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Exercise Tips for Gardeners

Try these exercises to protect your lower back and knees while gardening.

Pushing a Wheelbarrow

Muscles used: Core, quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, shoulders, arms.

The right way to do it: Load the wheelbarrow with only as much weight as you can handle without straining. First, use your leg muscles, not your back to lift the wheelbarrow; next, use your arm muscles to push the load forward.

Try this exercise: Modified plank

Lie on a mat, supporting your upper body with your forearms and your lower body with your knees; your stomach stays raised as you keep your body in a straight line without arching your back. Hold for 15 seconds, working up to 60 seconds.

Squatting

Muscles used: Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings.

The right way to do it: Keeping your torso upright, lower yourself until your bottom almost touches the ground. Try to keep your weight on your heels.

Try this exercise: Chair squat

Stand in front of a chair, feet shoulder-width apart, arms in front of you. Bend your knees and slowly squat, gently touching the chair without fully sitting down, then stand up using only your legs. Repeat 10 times.

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