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A New Way to Lift

Tue, 30 Nov 2010|

James Shaw shows how to use the principles of Tai Chi and other eastern disciplines as well as the principles of sound biomechanics to lift heavy objects from the odd positions that firefighters encounter every day.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

All right this morning we're gonna talk about. How do you -- body differently. When lifting on when doing repetitive movements so that you don't. In essence use your body against gravity so you're you're compensating for the force of gravity gone through your bones. And not get stuck in your lower back. Your shoulders. Your Pepsi -- needs so one of the first things to learn is simply how to stand correctly. Most of us stand with our way back in our heels and our hips forward in this cause -- the lower back. To tighten up as it resist gravity drop into your bones -- there. So the first thing we want to look at is how to realign the body so that the bones take the force of gravity to the earth. And the muscles can do the job of moving the bones not fighting gravity. Gravity always wins. So let's take a look at it from the side most of us stand with our hips forward and our way back in our heels -- Everybody does it because we -- we've never been taught differently. You may think you don't do it so here's here's. Here's a trick here -- something that you'll do you'll recognize that you do. If your -- back in your heels. And your hips forward is -- you'll start after a very short time to shift your way from one -- to the other. When that doesn't work to get the way out of your lower back down your leg you'll start -- one like in front of the other. And you'll kind of -- Like this all of this is the body's attempt to get the way out of the lower back. Into the ground in other words out of the smaller muscles in the back into the bigger mouthful so the -- so we end up shifting. How we're gonna fix this. Is. You the first step is moving your Centre -- hit back under your max your upper body so we put the -- that yet. And we pushed the hips back. Underneath the upper body and you'll feel your way go back into your heels. Now the trick is to get the way out of the heels through the arch of the foot. Into the ball of the -- -- in dissipate through the ground and we do -- by bending forward from the ankle. So here's a little test for you to try out yourself to see if you're in the right position. Because the correct position is not gonna be comfortable. The old way -- not a balanced. That feels comfortable to us so the new way we always want to give. -- test oh wait to tell that you're in the right position so for instance if I'm in the right position. With my hips back my way the -- to defeat when Tom. It gravity is -- increase -- somebody pushes down on my shoulders it's very easy my bones take all that force. So my body is better capable of dealing with the bigger load. If I'm in the old position with my hips forward and the way back in my heels. That -- push I have to tighten up in my abdomen and hold myself imbalance in the same way if I get pushed. Four pushed. Forward or backwards from the front as I start to get push have to tighten up and trying to move -- center closer to. To my partners and I tighten up. This is an. And the -- in the balls of the feet. That push my bones are better able to take that forced into the ground. And I don't have the struggle as much with with my muscle may be the best example of why this is a great position. Is. If I get pushed down. In fact the load is increased from the back in a poor position I can't move -- -- -- very well meaning I can't. Pick something up and turn with it without using a lot of us. -- extra muscle and tension in my body with my hips back. And the weight down I can easily move might center I can easily shift my weight promote one like to the other without fighting that sports. This is absolutely necessary once you pick something out to be able to move from your center and take -- take a correct step. So again this position with the hips back. -- -- feel like -- -- mistaken out and then you bend forward from the ankle. When you're in the right position for any length of time a matter of minutes you should feel the muscles in your -- start to ache. And your hamstring in your Achilles tendons stretch. Or -- as -- -- forward it starts to lengthen their Achilles tendon and -- hamstring and this is one of the major influences of lower back problems. Is a short hamstring and -- short Achilles tendon that happens for months or years before your back goes out. Your legs get strong in your hamstrings get short. They minimize the amount of movement you can get your -- that means the lower back have to make up without lack of -- meant. And in the back carries a load much greater than it was designed to do so. This standing position with its back wait -- balls that he is is first thing to change. -- Picture back. To help heal your backed by lengthening their hamstrings. And getting your bones to carry the -- -- gravity or any outside force into the earth. Rather