Whether you’re thinking of moving home, you want to move some of your furniture around, or you’re helping a friend to move, knowing how to lift a box correctly is a crucial skill. Moving home is stressful, but it’s a very positive side effect that you’ll actually be getting quite a good workout in the process – as long as you don’t put your back out or drop the item on your toes and smash it that is!
Read on to discover how to approach lifting a heavy box or similar item so that you can relocate your home or office without incident.
Lift With Your Legs!
This is the common mantra that we always hear whenever we go to lift something and someone watching wants to chime in with useful advice. While it can be irritating to be told this regularly though, it is also true and it’s the single most important way to avoid an injury that could affect your spine.
The problem is that when many people lift a heavy box or chair, they will do so by bending their spine over then straightening it to lift. This places all of the pressure right on the spine itself and means you’re much more likely to pull a muscle there or even experience a slipped disc.
Lifting with your legs, on the other hand, involves squatting down in front of the object you want to lift with your back straight or slightly diagonal, grabbing hold of it, then pushing through your legs to stand up directly without moving your back forward or backward. Your legs have much more stable joints and are far more capable of pushing, so this should greatly reduce the chance of injury. Imagine that there is a meter stick down the back of your shirt that is tucked into your jeans. Your objective while lifting is not to break or bend that stick.
The same goes for other types of movements too. If you’re sliding a piece of furniture out from a corner, for instance, don’t try pulling it by twisting your upper torso around or you will risk trapping a nerve. Position yourself from behind where you will have some purchase and then heave through your legs again.
Whenever you do any kind of exercise that involves exerting yourself, it’s always a good idea to warm up first. This will encourage blood flow to your muscles and will help to make your connective tissue more supple and limber – both of which will make them less likely to tear or to cramp. You should of course always warm up fully before doing a workout, but even if you’re just going to be moving furniture in your home you should still make sure to do some stretches or something to avoid hurting yourself.
Hold On Properly
A much simpler way you can hurt yourself while lifting things is just by dropping them. If you aren’t holding onto a box or an item of furniture tightly enough, then it can easily slip through your fingers to land on your feet, or it can slip in your grip and cause you to jolt your back. Make sure you have a tight grip at all times and consider using chalk if necessary. This also makes it important to use the right type of box in the first place – one that is stable and not slippery.
Never move a heavy box or item on your own. Always get a friend or partner to help where possible, or to at least spot and be on hand should anything go wrong.
Better yet, consider using professional moving companies in NJ. They are highly experienced and trained and have all the right equipment to help move those particularly stubborn items. Don’t break your back moving home – this is stressful enough as it is!