Getting ready for the job means more than lining up tools and material. We should get our muscles ready too. Exercising before work can help prevent back, neck, and shoulder injuries.
Warm up FIRST! Muscles that are warm and loose are less likely to tear than cold, tight ones.
March in place
- Stand in position. Pump your arms and legs in opposite directions. Make sure that your heels touch the ground. Continue 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stand with arms raised horizontally and slightly in front of shoulders, palms down, and feet shoulder width apart. Rotate arms in a forward circular motion for 15 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 to 5 times
Stretching exercises - should be performed in a slow, controlled manner and held in a sustained stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Avoid bouncy, jerky movements. Stretch only to a comfortable position.
- Knee to chest stretch Support yourself with one hand. With your free hand, pull your knee toward your chest and hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times for each leg.
- Hip stretch Stand with one foot in front of the other. Place your hands just above the knee of your front leg. Gently bend your front knee. Keep your back foot flat on the floor. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times for each leg.
- Thigh stretch Support yourself with one hand. With your free hand, bend your leg back and grasp your ankle. Gently pull your ankle towards your body. Keep your trunk straight. Hold 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times for each leg.
- Calf stretch Lean on a solid support with your outstretched hands. Bend one leg forward and extend the other leg straight behind you. Slowly move your hips forward. Keep the heel of your back leg on the ground. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times for each leg.
- Backward stretch Stand up and bend backwards, holding for 2 to 4 seconds. Repeat 3 times. This will help relieve lowerback muscle tension. Do this stretch after working in a crouched, bent, or stooped position.
CAUTION: Participation must be voluntary. If workers have any doubts about their ability to do the exercises safely or if they feel any pain, they should stop immediately.