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Helpful Stretches to Keep Your Body Safe When Shoveling

Helpful Stretches to Keep Your Body Safe When Shoveling

Preparing Yourself to Brave the Winter Weather

Shoveling snow is a reality of winter that many of us have to face. Even though it can be a great full-body workout, it can also lead to muscle strain and discomfort if you're not careful. Before you brave the winter weather, it’s important to take a moment to prepare your body with some targeted stretches. Alternatively, stretches after shoveling can help avoid potential soreness. Try out some of the ones we’ve compiled below!

1. Posterior Cuff Stretch

This stretch is ideal for relieving tension in your shoulders after being hunched forward while shoveling. To perform this stretch, stand upright and raise one arm across your body at shoulder height. Use your other hand to gently pull the raised arm closer to your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then switch sides.

2. Hamstring Stretch

A crucial part of your post-shoveling routine should include a hamstring stretch. A simple way to perform this stretch is with a towel. Lay on your back, lift one leg straight up, and loop a towel around your foot. Gently pull the towel towards you while keeping your leg straight. You should feel a stretch down the back of your thigh. Hold for about 30 seconds, then switch sides.

3. Lumbar Extension

Repeated lumbar extension is another beneficial stretch. Stand upright, place your hands on the small of your back, and slowly lean backward until you feel a mild stretch in your lower back. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat this approximately ten times.

4. Knee to Chest

The knee to chest exercise is excellent for relieving back pain after shoveling snow. Lie on your back with your knees bent, then bring one knee to your chest while keeping the other foot flat on the ground. Hold for 15-20 seconds then switch sides.

5. Open Books

“Open books” is another exercise that can provide back pain relief. Lay on your side with your arms outstretched in front of you and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your knees together, slowly open your top arm towards the opposite side, as if turning the page of a book. Turn your head in the same direction and hold the position for a few seconds. Then, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Contact Us for Additional Assistance

Remember to always stretch while your muscles are still warm after shoveling. Take it slow, listen to your body, and stop if you feel any sharp or sudden pain. If discomfort persists or becomes unbearable, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a medical professional.

To request care, reach out to us at (419) 592-4015. We are here to help you stay safe and healthy this winter!