Lifting and carrying items are risky activities that we do as part of everyday life. Those who have to do it for work should receive manual handling training, but that doesn’t apply to everyone.
Whether it is taking the laptop and chargers to work, or extracting a solidly built baby from a cot, we all need to make sure that we work correctly against gravity.
Both in everyday life and in the gym, think about what you are doing before you move a weight. Is the item secure? Is it the weight that you expect? Where are you going to put it when it gets too heavy?
Lifting is done with legs, not back. Proper squat technique goes a long way towards correct lifting.
You may not be hiking for miles, but a bag full of laptop and gadgets, college books or baby gear (or the baby!) can make it feel that way. If you have to carry items regularly, prioritise function over fashion. A good backpack should have a correctly fitting hip belt to transfer the weight from your shoulders.
Make sure the bag doesn’t waste weight on trimmings. If you are running or cycling, your requirements will be different to make sure that items don’t rattle about or affect balance.
‘Loaded carries’ are simple moves that really make a difference, so try these. Make sure your spine is neutral, your head up, your core engaged and your muscles warmed up. Gripping the weights tightly also engages muscles.
Moving stuff about is an inevitable part of life, so make sure that you are fit for it.
it isn't just women - I see some terrible lifting and carrying techniques at work, even among those allegedly trained. Be careful with the back, people - you only get one!
backpack hip belts make all the difference. As a chronic overpacker I always use a backpack for a weekend away - once it is on and adjusted I hardly notice it. I see so many women with fashion backpacks, even a laptop is clearly a strain with those. Go for function not form!