What can you do to protect your lower back when every day you have to push a heavy pram in front of you? It could be a buggy loaded with a newborn baby, or a double buggy with a baby, toddler and a whole week’s shopping.
Whatever you’re pushing, you’ll know how straining it can be on the lower back, shoulders and neck. It’s inevitable that without due care, this activity will put your back at risk. That’s why we’ve put together some tips on how to do it right.
- Adjust handle height – if you’re choosing a buggy, pram or stroller, make sure you can lengthen or shorten the handle height. This is especially important if you’re tall or sharing the pushing between two people of different heights. Don’t stoop when you push. You want to adjust handles so that your hands are positioned just above hip height.
- Walk, don’t push! When you start your journey, place your hands comfortably at the suggested height, keep your back straight and your shoulders, arms and wrists relaxed. Then just let your legs do the work – walk comfortably, aware of your posture.
If it takes some time to get out of bad habits, you can use the following prompts:
- Check your wrists – when you push, are they scrunched up at an angle of 90 degrees? That’s putting a lot of strain on the joint. Try to adjust your grip so that there’s a straight line between hand and forearm rather than a sharp angle.
- Uphill struggles – don’t be tempted to walk up hills with your head down and your bottom out. Keep your hips close to the pram and activate your glutes – those buttock muscles are very strong and can do the pushing. Click here to find our favourite glute exercises.
- Neck and shoulders easily get bunched up and sore when you’re out pushing a buggy. Use every opportunity to take a moment to roll your shoulders back, bring your shoulder blades down and together and reset your posture. It’s not a bad idea to check your reflection in shop windows as you pass by to remind yourself to look after yourself.
Don’t forget to book in for a check up here at Sundial. We’re always happy to help.