Fall has arrived! This may mean you are going to the farm to pick pumpkins or apples.
Or you may go for a drive on Skyline Drive to see the beautiful autumn colors.
This is a wonderful time of year to be outside because it’s not too hot should you decide to go for a run, or play tennis, or go for a hike. But you still need to be careful you hydrate, eat appropriately for your activity, and remove layers as you warm up. Of course, speaking of warming up, you also still need to do an effective warm up and cool down.
Getting back to the farm – with all the picking you will be doing, there will also be lifting. Let’s talk about how to safely pick and lift your produce.
If you are going for those apples, and you prefer the ones on the trees rather than ones on the ground, you need to get as close to the tree and apple as possible. If you are unsteady or alone when picking apples, do not use a ladder/step stool that may be provided.
Stand so you are directly under the apple and reach up to pluck it off. Place the bag with the apples in front of you. This will prevent you from thinking you can just twist to the side without moving your feet to throw the apple into the bag that may be at your side. Always move your feet in the direction you are going. Otherwise you will rotate in your back instead of through the pelvis.
When picking up pumpkins from the ground or the bag of apples, stand so close to it that if you were squatting to urinate you would have perfect aim into the “toilet”. Yes I know you weren’t expecting that image, but it works right?! As for men, use your imagination – I won’t go any further.
Once you are close to your object you can either straddle it side to side or have one foot forward and one back (doesn’t matter which foot). In either position, the bag or pumpkin should be right between both your legs.
Now you want to squat down so your buttocks are facing the ground and not out behind you. As both bag and pumpkin may be heavy, just grab a hold of them by hugging them to your body or from underneath. Again either way, you are keeping them in close to your body.
Here is the life/back saver. Remember I stated that it is probably heavy, so instead of trying to lift them off the ground first, you will instead stand up holding the bag or pumpkin against your body. Because your arms are attached to your trunk just standing up will lift them off the ground. You are using your gluteals to do this, rather than arm/back muscles.
Already injured or really not sure how to adjust your mechanics to be safe, click here to schedule a Free 20 minute call to discuss how we can help you.
To Your Health,