Lifting SafelyTo lift you want to control both the posture and the ergonomics of the activity.

You want to maintain a Neutral spine posture all the time.   

Your feet should be wide with the knees bent.  The knee caps should be over the 4th toes

Press into the outside 4th toes to help prevent the knees falling in.

The pelvis should be inclined forwards, your buttocks sticking out.

Your chest and rib cage should be elevated forward so as to maintain your spine in the same shape as in standing up straight.

Inhale to elevate your chest and exhale as you slide shoulder blades down ribs your back.

Keep chin in and back of the neck long.

Gaze diagonally down and forward.

Place your body as close as possible to object you are lifting.

If possible get so you could sit on it.  The center of the object should be under your center of gravity.

If you can’t reach hands low enough and keep neutral spine alignment, allow your

heels to lift off the floor.  Tilt the object if possible to raise the lower edge of it.  As you rock back on your heels bring the object with you while maintaining a neutral spine.

Alternatively, tip the object on its corner or edge bringing its bottom corner up to the point where you can reach it without loss of neutral spine.

As you move the object or manipulate it, keep your elbows close to your ribs at all times.

You want to stabilize your core before you engage lifting.

Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you lift. As you exhale, pull up your pelvic floor muscles (Like you don’t want to pass gas).   Pull in your belly button. Finally, lift by straightening your knees. If the object was under you (between your feet) then press your buttocks forward to bring the object out from under you.  Your elbows should not move a lot. Your back should not move as it should already be straight.

Avoid Twisting. 

To move an object to the side,

Pivot on your inside heel turning the foot to the desired direction.  Take a step with the outside foot to bring your body squarely around to the new direction.  The hands should always stay inside the feet.

Never jerk or explode the lift.

If you are carrying something, balance the weight by tightening up the pelvic floor and stomach before you lift, and allowing your ankles knees and hips to be where you balance your center of gravity.  Do not bend or arch your back backwards to balance the load.