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Woman shoveling snow with a dog

Stay Strong to Shovel with Ease



Winter in New England usually means shovels are getting lots of use. Shoveling snow is a workout and preparing our bodies for this form of exercise is essential. Here are 5 stretches and exercises to help you prepare before heading outside to throw that snow.

We recommend doing these exercises in a safe and comfortable setting. Check with your chiropractor if you have any questions or concerns when performing these exercises.

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Hip Flexor Stretch 

  • Stand up straight facing a chair or high bench
  • Stand on the leg you’d like to stretch, placing the sole of your other foot firmly on the chair
  • Ensure your foot is in the middle of the chair to avoid any tipping
  • Stand up straight, look ahead, and tighten your buttock muscles
  • Keep your stance leg straight as you push your hips forward
  • You should feel a stretch in the front of your hip on your stance leg
  • Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and perform it 3 times on each side


0875519001643205523.jpgSeated Piriformis/Figure 4 Stretch

  • Start in a seated position
  • Cross your right leg over your left knee, resting your right ankle on your left knee
  • Apply gentle pressure to the right knee as you lean forward, increasing the depth of the stretch in your right buttock
  • Hold this position—you should feel a comfortable tension with no pain in your right buttock area
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side


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Pivot Snow Shoveling Simulation

  • Stand in a wide stance and imagine you’re holding a snow shovel with a load of snow in it
  • Think about engaging your core (bring your navel toward your spine)
  • Push your toes into the floor as you lift your heels and pivot to one side one the ball of your foot, keeping your core tight
  • Turn your hips and shoulders 90 degrees
  • Feel your calves, glutes, and quads activate as you turn
  • Repeat this movement 3 times on each side


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Squat

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hips-width apart
  • Bend at the knees as you lower and squat like you’re about to sit in a chair behind you
  • While engaging your core, push through your heels and return to a standing position
  • Repeat this exercise for 2 sets of 10 with a 30-second rest between sets  


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Trunk Rotation

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent
  • Place your arms across your chest
  • Turn your body left and right, and gradually increase the amount of movement 
  • Perform 10 times on each side and rest for 30 seconds before performing again


Want to Move More but Need Some Help?

If you need help performing these stretches and exercises, please reach out to your local MCR Chiropractic clinic. If you’re experiencing any aches and pains, don’t put off a visit to your chiropractor—now’s the time to schedule an appointment. Call your nearest clinic or click the button below to set up your evaluation.