Snow Shoveling Tips

This is an article that I meant to write a while back, but never got around to it. Sometimes life as a Monroeville Chiropractor can get hectic and things that I mean to do can just slip away.

Looking out the window of my Penn Hills Chiropractor clinic however, and seeing the timeline on my Twitter (@drbrentchiro) I realize that I need to simply get this done. Upon seeing the snow, its always good to be reminded of some valuable tips regarding snow shoveling.

So without further ado:

Stretch first

At the core, snow shoveling is a workout, or an exercise. Treat it as one. Don’t be in a hurry to get outside. Stretch thoroughly. Stretch your hamstrings, stretch your back, and stretch your shoulders. Then dress in removable layers, grab your shovel and resist the urge to fly at the white stuff just to get the job done. Pace yourself. Start slowly and ramp up to speed.

Don’t move snow twice

Before you even take your first scoop, decide where you’re going to dump the snow. Drop the first shovelful farther away from where you are standing, then dump remaining snow closer and closer to where you are. That way, the last scoops that you shovel are moved the shortest distance. Don’t block access to snow that needs to be removed by piling it up in a way that will force you to move it twice.

Move snow the shortest distance possible

Consider that everything from a driveway to a patio to a walkway is really a rectangle, and rectangles have a center point. Move the snow from the center of the rectangle to the nearest edge.

Clear cars first

Brush snow off cars then clear around the cars. You dont want to make more work for yourself by cleaning the car (thus putting more snow on the ground) after youve already cleared the area around the car.

Maintain proper posture

A. Use your leg muscles as much as possible – push snow when you can and use your legs to lift when you can’t push it.
B. Keep your back straight as you move from the squat position to the upright position.
C. Use your shoulder muscles as much as possible.
D. Hold the snow shovel as close to your upper body as possible.
E. Keep one hand close to the shovel blade for better leverage.
F. Don’t twist your upper body as you throw snow.

Rest frequently

Clearing an area by hand means that you may lift and carry anywhere from hundreds of pounds to tons of snow.

Don’t overdress
You need to stay warm, but if you overdress you’re going to be soaked in sweat in no time. Dress in loose-fitting layers that you can peel off as you heat up.

Whenever possible, get a head start

It’s easier to remove snow in thin layers than wait until all the snow is down to have at it. If it looks like your area is going to get dumped on, try to get out there and shovel it in several passes.

Stretch when you’re done

Stretch gently when you’re done. Do some of the same stretches and exercises that you did upon initially starting.

So there you have it folks. A nice and brief breakdown of some tips for snow shoveling. These are some of the exact same tips that I say to the patients of my Monroeville and Penn Hills Chiropractor office. I hope they help you. If for some reason you have a little discomfort in your back, neck, or shoulders after shoveling, please dont hesitate to contact me.

–    Dr. Brent Shealer Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Penn Hills Chiropractor

Call Us