April showers bring May flowers! And spring is the perfect time to do some deep cleaning or organizing you may have avoided over the long winter months. So throw open those closet doors and let’s get things refreshed!
When organizing or cleaning out your closets, there is usually lifting and bending involved. Having proper technique is critical to not injuring yourself during this process.
Dos and Don’ts of High Shelves
High shelves are usually where we put things we don’t need very often. Using proper technique when getting things off of or on to a high shelf is especially important to avoid injury. This is especially true if the item is heavy or awkward.
First, make sure you have a sturdy base that will help you reach that high shelf. This could be a step stool or a sturdy ladder. This is NOT a chair or anything with wheels. Keep your spine in neutral and your core engaged. Your neutral spine is when the three natural curves of your spine – your cervical (neck), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) curves – are intact. Keep your spine stable and your core engaged and use your body to pull the item to you, keeping your arms and your shoulders engaged and close to your body.
When reaching for something on a high shelf, do not twist. In fact do not twist at all when you are moving anything. This is a perfect recipe for a back injury. Also do not overextend your back or go up on tip-toes. Use a stepstool or sturdy ladder to reach items on a high self. When you are putting something up on a high shelf, lift it up over your head and use your legs to push it back into place.
Dos and Don’ts of Lifting or Setting Down a Box
When you need to move a box or container from the floor when cleaning out your closets, there are three steps to follow. First, kneel down close to the box so that you are not bending over or straining your back. Then lift a corner of the box so that you can get both hands securely under the box and balance the weight. Lastly, keep your spine in neutral and bring the box close to your body so that weight is supported, and then stand. Follow this same process in reverse when setting a box down.
As mentioned before, do NOT twist ever when you are lifting or moving something. Square yourself up with the item before ever attempting to lift. Also, do not lift with your back. When you bend over and pick something up from the floor, you are forcing your back to do all the work and this is a really good way to injure your lower back. Instead, follow the 1, 2, 3 steps above when ever you are lifting or setting something down so that your legs and core do the work.
Dos and Don’ts of Moving Furniture
Even though you probably don’t have furniture in your closet, moving furniture may be a part of your spring cleaning routine. When moving furniture, it is especially important to remember to always PUSH, never pull. Pushing something uses the power of your legs and glutes and ensures that if something does go awry, the item will fall away from you, not on you. Also pulling is very hard on your back. I always recommend furniture movers as well if you are moving something tall or heavy.
Enjoy your refreshed house and thank you for allowing Battle Born Health to help you be stronger than yesterday!