How to Lift Correctly

Learning how to lift correctly may be one of the most important ways to protect yourself from a back injury.

Here are some tips to ensure proper lifting:

  • face the object that is to be lifted and make sure there is no twisting
  • position yourself as close to the object as possible
  • feet should be at least shoulder width apart or wide enough to lift the object between your feet
  • keep back straight and keep stomach muscles tight. This will prevent you from over arching your back while lifting. Keeping your head up will help your back stay straight.
  • bend your knees and lower yourself into a squatting position while keeping your back straight
  • grip the object to be lifted firmly using your palms (not just your fingers). If the object has handles use them
  • keep the object as close to your body as possible and keep your elbows tucked in
  • when carrying the object do not twist your body. Move your feet in the direction you are going

Lifting correctly will go a long way in decreasing stresses to your low back. Remember it is the technique used rather than how heavy the object is, that will determine the risk to injury.


Angela Mitrovic PT, Physiotherapist, and Myra Del Rosario OT Reg. (Ont.), Occupational Therapist

Credit Valley Hospital