than getting stuck in the lower back. So another way to test that you're in the correct position -- you haven't. Moved too much weight forward into the balls -- the -- is that you can lift your toes inside your shoes. And not upset your balance in other words you can wiggle your toes inside your boot. And not upset the balance of your body if you've gone too far forward and you wiggle your toast your body you'll fall for if you're not far enough. If you don't have enough bend in the ankle forward when you lift your -- your lower back we'll start to tighten up a little bit. You might not feel that but what you will feel it's -- top of -- -- ES. The top of your bomb. Tighten up a bit as you lift your toes as it tries to compensate for the imbalance. Case and now that you feel the difference between the bones taking the force of gravity or that outside force into your body into the earth. So the muscles don't have to work as hard. Let let's take a look at how we can apply this principle of bones transferring -- in to lifting. In other words when when you lift something off the ground or off the table or off the shelf are you aligning your bones in such a way that they take the majority of the load. And the muscles are just there to move that force after -- absorb it into your body into the ground. Or are your muscles doing all the work. Are they holding the -- are they moving the load and are they trying to balance the load which always leads to at the very least. Joints wearing out shoulders. -- hips and knees or worse injuries happening rotator cuff injuries lower back injuries. Knee injuries most of them are set out by incorrect movement over a long period of time. In the -- that I study we call that the position ready to be beaten. So for years -- ready your back is ready to be beaten and then one day. It just goes well it's not that one day that caused it. It's it's. It's been ready for a long time to go out so we -- -- undo that one again in a stronger position in the bones used to muscles just -- to get the low to the center. And then use the bones to carry -- -- we can have a look at how to pick something up off the ground something as simple as a -- -- So let's look. -- how we might pick up a case whether it's a medic case. Or a tool box or or for that matter a roll up close on the ground. Most of us. Will do do a number of different techniques if you will to -- now this is light so you won't think about you might just bend over. And lift that up. Not a big deal not to wait fifty pounds it might be a bigger deal or you might say okay I'm not gonna -- with my back and analyst with my knees. And you're gonna bend down. -- Pick it up and -- -- -- -- center okay now. Both of those ways would be fine may be the worst way would be is if you bent over. And just tried to lift that straight up and then take your staff. So all three of those ways to use muscle not bone to -- to lift and to carry the load cell. Maybe first things first. If you're flexible enough and your hamstrings and your Achilles tendon the most effective way to pick this up is to push -- hit back. Right you're you're center moves back behind your base of support. That brings the upper body down my back is arts every little muscle in my back is is. Holding the arch so that when I reached out with a straight arm and I bring -- hit back underneath me. It brings salute to my center and -- sit in one fluid movement no back muscle involved other than keeping the arch. Now way I use all the muscle. And all the strengths strength down the back of the legs. To bring this. Case to -- center. And up at the same time. So I know for most of us we were taught never lift like that. I never just bend over and pick something up what makes it's absolutely different is I'm not leaning forward from my -- To come down. I'm actually moving my center out from underneath me. So you can see and the angle of my leg to the ground and the angle of my leg to might -- that might hit is gone back. So then the mechanics the power in this movement is tightening the back of the legs. Just to bring the -- forward. That's widest it's an amazing. Way to pick something up. I know that it looks similar. To bending forward if you bend forward and bended knees slightly and around the back it's terrible way to pick up this -- has all the -- -- this case. Multiplied by the force of gravity. Multiplied by the levered that you're spying now become puts all that force in the very vertebrae that -- spent. From -- the again the differences. With the back arched. Held tight I move my hips back to bring my upper body down. I don't bend forward from the upper body then I bring my hips. Underneath me. And that movement brings my hand in the low to might center and -- sit at the same time. Great let's look at another way that you can use these principles to lift on. And lit differently you know it's a different lift the use in the same principles. Self. -- You can bend one knee you can go to -- like this to left and that's a great way to lift this with your legs as long as it's lined up. With your center in other words you can see it may