Pilates Snow shoveling safety tips from Karen Garcia, founder of Studio Body Logic
The folks from Studio Body Logic sent in these great tips about shoveling snow, especially lots of it.
It’s like clockwork. A day or two after a snowstorm hits, Karen Garcia’s phone starts buzzing with desperate pleas for private classes at her 20-year-old Pilates studio, Studio Body Logic in Del Ray. The ailments? Mainly back pain. The culprit? Shoveling.
As we brace for Winter Storm Jonas – which some, like local weather guru Russ Adams, are calling a potentially historic blizzard – it’s important to keep shoveling safety top of mind along with the groceries, ice melt and firewood. Given its benefits to alignment, flexibility, balance and strength, Pilates principles are just what you need to avoid landing in the ER while lifting the white stuff.
Check out Karen’s tips:
- Shoveling is a Workout! You wouldn’t run 10 miles without stretching, so don’t dive in without a warm up. March in place with arms swinging for 2 minutes. Than stretch your ear gently toward each shoulder. Twist carefully at the waist side to side. Bend your knees then bend over, keeping your abs in and stretch your arms toward the ground. Hydrate!
- Shovel Early, Shovel Often. Don’t wait until the inches have piled up! Tackle it early with a broom and shovel in 10-15 minute intervals, depending on your physical condition.
- Use Pilates to get into position. Keep your legs parallel. Bend your knees and waist into a “C curve” when lifting up snow. Engage what Joseph Pilates called the “Powerhouse” – the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks and inner thighs – by pulling your belly in toward your back and drawing your shoulder blades toward each other. This alignment will help protect your back, evenly distribute the weight of the snow, and keep you from over-twisting.
- Don’t shoulder the burden. Keep your elbows close to your sides to avoid too much pressure on the shoulders.
- Look out for light snow. Fluffy snowflakes don’t look menacing but the movement in shoveling them can be just as taxing as the heavy variety. Don’t discount the light snow and engage your Powerhouse no matter the weight!
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