Active Seniors

Stop before you lift!

One of the main reasons that technique is so important during exercise is that we try to move or resist an external load without creating damage or injuries to our body. We want the gain without the pain! While the benefits of exercise for body fat, heart health, bone strength and many more areas are commonly discussed, the importance of exercise to train our body how to move well is not.

When most people perform a weights exercise, there is often a lot of concentration involved to get the movement right. The consequences are known. Done properly the exercise will improve our health. Done poorly and we may actually injure ourselves. This mentality is often not extended to our activities outside of exercise, and sometimes even as we prepare for an exercise we fail to apply the same movement precautions.

As health professionals who specialise in exercise, we often see people lifting weights from their storage rack and moving them to their exercise area. While most people focus intently on how they perform their exercises, very few consider how they pick up the weights before the movements. Backs bend and twist while lifting and carrying these weights, and we see all the movements that are avoided when performing the exercise for fear of injury!

It is not just in the exercise environment that this occurs. It seems that many people forget that picking up an object, like a pot plant, at home can have the same consequences. Lift it poorly and you increase your risk of injury. Add to the risk the fact that many of the objects that we lift at home are not as mechanically advantageous for the body. When we exercise, we use weights that have an optimal grip width designed to maximise our strength, and a nice even and stable load. However when we get home we lift loads that are large in size (furniture), unstable and can’t be lifted in certain ways (pot plants), and don’t have good grip.

Do you think about how you lift and move items around the house? Do you prepare yourself and apply the same strict movement rules to picking up weights as you do for the exercise itself?

Scroll to Top