Stretches & Exercises for Post-Shoveling

Mar 24, 2024 | Community, Gym, Lifestyle, Outdoor

Shoveling snow can put a strain on various muscles in your body. Here are some stretches you can do after shoveling to help relieve muscle tension and prevent injury:

  1. Neck Stretch: Gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder until you feel a stretch along the opposite side of your neck. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.
  2. Childs Pose: Sit back on your heels with your knees spread apart and toes touching. Extend your arms out in front of you and lower your chest towards the floor, resting your forehead on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, focusing on deep breathing.
  3. Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg straight and the other bent, foot against your inner thigh. Lean forward from your hips, reaching towards your toes until you feel a stretch along the back of your straight leg. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch legs
  4. Quadriceps Stretch: Stand on one leg and grab the ankle of the other leg, bringing your heel towards your buttocks. Keep your knees close together and push your hips forward slightly until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch legs.
  5. Lower Back Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently hug your knees towards your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Remember to breathe deeply and hold each stretch for at least 15-30 seconds to allow your muscles to relax and elongate. Avoid bouncing or jerking movements, and if you feel any pain, ease off the stretch.

Here are some additional exercises that can be performed before or after shoveling:

  1. Walking: Take a brisk walk for 10-15 minutes to help increase blood flow to your muscles and promote recovery.
  2. Bodyweight Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down as if you were sitting back into a chair. Keep your chest up and your knees behind your toes. Perform 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
  3. Lunges: Step forward with one leg and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90- degree angle. Push back up to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Aim for 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions on each leg.
  4. Plank: Get into a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Engage your core and hold this position for 30-60 seconds, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels. Then lower back down. Repeat for 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
  5. Shoulder Blade Squeezes: Sit or stand with your arms by your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you were trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

Remember to listen to your body and only perform exercises that feel comfortable. Make sure to stay hydrated and properly nourished after an activity as strenuous as shoveling. Most of us are not trained for this type of exercise so taking care of ourselves after can make all the difference.