When snow falls, it can create such a wonderful winter, but it also comes with the not-so-joyous task of shoveling snow. While snow removal is necessary for many, it can be physically demanding and lead to injuries if not done properly. In this blog post, we’ll explore how exercising can help prevent injuries associated with shoveling snow and introduce four exercises to strengthen the muscles and techniques you need to stay safe.
Common Snow Shoveling Injuries
Before we dive into exercises that can help prevent injuries, it’s essential to understand the common injuries associated with snow shoveling. These injuries often include:
- Sprains and Strains: These typically occur in the back and shoulders due to improper lifting techniques and overexertion.
- Slipping and Falling: Slippery surfaces can lead to bruises or broken bones, especially in the wrists and hips.
- Twisting with Weight: Twisting while shoveling with added weight increases the risk of back pain if not performed in the correct position.
- Not Using Legs: Failing to use your legs when lifting can lead to shoulder and back pain.
- Not Bracing Core: Neglecting to engage your core while lifting can strain your back and shoulders further.
Now, let’s explore four exercises that can help you prepare for snow shoveling and reduce the risk of these injuries:
Here are 4 exercises to do to help stay in shape and make sure no injuries occur while shoveling:
#1 Hip Hinges: Hip hinges are an excellent exercise to keep your spine in proper alignment, strengthen your core and glutes, and maintain the correct position while shoveling snow. This exercise teaches you how to lift weights using your legs, not your back, which protects your shoulders. You can watch a demonstration here:
#2 Pallof Press: The Palloff Press is an anti-rotation exercise that protects your spine, strengthens your core, and maintains core stability while moving weight away from your body. This exercise prevents you from collapsing to one side as the weight moves away, and it helps you maintain proper shoulder position while shoveling. Check out a tutorial here:
#3 Standing Wood Chops: Standing wood chops focus on core control during rotation, strengthening your core to protect your spine. This exercise also helps you build strength in a similar position to shoveling and teaches you how to brace your shoulders and legs during a twisting motion. Follow the exercise here:
#4 Standing Single Arm Row: The standing single arm row strengthens and reinforces proper shoulder positioning, teaching the correct push-pull movement needed for shoveling. It also reinforces the right body position when lifting weight. Learn how to perform this exercise here:
Incorporating these exercises into your regular fitness routine can help you prepare for the physical demands of snow shoveling. Remember that proper form is essential when performing these exercises to reap the full benefits and prevent injuries. Additionally, always use the correct shoveling technique, take breaks when needed, and prioritize your safety during winter chores. Stay safe and active.