Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. It is the season when the green leaves burst into colors of reds and golds and the evening sky turns that special shade of purple. However, as the Fall season wears on, all of those beautiful leaves that you admire so much begin to fall to the ground. This is where your love of Fall begins to fade. As you get out your lawn bags and rakes keep these tips in mind to help protect your back from aches, pains and strains.
How to Rake Leaves Without Hurting Your Back Tip No. 1 – Stretch Before and After
While raking may seem like a tedious chore it is actually an excellent exercise that involves all of your major muscle groups including your back, arms, legs, buttocks and stomach. This is why you usually hurt so bad after an afternoon of raking Fall leaves. To help alleviate the muscle pain that you feel after raking leaves you need to stretch both before and after you raking sessions. When stretching try to remember to stretch each of the muscle groups that you will be using when raking leaves.
How to Rake Leaves Without Hurting Your Back Tip No. 2 – Rake Size
One of the causes of sore back muscles when raking leaves is the size of the rake is not right for your body. The best rake for your body will allow you to reach leaves a fair distance away from your feet without having to bend or twist. Rakes that are too tall or too short will force you to contort your body and cause muscle strain and pain. You don’t want to be hunched over when you rake.
How to Rake Leaves Without Hurting Your Back Tip No. 3 – Use Proper Mechanics
Like any exercise, proper form is important. Muscle pain and strain occurs when you put your body in awkward positions and then try to contract or extend muscles in these odd positions. Proper position for raking will require you to keep your legs slightly bent, to keep your weight centered and to reach with your arms and not your back.
How to Rake Leaves Without Hurting Your Back Tip No. 4 – Switch Lead Arms Frequently
Another reason why your back hurts when your rake leaves is because you exhaust your muscles with repetitive motions. You can help prevent, or at least alleviate this problem by switching your lead arm frequently throughout your leaf raking session. For example, rake with your right arm leading for 10 minutes and then switch your hand grip so that your left arm is leading for 10 minutes.
How to Rake Leaves Without Hurting Your Back Tip No. 5 – Rake in Moderation
People who have a lot of leaves to rake up and who try to rake them all up in one day are almost guaranteeing that their back is going to hurt in the morning. The best way to avoid sore muscles in this scenario is to spread out your clean up efforts over several days. This way your muscles will not be overworked.