Millions on the East Coast are bracing for a blockbuster snowstorm and some serious snow shoveling this weekend. It's time to begin stretching those muscles to help protect your back, one of the most common snow shoveling injuries.
According to Adam Bornstein of Born Fitness, most back issues stem from one problem: poor core strength, Today.com reported. Don't round your lower back, he said. "Once you round your back you shut off the powerful muscles that make shoveling easy and instead shift the stress onto small muscles that cause all of your pain," according to Bornstein. Instead, he said, concentrate on "pushing your hips backward while slightly bending your knees. You want your core and abs, as well as your hips and hamstrings to provide stability for your lower back.
Pace yourself, shoveling for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Be aware of heart attack warning signs: increased heart rate, shortness of breath, more sweating, and tightness in the chest. Finally, wear layers, making sure noses, toes, and fingers are well covered and dry.