Protect Yourself With These Power Moves
Our muscles, joints, bones and connective tissue are built to work together in very specific ways. When you put unnatural strain on these hardworking body parts, the result can painful. Being body aware and practicing good ergonomics will help you eliminate soft tissue injuries in your everyday tasks, whether you’re at home or at work.
Every Thursday, the Power Moves series from 5 Minutes to Power covers ways you can protect yourself by making small changes in the way you do your work. Here are some highlights:
Power Move 1: Elbows In — Check your elbow placement for the safest and strongest lifting and carrying positions while working. Keeping your elbows close to your body will keep you in the green zone while enabling you to maintain appropriate power. The further away your elbows get from your body (yellow and red zones), the less power you will have to perform the work.
Power Move 2: Toes Toward Your Work — When you turn your body toward your work, turn your toes also, especially with your leading foot. It’s a small change, but it makes a huge difference in the amount of stress you place on your knees and lower back.
Power Move 3: Use Neutral Positions — It is easy to drift out of a neutral position, so stay aware. Working in a non-neutral position will cause unnecessary stress and weakness in your muscles, tendons, nerves and bones.
Power Move 4: Same Side Hand and Foot — Step toward what you are working on or lifting with the same-side foot as the hand you are using. This is all about working over your line of strength and balance, which creates a stance that provides the most strength and least strain.
Power Move 5: Heavy Inside, Light Outside — This is a simple trick that will automatically put your body in the best position for lifting objects. When lifting a heavy object, make sure you position the object to the inside of your foot. When lifting a light object, position it so it is to the outside of your foot.
Practice these Power Moves consistently in your everyday work, and soon they’ll become second nature. Your body will thank you!