Proper lifting techniques for moving heavy items
There is a good reason why the moving process always involves lifting and carrying around heavy items such as electric appliances, pieces of furniture, and fully loaded cardboard boxes. Moving to a new house does come down to moving around heavy objects. Safely, of course. And unless you have chosen to hire professional movers who have been trained to handle heavyweight items, you will need to know how to lift heavy objects without hurting yourself or causing any damage to the house itself.
Things to do before lifting heavy objects
Keep safety in mind
The crucial thing to remember before moving heavy objects on your moving day is that you are not trying to make the process go faster. Instead, what you are trying to do is prevent personal injury, especially back injury. Naturally, once you master the basic manual handling and lifting techniques, you will be able to avoid property damage as well, a good bonus that reflects the overall concept of moving day safety.
Clear your pathways of obstacles
Make sure that there are no obstacles present on your route, as randomly cluttered items can seriously endanger your safety and the that of everyone else involved in the relocation. The paths outside your house should also be freed of any debris, water, mud, ice or snow. Select the most comfortable shoes you own, ones that will give you the best protection possible. Go for closed shoes that have rubber soles which offer good flexibility and traction. Sports shoes are usually the best when moving.
Ask for help
Ask friends for their help, because lifting heavy furniture and packed boxes is not something you should do entirely on your own, as it is fairly risky. Ask family members or good friends to give you a hand when you need it the most, and of course, return the favor when the time comes. If your friends cannot come to the rescue this time, you can always consider hiring professional movers to avoid injuring yourself during the move.
How to correctly lift heavy objects
Curiously enough, underestimation and overestimation are your worst enemies when you need to lift heavy items during your move. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of proper lifting mechanics, and do not overestimate your own abilities and physical strength to pick up and carry heavyweight objects when the moving day arrives.
Ultimately, your knowledge of proper lifting techniques will help you keep everything running smoothly and, more importantly, safely. Here is how to lift heavy objects properly to prevent injuries and avoid damage.
Rash actions can be your undoing when lifting heavy things when moving day arrives. Make sure that you assess the task entirely ahead of you to determine whether or not you can safely handle the load. Discuss the situation with your friends. Resist the temptation to try and show off to yourself or your pals just how strong you are. Always keep a wide stance and stable base with your feet before attempting to lift heavy objects. Your stance should be shoulder-width apart while keeping one of your feet slightly forward. This way, the weight of the item you are trying to pick up and carry will be distributed across your entire body without putting too much stress on one particular area. Incorrect lifting techniques often result in some form of back injury, something you must avoid at all costs. Adopt a proper back posture, always keep your back straight and your shoulders back, and look straight ahead. Keep your upper back as straight as possible while your powerful lower limbs do the hard work. Speaking of proper lifting techniques, remember to always lift with your legs, not your back. We cannot stress this simple but vital detail enough! Lifting with your knees will allow you to use your strong leg muscles to power the entire lifting process, while at the same time it will reduce the pressure on your weaker back muscles.
Make sure you have a secure grip on the heavy object before trying to lift it. It is always a good idea to wear good quality work gloves that will improve your grip significantly and will help protect your fingers and hands during your relocation. Whenever available, use handles to minimize the risk of accidents. While moving heavy boxes, always keep them close to your waist, that way they will be relatively centered in relation to your body. This way you will be able to maintain your stability because you will keep the load close to your center of gravity. Remember that you have to keep your elbows tucked in and your eyes upfront at all times.
It is vital that you do not bend or twist your back when lifting and carrying heavy furniture and boxes on your moving day. Instead of turning at the waist, you should move your feet to turn together with the load. Avoid any sudden and abrupt movements that may place an enormous amount of pressure on a specific part of your body. Always make slow and smooth movements that allow your muscles and soft tissue to adapt to the extra efforts. Make sure that your footing is secure and take only small and measured steps.
Proper weight distribution
Whenever possible, make sure you carry heavy items at waist level. When lifting heavy things over your head, you will put extra strain on your back and arm muscles which could lead to an injury. Weight distribution in such cases is critical. If the load you are trying to pick up over your head happens to be more than you can carry safely and its weight is not evenly distributed, you could easily pull a muscle. If you are using mechanical aid in the form of a furniture dolly or if you have just placed sliders under the legs of a heavy piece of furniture, then keep in mind that it is safer to push heavy objects forward than it is to pull them backward. This way, you will not only need less force to keep the heavy items moving, but you will also be able to see what is happening in front of you.
With these safety tips in mind, you are much less likely to suffer any form of injury during your relocation. And if you would much rather have professionals do all the heavy lifting instead, give My International Movers a call!