Proper Lifting Technique

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Proper lifting technique is essential for preventing back injuries. Properly lifting technique combined with a common sense approach to lifting and carrying objects of all shapes and sizes helps prevent back injuries.

Numerous cases of serious low back injuries occur when individuals twist or bent when lifting. Never twist, bend sideways or bend forward while lifting.

Keep your spine straight and your neck in line with your spine. Never twist your spine when lifting. Twisting your spine increases the risk of injury to the intervertebral discs and spinal muscles.

Never bend or lean sideways when lifting. This places unequal stress on the spine and increases the potential for injury. Bending or leaning sideways while lifting increases the potential for injury to the spine, ribcage and hips.

Most lifting injuries occur when the lifter bends forward and uses his back muscles to lift. The bent forward position overstretches the spinal and hamstring muscles and places them in a weak starting point. Lifting from a bent forward position overstresses the spinal muscles and the intervertebral discs. Common injuries from lifting in a bent forward position are disc herniations, lumbar sprain/strains and sciatica.

Always squats down and recruit the powerful hip, gluteal and thighs muscles when lifting. These long, strong muscles are ideal for heavy lifting.

Get as close to the object as possible. Bend your hips and knees into a squatting position with a shoulder width or wider stance. Point your feet slightly outward and align your knees with your feet. Firmly grip the object from underneath. Keep your back straight and your neck in line with your spine. Your ears, shoulders and hips should form a straight line. This is your starting position.

Exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift with your hips, thighs and gluteal muscles. Press down through the entire foot while straightening your hips and thighs. Stand up straight and never lean backwards with the load.

Use common sense when lifting. Always ask for help. Never try to lift a heavy object without assistance. Use a partner and/or proper tools if available. Most importantly use correct technique while lifting.


Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic located at 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117.  His web address is and he can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC writes a weekly health, fitness, exercise and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. His is also published in OnFitness magazine,,, and

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to various groups on health, fitness, exercise and nutrition topics. His mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC loves to exercise. Bike riding and kettlebell training are his current favorite forms of exercises. He credits “The Godfather of Fitness” Mr. Jack LaLanne as an early influence on his life.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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One Response to Proper Lifting Technique

  1. Down Town Vinny Brown

    As a professional boxer and personal trainer I second the advice Dr. Donald Ozello said. Proper lifting starts with proper alignment and balance while lifting.

    I’ve seen a lot of back injurys from people who like twisting during certain exercises. This is a sure way to pull your back out.

    Take it from a reliable source.

    Down Town Vinny Brown-Six Time Golden Glove Boxing Champion.

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