In case you haven’t noticed, Winter is here. Snow shoveling a driveway is a time consuming and back-breaking process. It’s important to know how to shovel snow properly to be efficient and prevent injury.

If you have a driveway that is sixty feet long by twenty feet wide, and you get 6″ of the white stuff, shoveling the driveway means moving six hundred cubic feet of snow! That is exactly why your back is sore for days after shoveling. If your lifting that much snow, make sure you are doing it right by following these simple steps below.

1. Selecting your equipment. Test a shovel in the store by holding it as you would if you were pushing snow. Note where the handle rests—it should be near your belt buckle. If the handle rests above that, you’ll work harder; if it’s below, you’ll hunch more.

2. Warm up. Take a minute before heading outside to stretch your lower back and hamstrings. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. It is suggested to layer so you can remove articles of clothing so you don’t overheat.

3. Dig in. If you can, push the snow instead of shoveling it. Your arms and legs, not your back, will do the work. If the snow is too deep or heavy to push, think wall squat: Set your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your lower back and core set, and lift with your legs and butt.

4. Be Efficient. Follow the diagram below to maximize efficiency. Yes, there are ‘smart’ ways to shovel and snow blow a driveway.

How_to_clear_a_driveway

Credit: Mens Health , Wall Street Journal