Proper Lifting Technique

The Proper Way To Lift

Proper lifting technique is a must at home and at work. It is estimated that approximately 222,290 work related back injuries occurred in 2008. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 34% of all lost time injuries in 2012.

I hope these simple directions can help with your lifting and carrying technique in order to decrease injuries, as well as increase ability.


–       Assess the size and shape of the load to be lifted and be sure you are able to lift it. Test the weight to be sure it is not too heavy.

–       If it is too large or bulky, get someone to help you.

–       If the load is not safely packed (nails, rough edges, breaking) do not lift it until properly fixed.

–       Be sure the area where you are moving the load is clear.

–       Use supportive equipment if available or enforced (depending on your job, and medical condition).

–       Use carts, dollies, and teamwork whenever possible.


–       Get as close to the object being lifted as possible.

–       Be sure your feet are shoulder width apart, and firmly on the floor.

–       Be sure to keep your back straight, head up, and stomach muscles tightened.

–       Bend at the knees and lift with your legs.

–       When initiating a squat to lift, be sure you hip-hinge, and push your glutes back (as if you were closing a car door with your rear).

–       Use a slow and smooth motion when lifting.

–       Do not twist your torso when lifting.

–       When turning be sure to use your whole body, and shift with your feet first.


–       When carrying keep the load close to your body.

–       Do not carry something that obstructs your view. Be sure you see where you are going.

–       Do not twist.

–       Keep your back straight, head up, and stomach muscles firm.


–       Keep the object close to your body.

–       Do not bend with your back. Bend at the knees and push your glutes back. Keep your back straight, head up, and stomach muscles firm.

–       Do not reach out or stretch to place the object down. Place it down, and then slide it into place.

–       Be mindful to keep your hands and feet out of the way of the object.


–       The squat lift puts the least amount of pressure on the spine when done correctly.

–       When team lifting, be vocal about lifting, carrying, and lowering the load.

–       Bending over and twisting while lifting puts the most pressure on the spine and increases the risk of injuring your back.

–       If you are fatigued, your form suffers and this can lead to increased risk of injury. Be sure to take a break for your body to recover in between lifts.


For more information on preventing back injuries everyday, check out my posts on proper Sitting Position and Sleeping Position.


This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.Image