Here’s The Right Way to Lift a Box Safely – Mid Atlantic Chiropractic Center

How to correctly lift a box

Hey everybody! This video is to teach you how to lift properly. A lot of us lift the wrong way. We don’t even know how to do this properly, or we are not conscious of the muscles we’re using. So there are certain muscles you absolutely have to activate when you’re lifting.

Muscles Used in Lifting

A lot of experts out there are saying your core needs to be strong. When they say core, they’re talking about your abdominal muscles. I don’t think your abdominals are going to help you lift the box. If I’m holding this box, and I contract my abs, it’s just going to flex me more; it’s not going to bring me up. These are the muscles that work to lift you up. Your glutes, your hamstrings, we call that the posterior chain. The chain of muscles in the back from your calves, your hamstrings, to the glutes to the low back muscles, even the upper back muscles.

Imagine if you’re picking up this box and you’re holding it up, your shoulders are working; your upper traps are working, everything’s working to hold that box. All those muscles need to be strengthened. In other videos, we’ve talked about things like the first founder position, which activates those muscles before lifting. Make sure you watch those videos. This is just to show you how to lift something.

Positioning the Weight

First off, if the weight is close to you, it’s safer. If the weight is out here, the lever arm is too long, and it puts too much pressure on your discs. You will herniate this, and you will hurt your back. If the weight is out, always pull it close to you before you pick it up. I’m going to show you how to pick it up off the floor as well. If you’re just doing it on the table, bending to do it is okay, but you got to bend at the hips and at the knee, hinge at the hips. If you round your back and lift something, you will hurt your back. The back needs to be a solid board. It needs to bend like this to keep an arch back here like you’re a powerlifter.

Before you pick something up, you need to believe it’s heavier than you know it is. Have you ever picked up something that was really heavy and you thought it was going to be light, and you suddenly tripped? There’s more chance to hurt yourself if you think it’s going to be light. Much less chance if you think it’s going to be heavy because you’re going to recruit more muscle fiber. If your mindset is, “Oh, this is really heavy, this box is probably, 100 pounds, I better be really careful and approach it carefully.” Anytime you’re picking up something, you need to just imagine it weighs 100 pounds. You brace yourself much more.

If you bend properly and then tighten your abs, it’s okay. It’ll probably protect you. I don’t think you even need to worry too much about tightening your abs; it happens naturally. In fact, just standing with your palms up activates the transverse abdominis muscle that’s neurologically designed. We’re all programmed to already do that.

Lifting and Putting The Weight

You’ve got to make sure you keep your back real straight, bend at the hip, keep the weight close to you, and come up as a unit. Let’s say I have this weight now, and I want to put it on another table. Never twist your back. Twisting with weight in your hands will hurt your back and your discs. You have to turn your whole body, keep the weight close to you. The minute you bring the weight out in front of you, you’re going to hurt your back; keep it close to you.

If you want to set it down again, knee, hip hinge, and set it down. I’m going to set it down on the floor, right. So, knees bent, hip hinge, and I go down like this and carefully set it down. Notice I kept it close to my body. If I lean it forward now, bend and like this, I’ll get hurt. You’ve got to keep it close to you.

You want to pick it up again, get as close to the weight as possible. If you can have your feet on the sides of it, that’s even better. Tighten the back, shoulders back. Imagine you’re picking up something extremely heavy, and you hinge at the hips and the knees, and you come down like this. Grab it. Make sure you get a good grip. Then come up slowly, keeping the back very flat, very straight. Keep the way close to you and turn your whole body. If you want to slide it to the middle of the table, you set it down close to you, and then you slide it.

Hope that helps!

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