As the holidays are approaching you may find yourself doing more lifting than you are used to as you are decorating and checking things off on your holiday shopping list, and poor body mechanics during lifting is one of the leading cause of low back pain and other injuries.

It has been estimated that about 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life and this has the possibility to lead to other injuries later in life.  


Different types of lifts

There are different types of lifts that can be utilized depending on the height and weight of the object, and distance the object must be moved.

  • Golfers lift
    • Used to pick up light objects from the ground.
    • Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee while the other leg is straight behind you, parallel to the ground keeping a flat back. 
  • Deep squat lift 
    • Used for heavier objects that only require 1 person such as boxes.  
    • Start with the object in front of you, squat down with your hips below your knees, bring the object close to your body and stand up as you lift at the same time. 
  • Traditional lift 
    • Used for medium weights such as children, backpack, or suitcase.
    • Object starts in front of you, squat down but keep your hips above your knees, lift the object and bring it close to your body, then stand up.

Guidelines to Follow:

  • Test the object’s weight before lifting
  • Move item as close to your body as possible before lifting
  • Make sure feet are in a wide stance
  • Bend your knees to squat/lunge position if possible
  • Lift with your legs, not back
  • Ensure a neutral back/spine during the whole lifting motion
  • Ask for help if something is too heavy

Things to Avoid:

  • Lifting with body in a rotated position
  • Lifting from an imbalanced position
  • Twisting of body while lifting

If you have any additional questions regarding back pain and lifting please contact us any of our locations to speak to one of our Physical Therapists. 

Goodlife Physcial Therapy



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  2. Choose PT (2019). Tips for Lifting Objects Safely. [online] American Physical Therapy Association. Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2019].
  3. Healthwise Staff (2018). Proper Lifting Technique. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2019].
  4. org. (2019). Lifting Techniques. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2019].
  5. Matco Moving Solutions. (2019). Properly Lifting & Moving Heavy Objects | Matco Moving Solutions. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2019].
  6. com. (2019). The Importance of Proper Body Mechanics – Keeping Your Spine Healthy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Oct. 2019].