be a little better by turned sideways. Most of us if we go down to -- with our -- we bend over. And and we pushed within -- and left with a back to pull this case to my center. Much better way to -- just passed it. Drop your body straight arm so that my arm the case I'm Mike hit are aligned. And then I look straight up this way. That way you can keep your backing -- You don't -- here is that -- a weak link in your back. Your lower back the weakest part of this this unit now so here I can look straight -- and I'm ready did to walk forward with it. K rabbit and so let's look at the alternative. Is -- -- -- might -- now. Pratt mine -- surrounded leaned over -- I have to lift and move that load to -- and terror. And that puts a lot of stress on the lower back and -- -- The best way stepped past the object. Then that the -- drop straight down straight up and then you're ready to take that step. So I know one of the big issues that we have. -- -- in real life is we don't always have the room to align our body correctly when we pick something that you don't always have the room to push your hips back. You don't always have the room to squat down nicely so -- We got to look at another way so when you don't have the room and your bodies in an awkward position you can still live safely. In other words if we take a look at lifting this box. And I'm in a tight quarters where I can't squat down I may be able to ban. And let one leg go out. And then the power that lifts this box now is me bringing this leg back. So it looks very unorthodox. In act as lifting -- but this way I don't have to bend over. As long as I have room to extend this delay and I don't fall my face when -- -- All of -- then I can just drop this leg and it's the leverage. That brings my -- but it's a fantastic way to live in an awkward position in other words I might not be able to face. Box I might not have the room to squat down and push myself back so I can bend from the waist keeping a straight line between my head and Mike -- Then this way. And then bring the leg down. To bring the bring the load up to -- center and again I'm ready to go so these techniques work. Even in an awkward position so again these three techniques. We'll go over -- one more time. I can push might hit back. To move by center out from underneath my upper body. He might back arched -- not -- in the back my back is arts. So it's tight every little muscles engaged. And then I bring my hip forward underneath me. And that lifts. Rather than lifting you can set it down the same way a great way to put something down. Instead of bending over and all happening tighten. In the back in the legs to put it down you can then forward the same way that you lifted it out push to hit back bring it down. Now ideally you push it back and set it right in front of your feet. Okay so there's one way push their hips back during the hips back underneath -- -- the other way it was. Too. Bend at the knees to keep the back straight. Dropping your body making sure that the load of the cases aligned with the center your -- and your arms straight. And then stand straight up -- -- And the third possible way for you know. Confined space you don't get to bend over so much. Your twisted this works really well if you have to turn you don't get to face your hip. To death. To the case or the loading in the left twisted spine and -- But the -- go back. Let the -- come down to lift the -- so three ways. To lift differently. Without -- in your back. So let's look at applying that first technique of moving the -- out from underneath your upper body -- -- in lifting anchor Ernie. Or lifting with two hands on so -- a great example most most of us when we have to lift the Gurney which squat down. To get a hold of it. And now the issue is when I start to lift. All it's blocked -- -- blocks this I have to move my butt back. And then left and horrible position in my back -- -- have to live with my back. To get this thing to -- center. So. Picking up something as awkward as this. This is a great technique to move to center back. Keeping the back -- noticed my feet are right act. The Gurney reaching down note bringing my hips. Forward. And it brings Mike basically it brings my center to the Gurney so now I'm ready to move. Okay setting it down we can do the same thing now we know. That this is this is anti -- hopefully -- the design now. Has the runners are the handles that come to your side so that when you squat down there are actually here and you can lift it. Right without the Gurney blocking your leg but you're not always going to be able to lift flight that. Even with that. The newer Gurney when you lift -- It's still -- gonna push your hips back straight your leg and then -- with your back. So again the best way. Now I know. That this technique needs your hamstrings have to be flexible and your Achilles tendon out to be flexible. But when they are you can lean back. -- And left by pulling your -- back underneath -- it's a fantastically. Easy way. To lift for a long time. So that you don't. And your career with a back injury or -- disability that's no way to live.