Skip to content

    Back Pain Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Proper Lifting Technique

    hwkb17_047.jpg

    Follow these tips to avoid compressing the spinal discs or straining your lower back when you are lifting:

    • Keep a wide base of support. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other (karate stance).
    • Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle (half kneeling).
    • Keep good posture. Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back.
    • Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Keep your back straight, and don't twist as you lift.
    • Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.
    • Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps.
    • Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
    • Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.

    Keep in mind:

    • Do not attempt to lift by bending forward. Bend your hips and knees to squat down to your load, keep it close to your body, and straighten your legs to lift.
    • Never lift a heavy object above shoulder level.
    • Avoid turning or twisting your body while lifting or holding a heavy object.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerJoan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy

    Current as ofJune 4, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding lower back
    Or is it another form of back pain?
    Hand on back
    See the myths vs. the facts.
     
    Woman doing pilates
    Good and bad exercises.
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Use it to manage your pain.
     
    Man with enhanced spinal column, rear view
    Video
    pain in brain and nerves
    Slideshow
     
    Chronic Pain Healtcheck
    Health Check
    break at desk
    Article
     
    Woman holding lower back
    Slideshow
    Weight Loss Surgery
    Slideshow
     
    lumbar spine
    Slideshow
    back pain
    Article