Few people think about the physical exertion required to move an entire household until they are halfway through and their backs and shoulders are getting sore. That doesn’t have to be you if you do some preparation in the weeks leading up to your move! From head to toe, we’ll give you the rundown of what muscles you should be strengthening to prevent moving day injuries. Get ready…
How to Reduce the Physical Cost of a DIY Move
Start training at least three weeks before your move. Lots of fitness regimens claim they’ll get you in shape in a week, but to truly support your body and prevent injury you need to take some time. As an added side-effect? Exercising regularly will help reduce your levels of stress and anxiety around the move by flooding your body and brain with endorphins.
Neck and Shoulders
Obviously, these muscles do a lot of work lifting heavy objects, or repetitively lifting lighter ones. To keep the shoulders mobile and strong, swimming is a low-impact activity with big results for shoulder strength. Overhead presses and lateral raises (arms out to the sides) will also strengthen the muscles you’ll need — try a Barre class for lots of isolated work in this area.
Core and Back
You’ve probably already learned the hard way that it is best to lift with your legs, but your core and back still have to work to get all of those boxes to your new home. Reduce the stress of moving by starting with a strong back and core: on the most basic level, set yourself a “planking” challenge and see how long you can hold a high pushup position. Or, consider taking Pilates or yoga classes focused on strength. Having a strong and supportive core will help prevent back injuries on box number thirty-seven of fifty-two.
Your biceps will get a lot of work on moving day (think your Popeye muscles), so adding some curls and pull-ups to your regular workout will help greatly. To keep balanced, try some tricep dips and push-ups or bench presses. Pair those with your planks, and you’re good to go.
Hands and Wrists
Carrying things at awkward angles, up and downstairs, can be stressful on the wrists. Take precautions against injury by squeezing a stress ball (easy to do at work), doing regular wrist rotations and stretches, and practicing the old softball exercise of holding your arm straight down, keeping it static, and throwing a ball using only your wrist. Get your friend or your dog involved to make it more fun!
Legs and Glutes
“Lift with your legs!” We have heard it a million times because it’s truly the most efficient use of body power. Squats, lunges, and running stairs are a perfect way to prepare for… squats and stairs. Take extra care of your knees if squats and lunges are new to you, and by strengthening those muscles you’ll protect your joints on moving day.
Full Body Work
Of course, the best workouts are the ones that strengthen the whole body evenly. Yoga and Pilates are great as a foundation, but consider adding and rotating through a few other activities like Barre, kickboxing, TRX, Crossfit, or spin classes. Adding in a Zumba or other dance-focused class will also help boost your cardio fitness, not to mention reduce your stress levels leading up to the move and improving your overall health for your new destination city!
Now that you’re ready to tackle the boxes, it’s time to do a little research and find your long-distance moving truck…