Stretching Exercises to Make Lifting Heavy Loads Safer and Easier
If you work in an industry where you need to perform heavy lifting on a regular basis, or even if you are a housewife who suddenly has the urge to re-arrange her furniture, this can take a strain on your body if you do not take time to prepare your muscles and body tissue first. You need to practice some stretching exercises for lifting heavy loads if you want to gently relax your muscles and keep from pulling or ripping any ligaments.
In the following article, we will discuss some of the popular methods used when applying stretching exercises for lifting heavy loads and how they can help improve your safety when working.
Strengthening the Rotator Cuff
While many muscles are used together in the movement of the shoulder, the rotator cuff is the key component used to stabilize the shoulder joint. Common ailments that can occur if the rotator cuff is not properly strengthened are: shoulder impingement syndrome, tendonitis, and rotator cuff tears. As you age, the rotator cuff tendons loose their elasticity as well as gradually losing muscle mass. Strengthening exercises can help slow the process down and keep your body safe from harm.
Warm Up Exercises
Before beginning exercise of any kind, you must remember the importance of having a quick five minute aerobics warm up session. This allows your heart rate and breathing to increase and get blood flowing to your muscles while raising your body’s temperature. By warming the tendons and muscles, you will have a wider range of motion and less chance of hurting yourself. Great warming up exercises include riding a stationary bike, or taking a stroll around the block.
Resistance Training Exercises
Resistance training with light weights is one of the best ways to build up the strength in your muscles, especially if you have had an accident or are in need of rehabilitation. Starting off slow with ten or twelve repetitions, remembering to keep your elbows from locking up,and keeping steady, regular breaths as you exercise will keep your body from tensing or doing too much, which could result in more harm than help.
Do not jerk around as you do your repetitions. Make sure you always have the correct posture, which means no slouching. When standing or sitting, make sure your shoulders are kept down and back while exercising. When using exercises that require lifting or pulling, you need to slowly lift up, taking three seconds, then hold for one second, and take another three seconds to lower your weights.
When stretching, reach out gently until you feel a slight tugging. Hold that position for about 30 seconds and repeat for another few repetitions. Never stretch your muscles to where you feel pain, this can cause tearing. Rotating your arms in circular motions slowly and gently for several repeititions allows the muscles to relax and warm up for a heavier load later on.
Shoulder stretches can be done with a variety of methods depending on what you prefer. You can sit, stand, or kneel. You can use dumbells, resistance bands, or a 5 lb. frozen chicken if you so desire, as long as you take the time to work slow and quit if you start to feel any pain.
Shoulder Blade Exercises
Some popular exercises for strengthening your shoulder blade are: the shoulder roll, shoulder blade squeeze, the press, wall push-ups, or lying down face first while holding dumbells in each arm while stretching your arms back.
While concentrating on strengthening the muscles in your shoulders and back may be one of the prime considerations for keeping safe from harm when lifting, you should still remember stretching exercises for lifting heavy loads need to also include routines for your neck, chest, arms and leg muscles. Having a warm bath or shower before starting your exercises also works to warm up the muscles and get them ready for the stretches. Prevention is half the cure for keeping shoulder pain at bay and making sure you can depend on your muscles every day of your life. Taking ten minutes a day to prepare your body with a stretching routine that will help strengthen your muscles before lifting that heavy load will spare you hours or even weeks of pain and recovery.