Pre-Shovelling Stretches with Dr. Carmen
Now that the winter season is upon us, you may find yourself buried in snow. Your first instinct may be to grab a shovel – but if you are not prepared, you are putting yourself at risk for strain or injury. Be sure to choose an ergonomic shovel and wear boots with a tough grip to prevent you from falling. Avoid twisting your low back if you have to lift snow rather than push it to one side. Pivot your entire body instead. Always try to keep your core engaged and maintain a flat back. Lastly, SLOW IT DOWN. Take your time shovelling to avoid injury.
Keeping your driveway clean doesn’t have to be a pain in the back if you focus on warming up beforehand. These are a few simple stretches you can do to warm up:
- Cat-Camel: While on your hands and your knees, keep your hands as wide as your shoulder and your knees in line with your hands. Your starting position will be a straight/neutral back. Round your mid-back up like a cat and hold for 5 seconds. Then lower your mid back and stick your bum out to the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat these 10 times.
- 2-in-1 Doorway Stretch: Stand in a doorway, place each forearm along the sides of the doorframe. Put your right foot in front of your left and push your torso forward until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles while also squeezing your shoulder blades together to increase extension through your mid back. This can be a stretch AND a mobilisation to help prepare for the repetitive motion of shovelling you’re about to endure.
- Knee to Chest Stretch: Lay on your back and pull your knee to your chest to stretch your glutes and hold for 30 seconds. Then pull the same knee towards your opposite shoulder without rolling your torso over for a greater stretch along your low back. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
If you would like more exercise tips or would like to get a check-up before you head out in the snow, call us at 905-420-4325 to schedule an appointment with me. Together, let’s get you in shape for the winter season!