How To Be A Better Mover

This past weekend, Will and I moved into a new apartment across town (hence my absence from the blog). If there’s anything I hate worse than moving, I can’t think of it right now, so that’ll tell you how much I was looking forward to the whole ordeal.

The actual moving process felt like it never ended, and to be quite honest, the new place still looks like a tornado ran through it, so we still have a lot of work ahead of us! Thursday afternoon, I took a carload of stuff over to our new place. Then Friday, a good friend of ours helped me to load up a Zipvan from Zipcar, which we took over to the new place while Will was at work. The amount of stuff that we could fit into that van was pretty amazing, but it was also a double edged sword. That meant lots of heavy lifting that day, as we actually brought over most of our smaller furniture. Then Saturday was the big move, which we stupidly didn’t hire movers for. We had help from a friend of ours, but even then, it was tough.  Already sore and tired from a full day of moving on Friday, Saturday wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, that’s for sure.

However, although this was a tough move, especially because I’m still in a walking boot, there are a few things that definitely made it easier: dead lifts, squats, chin ups, and farmers carries.

Building up strength in those 4 lifts was is a no-fail way to make your moving day easier. Why just those four? Let me break it down for ya:

1. Dead Lift – This lift is king when it comes to moving, heck, when it comes to every day life. Being able to properly dead lift will make your life so much easier, especially when it comes to moving heavy objects. Learning how to use your hips, your posterior chain, and how to properly execute a hip hinge will save your back on a day where you’re lifting what seems like endless pieces of furniture and boxes.  I probably “dead lifted” over 100 times on Saturday alone, and that’s not even counting all of the heavy lifting I did on Friday as well. You can bet my hamstrings and glutes were sore and tired by the end of it, but you can also bet that I saved a few of my precious vertebral discs by lifting properly.

2. Squat – Just like with the dead lift, learning how to squat properly will save some of your body parts when you actually have to move some heavy weight outside of a weight rack. Being able to lower a heavy piece of furniture takes on some components of the lowering phase of both a dead lift and a squat, depending on your positioning. Also, being able to squat down low and pick up something very heavy without completely destroying your vertebral discs is a definite bonus.  And we all know that on moving day, although the back tends to be what we worry about the most, many people’s knees take a beating as well. Having a strong squat with proper form will help to alleviate the potential for knee problems when bending, squatting, lifting, and carrying numerous boxes up stairs over and over.

3. Chin ups/Pull ups – I have no doubt that all of the chin ups I’ve been doing over the past month helped me out immensely on moving day. Not only have I increased my strength by doing chin ups every single day, but I’ve increased my grip strength as well. Grip is essential when carrying heavy things, as many people lose their grip before their strength actually gives out. Training regularly with chin ups and pull ups gives you a huge boost in upper body strength combined with grip, which is a win-win when it comes to moving heavy boxes.

4. Farmer’s Carries – Grip, grip, grip. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, if you can’t keep a grip on something, you can’t carry it, right? Just as I mentioned above, training your grip is an important part of any strength program, but especially when it comes to moving. A farmer’s carry is essentially walking a certain distance while carrying a heavy object at your side. True, while moving, you typically aren’t holding the objects down by your sides, but the grip strength will translate to the change in position.

When it comes down to it, moving day sucks. But building up your strength before hand will make everything exponentially easier, and could potentially prevent serious injuries. So next time you have a big move on your horizon, make sure that these lifts are included in your strength program. You’ll turn yourself into a super mover in no time!

Now I’m off to get lost in a sea of belongings in which I don’t know where anything is or where it belongs. Oh, moving…

Do you hate moving as much as I do? Do you usually hire movers or do you do the heavy lifting yourself?

6 thoughts on “How To Be A Better Mover

  1. Why YES I do hate moving (as I sit in my kitchen because its the one place that doesn’t look like a storm blew through) and I can’t agree more on what you posted about the lifting and grip strength making a difference. Military moves have movers, but I still found myself lifting and carrying up stairs when they arrived at my 3rd floor apartment. Just because I’m really not the kind of gal to drink her ice tea in a lazy boy and point out where she’d like the boxes placed. ;o) hate hate hate moving…

    1. I know I don’t think I could ever just sit around and wait for other people to do everything! Ugh it’s the worst though… and our place is still a disaster, it feels like it never ends. Good luck getting everything organized in your new place!

  2. Yes, I hate moving. I pack up my stuff, but I hire movers to take my belongings. I have too much stuff to move it all myself.

    1. Smart girl! I’m starting to think it’s worth the money..

  3. moving is the WORST, and i’m always too stubborn/cheap to hire movers so i have gotten awesomely adept at carrying large and awkwardly-sized boxes and crates around, as i’ve moved three times in as many years. glad you’re all moved in and getting settled!

    1. Yes, I’m with you on that one! I always have avoided movers due to the high cost, and since I’ve never really needed them anyway… although I’m thinking next time it might be a nice change 🙂

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