Yardwork and gardening should produce tasty fruits and vegetables or beautiful flowers and plants, not body aches and pains! Yardwork is exercise and to adequately prepare your body and prevent injuries, a proper warmup should be done.
The key is to warm-up before & stretch after!
There are two types of activities included in our warm-up, as discussed in the “Spring into Yardwork, not Back Pain” HealthLine. You should do some dynamic stretching BEFORE (slow movements that mimic the activity you are going to do) and static stretches (stretches that are held for a certain time period) AFTER. If you want to read more about stretching, you can do so here.
#1 Mini Squats
Do 15 of these. You can do 3 sets of 5 to break it up. Remember, you’re just warming up.
- Begin in a standing upright position, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Bend your knees and hips into a mini squat position, then straighten your legs and repeat.
- Make sure to keep your back straight and do not let your knees bend forward past your toes.
#2 Arm Circles
Do 30 of these.
- Begin in a standing upright position with your arms resting at your sides.
- Place your hands together and raise your arms directly in front of your body, then move them up overhead. Next, separate your hands and let them lower down to your sides, keeping them parallel with your body. At the bottom of the movement, place your hands together and repeat.
- Make sure to maintain an upright posture during the exercise.
#3 Hip Hinges
Do 30 of these.
- Begin in a standing upright position with your hands on your hips.
- Slowly bend forward at your hips.
- Make sure to keep your back and knees straight during the exercise and only bend at your hips.
AFTER YOUR YARD WORK…
#1 Seated Hamstring Stretch
- Begin sitting upright with one leg straight forward and your heel resting on the ground.
- Bend your trunk forward, hinging at your hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this position.
- Make sure to keep your knee straight during the stretch and do not let your back arch or slump.
#2 Open Book Stretch
- Begin lying on your side with your bottom leg straight, your top leg bent at 90 a degree angle, and your arms straight on the ground together.
- Slowly move your top arm away from your other arm, toward the floor on the other side, rotating your trunk at the same time.
- Make sure to keep your top leg on the floor and only go as far as you can without arching your back.
#3 Prone Press Up
- Begin lying on your front.
- Lift your chest off the ground and position your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms resting on the ground. Hold this position.
- Make sure to keep your hips in contact with the floor and maintain a gentle chin tuck during the exercise.
Also some general tips: Warm-up. CHange positions frequently to reduce muscle strain. Use wheel barrow or cart to move heavy items. Wear knee pads or use a gardening pad to reduce pain in knees. Use proper body mechanics for bending, lifting and pulling weeds. Take frequent breaks (every 20-30 minutes).
- Mix up your tasks (make a circuit) & only do one for 20 minutes at a time
- Take a break every 40 minutes
- Mind your technique & form
- Listen to your body. Pain is a warning sign!
- We are here if you need us! Utilize our free Assessment (either virtual or in-person)! Request one here.
Tags: prevent injury, physical therapist, physical therapy, physical fitness, health, fitness, Health and Wellness, HealthQuest Physical Therapy, yardwork, springtime clean up, Yard Work, physical activity, hqpt, Warm-up, exercise, aches and pains, Stretch