A friend of mine is moving to his new house in a week, and I am going to help him with heavy lifting.

However I am concerned with low-back injury prevention.

My question is : how to best prepare for such work given only one week ? Maybe back and abdominal exercises ? Thank you for your ideas and suggestions.

  • 2
    As @CCCV said, the amount of time is too short to make significant gains. If you'd do deadlifts for a year your lower back, core, legs and glutes would be very strong to lift and help your friend move.
    – MJB
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 6:01

2 Answers 2


With only one week before the move, you don't have enough time to develop significantly more strength.

Instead, focus on these tips for safely moving things:

  1. Before lifting an object, take a big breath and hold it (Valsalva maneuver) at least until you are standing upright. The goal is to keep your torso rigid.

  2. Move with your feet, not your back. Do not twist your spine while loaded; otherwise, risk of injury (strain, disc damage) increases dramatically.

  • Also, do some stretching.
    – apex
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 17:46
  • Dont cary heavy things alone, use carry-straps or liftings straps for moving as much as possible. When lifting hesvy things from the ground keep your chest up - that prevents the upper back from bending and avoiding the above mentioned injuries aswell.
    – mitro
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 5:10

Its too late to make an effective difference physically. At best you can stretch and warm up before moving stuff on the day, but it won't drastically increase your endurance or capacity.

However but you do have time to go buy or borrow some lifting equipment. A sackbarrow and a sampson (flat platform with 4 wheels) would be good, and get a light truck with a hydraulic tail lifter.

Your risks are being tired and throwing yourself into a lift (gung ho) rather than slowing down and taking your time. Stairwells and second floors are also risky locations.

If you hire a truck with movers, they can do the big items. Don't try to emulate their lifts though! I've seen two movers easily move a piano that was a struggle for 6 normal-size adults to move.

Another thought is to make sure all the stuff is boxed up ready to go. You don't want a box heavier than 20 kilos maximum, and ideally should be under 10 kilos. If you're packing books, more+smaller boxes is wise. It helps if boxes are all regular-sized; which is why banana boxes are valued for moves.

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