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Snippets and tips: Working in the bush

Saving your Bush Regenerator's Back
Do you ache at the end of a session weeding? Here are a few tips to relieve the strain.

  • Warm up as you walk to your site.
  • Stretch your legs first.
  • Then your arms.
  • Now your old pelvic tilting exercise to gently stretch your low back and tell your tummy that it is expected to WORK!

DYNAMIC ABDOMINAL BRACING is the best trick.

Do it by hissing and feel the side abdominals contract.
You use this action all day every day as you walk tall with tummy in don't you?
Let's just call it BRACING as per Beryl Kennedy.
Now you use bracing as you pull, push. get up from kneeling etc.

The way you work is important in protecting your back from strain.

Get on all fours if you can to weed.
Or one knee leaning forward at your hips. NOT curling your back. Squatting is fine.
But make sure it is hips that bend, NOT the BACK.

When "getting the privet" you want accuracy with 2 hands so be stable on one knee. Don't forget to look first though! If you are pulling on vines make sure your feet are widely spaced and you pull with all of your body in a diagonal direction. Who wants to land on their bottom on precious plants!

When you get up after such satisfying work you can press 2 hands into your buttocks and arch your back backwards. It repositions all those bones. Then you might want to lean against a tree and clasp 1 knee between 2 hands, brace and gently push into those hands.

A GREAT PAIN RELIEF TRICK
Cool down stretches are helpful in preventing next day aches and ease of stretching next day or next session! A few of the same ones you started with are best.

I haven't mentioned arthritic knees as a reason for bending your back because that is NO EXCUSE. Use a foam kneeling cushion or the special little kneeler stool with hand grips to help you get up. (Blatant plug a la column 8!)

 If all this fails to stop you hurting yourself SEE YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPIST

Aileen Clare (Friend, volunteer and physio)

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