With three feet of fresh powder in Evergreen and still falling, many of you have a shovel in hand. For those of you still inside cozy and warm, here are a few tips for protecting your back while shoveling. According to one study, the L5/SI region of the spine has been identified as the weakest link for snow shoveling. Snow is heavy and shoving is demanding and rigorous work. Pushing, lifting, and lunging use all of the major muscles of the lower and upper body. Core strength, good form, and moderation are the keys to protecting your back from injury. In addition to back injuries, heart attacks are common after a heavy snow storm. If you have reason for concern, please consult you doctor prior to shoveling. Following are seven Pilates tips for snow shoveling.
7 Pilates Snow Shoveling Tips
1. Warm up first. If you know Pilates Mat work, calisthenics, or have a personal stretch routine, do that first.
2. Use good form. When shoveling, squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back tilted, but not rounded. Pull your navel to your, engage your core, and lift
with you legs.
3. Square your body. To move snow, turn your feet in the direction you intend to place the snow. Turn your whole body as opposed to just twisting at the waist, and avoid throwing snow over your shoulder.
4. Be efficient. Work toward the areas where you are depositing snow so that you have less distance to travel.
5. Don’t Delay. Shovel as soon as possible. Fresh powder is lighter than packed snow. Wet snow can weigh upwards of 25 pounds per full shovel.
6. Be minimalistic. Use a small shovel, or if using a larger one, go for smaller and more frequent loads. Avoid stretching arms away from you.
7. Pace yourself. Take breaks, hydrate, stretch the muscles that feel tight, and keep breathing.
Happy Snow Day!