How to - The Healthy Gardener

How to safely lift, rake and dig

Anna Griffith
Photography by
Stacey Van Berkel

Follow these fitness-certified techniques to save you from aches and pains while you garden

Gardening doesn’t have to be back-breaking work. Personal trainer and fitness consultant Anna Griffith shares proper techniques for lifting, raking and digging.

Stretch for safety
Find a sturdy tree to assist you with these three gentle stretches.

Focus: Backs of legs
Standing one to two feet away from the base of a tree, grip the trunk with both hands. Lean back into your legs.

Focus: Side torso, shoulders
Standing an arm’s length away from the tree and facing side on, grip the trunk with one hand. Cross one foot in front of the other, then lean toward the tree, making a C-shape with your spine. Switch sides.

Shoulders, chest and back
Stand an arm’s length away from the tree, then turn away, reach back and grab the trunk with one arm, slightly twisting from your lower back to your shoulder blade and arm.

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