Preparing to Shovel
- Stretch your muscles to prevent injury.
- Dress in layers to stay warm.
- Vow to take breaks: continuous snow shoveling can be hazardous to the health of those in not-such-great shape.
- "Wax" your shovel blade, making it slippery and thereby preventing snow from sticking to it. Although candle wax, floor wax, or car wax may be used, Pam spray works fine, too.
Staying Safe and Proper Shoveling Technique
- Bend your knees and lift with your legs.
- As you lift the snow, keep the shovel blade close to you, to reduce back strain.
- Switch off between snow shoveling right-handed and left-handed, so that you're working different muscles.
- Periodically change your grip on the hand holding the bar (palm under vs. palm over).
- When the snowfall is heavy (1 foot in depth, let's say), don't try to clean right down to the ground with a single scoop. Instead, skim the top 6 inches off, then scoop up the bottom 6 inches. Otherwise, you could be hurting yourself by lifting too much.