the difference. As a chronic overpacker I always use a backpack for a weekend away - once it is on and adjusted I hardly notice it. I see so many women with fashion backpacks, even a laptop is clearly a strain with those. Go for function not form!

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