Follow these tips to avoid compressing the spinal discs or straining your lower back when you are lifting:
o Keep a wide base of support. Your feet should be shoulder- width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other (karate stance).
o Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle (half kneeling).
o Keep good posture. Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back.
o Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Keep your back straight, and don't twist as you lift.
o Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.
o Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps.
o Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
o Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.
Keep in mind:
o Do not attempt to lift by bending forward. Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load, keep it close to your body, and straighten your legs to lift.
o Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
o Avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object.
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