Without a doubt, the worst part of any move is trying to wedge your refrigerator out of your front door; if you live in an apartment with stairs, multiply that by a hundred. But that’s not the only heavy thing you’ll have to lift. Every move has its share of heavy types of furniture, such as ovens, loveseats, mattresses, and every other thing that will make your back scream for the next couple weeks. It’s imperative that you have a firm grasp on how to lift properly before you pack up your space.
1. Lift With Your Legs
You’ve most likely heard this advice your whole life, but it’s worth repeating because so many people simply ignore it. Lifting with your back increases the strain on your spine, which can lead to further complications or a serious injury if you’re not careful. Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed days of work, and nearly 1 in 4 have experienced in the last three months. Your legs are built for lifting large amounts of weight, so put the pressure on them, not your back muscles.
2. Lift Close To Your Body
When moving a couch out the front door, it can be tempting to hold the couch out in front or drape your arms away from your body. Don’t do it. Cheap Movers Las Vegas (website), a professional mover, says to keep whatever you’re lifting as close to your chest as possible, keeping a tight center of gravity and reducing strain on your shoulders and keeping pressure off of your spine. If you have to hold it away from your chest, keep your upper body as straight as possible and try not to twist. Also, never reach above your head to grab heavy objects. Not only can they fall on you, but they could also be heavier than you think.
3. Use Equipment
Thankfully, there is no shortage of tools on the market today that will help you move heavy objects, such as dollies, hand trucks, and rollers. You can rent any of these from a big box store by the hour, or purchase them from a garage sale or secondhand shop (but make sure they’re stable and won’t break on you). When moving items like a refrigerator, they’re simply indispensable; unless you have a team of guys and a wide hallway, you won’t be able to carry a 250-pound plus refrigerator through manpower alone. Nor should you try.
4. Never Lift Alone
Despite what you may think, no one is impressed that you can lift an oven over your head. The only thing you’ll win is a nice bottle of Tylenol and possibly a trip to the Urgent Care clinic. It’s always better to ask for an extra hand than find yourself in a position that could cause serious injury. If you absolutely must lift something heavy by yourself, then use the proper technique, making sure to check out your surroundings before you lift. Carry it slowly and steadily to your destination, and then slowly lower it into place (bending at your legs and not your back).