I get many patients in my office that have injured themselves after lifting an object. Here are my 3 rules for lifting to help protect your low back.
1. The squat: It is very important to bend your knees and be mindful of your posture while lifting. Once you squat down to the level of what you are lifting, focus on engaging your core, keeping your back straight, and pushing through your legs.
2. The lunge: Another way to reach an item from the floor is by employing the lunge technique. Placing one foot in front of the other, slowly lower yourself to your knee. Once you have the item in hand push through both legs evenly to stand. Try to keep your shoulders over your hips while moving.
3. The bridge: This technique provides the most stability. To reach an object find a stable base, such as the end of a couch or a chair. Use one arm to provide 3 points of support while you bend to lift an object. Remember to keep your back straight while reaching down. To accomplish this straight back posture, move your feet farther apart and bend your knees to get to the level of what you are lifting.
Pro tip: Remember when you are lifting an object, no matter the weight, hold the object close to your chest or center mass. This will help keep the strain off your low back and make the objects easier to lift and hold.