Work smarter with a wheelbarrow techniquePaul Newman
Having chosen the right wheelbarrow to cope with the jobs you need to complete in the stable yard, it’s important to ensure that you’re making it work for you correctly. Our lightweight and durable plastic tubs mean that you’re starting off with a lighter load to begin with, but it’s good practice to think about your own personal wheelbarrow technique!
Develop your wheelbarrow technique
It’s easy just to throw yourself straight into the mucking out, after all the good stuff comes after the dirty jobs are done and you want to ensure you’re in the best possible shape for spending time in the saddle. Work in the yard can be pretty intensive so taking time to develop a wheelbarrow technique, that over time becomes natural, makes a great deal of sense.
Here are a few tips on how to develop a wheelbarrow technique –
- Lifting – Always lift from underneath, with an underhanded grip. Make sure you bend from the knees rather than your back. Bending from the knees will give you leverage power that will alleviate the possibility of strain on your back muscles. Once upright try and keep your back as straight as possible.
- Preparing to unload – Once you’ve reached your destination and it’s time to re-lift the wheelbarrow ready to empty, don’t use your spine to initiate the lift. Begin your bend from the hips and knees utilising the stronger muscles in that area. Using this wheelbarrow technique will also mean that you will lift from underneath more naturally with an underhand grip. This helps to avoid wrist, arm, neck and shoulder injuries that may result from a more unnatural method.
- Emptying the wheelbarrow – When emptying the contents of your wheelbarrow make sure you affect a straight posture, with as much weight as possible onto your front leg. Try and keep as straight a line as possible right from your head to the coccyx, helping to protect your back and spine.
- Load sensibly – As much as the temptation may be there to keep filling the wheelbarrow in order to avoid an extra journey, you should never overload the tub. The heavier the load, the harder you need to push. This can strain your hips and also make it easier to lose your balance, particularly if you’re using a wheelbarrow with a single wheel. An extra trip that avoids unnecessary injury has to be worthwhile!
There’s no doubt that the wheelbarrow is a vitally important piece of kit for any equine yard. Developing a wheelbarrow technique will not only ensure that your wheelbarrow offers you many years of sterling service, but also that the person pushing it can avoid injury and enjoy endless carefree hours of quality time riding!