As a Chicagoan, there are three realities that will always be part of the area, traffic, gardening, and a snowy winter. Let’s face it, traffic is never fun, however, snow and the yard can be used as a great functional workout.
When equipped with a shovel, a lot of us have had the all too common low back aches and pains. How can we set ourselves up for success with shoveling? It is a wonderful cardiovascular and strength exercise. Some movements that we work on in the gym get us ready for this intense movement.
Hip hinge strength is helpful when shoveling. The hips and legs generate power to drive our shoveling from the lower appendages. The Trunk stabilizes, controlling rotational forces, protecting our low back from injury. This allows us to use our Thoracic Spine for rotation. A helpful exercise we can practice in the gym can involve the Pulley System to act as a rotational force, coupled with changing our Lunge stance position and Hinge position, challenging our balance and hips. A more difficult variation can involve One legged deadlifts while throwing a medicine ball.
Loading the Hips and stabilizing the core helps protect our back and move through our lower appendages and thoracic spine. The last thing twice as fit wants anyone to do is hurt themselves while performing something we are faced with every winter! Start setting yourself up for success with your shoveling today!