SEPTEMBER 2022 : Raking Leaves, Chopping Wood & Shoveling Snow

As the weather grows colder, the time returns for outdoor chores like raking, chopping and shoveling. Make sure you’re doing outdoor tasks the proper way to protect your body from pain and injury.

How to rake leaves, and shovel snow, properly :

  1. Bend at your knees.

  2. Choke up on your rake or shovel to keep blade as close to your body as possible.

  3. Engage the core of your body.

  4. Push up with your legs, not the upper body or back, to lift the load and reduce strain on your back.

  5. Do not twist your body.

How to chop wood properly :

  1. Elevate the wood on a chopping log to close the distance on your swing and reduce the strain on your lower back.

  2. You should be positioned with your feet facing the log, shoulder width apart, keeping a neutral or near neutral spine.

  3. Place your dominant hand near the head of the ax or maul, and the other hand at the end of the handle.

  4. Drop your hips and bend at the knees to raise the ax or maul over your head, then slide your top hand down to meet your other hand as you swing down with full velocity.

  5. Activate your core and avoid fully extending to prevent stress to your lower back.

  6. Aim your strikes at the outer edge of the log where the wood is weaker, rather than in the middle. Doing this increases your chance of splitting and lessens the chance of getting your axe or maul stuck in the log.

  7. If you do get the head stuck in a large piece of wood, do not lift the full weight of the log. Simply crank the handle backwards and forward (or up and down) until you wiggle the head of the ax or maul free.

  8. When bending over to lift or move a piece of wood, always remember to keep your back straight and bend at the knees.

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and healthy autumn season! If you have any questions, give us a call…

BACK TO HEALTH : (203) 263-0411

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