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Keeping Limber to Avoid Injuries

Being a tradesman is more than just building, repairing, and installing things; it can be very physically demanding. There are some people that say that being an electrician is one of the least labor-intensive trades out there, but that’s not necessarily true and it certainly doesn’t negate the amount of labor that actually does go into electrical work.

Plenty of electricians will tell you that when they first enter the field, the work doesn’t seem too bad. They’ll have to do some bending, climb up and down ladders, and there is, of course, lifting heavy wires. The issue is that a lot of people with this job start out young – some as young as 18 – and the physical labor doesn’t seem so bad then. Getting older is when the problems start. All the bending and lifting eventually catches up with them and becomes quite the literal pain. If you want to avoid feeling as though simple movement will shatter you into pieces, then staying limber is the way to go.

Why is Being Limber Important as an Electrician?

If you’re limber, then that means that you have at least some degree of flexibility and if you’re flexible, then that means that you can actually improve your physical performance while minimizing your chances of suffering injuries on the job. Being limber can help your joint mobility and your muscles will work more efficiently. If you’re flexible, then all the moving, lifting and bending will take less of a toll on your body throughout your workday and eventually, throughout your life.

If the fact that staying limber will make your job less of a hassle isn’t enough of a reason for you to want to keep limber, then consider that staying flexible can also decrease any back pain that you may feel and help stave off any fatigue that you may feel, as well. Flexibility can even help your mental acuity – you’ll feel more clear-minded.

How To Safely Keep Limber

The short answer? You stretch. Stretching improves your circulation which in turn leads to all the fantastic benefits that we’ve previously named. One thing you should keep in mind when you stretch is that you should never do it to the point where it’s painful, the point of stretching is that it’s supposed to make you feel better so it should be done on your terms; do it at your own pace and within your own limits.

Another thing is that while it’s true that stretching can help back problems (as well as joint dysfunction and arthritis), you should check with your healthcare provider to see if you’re ok to do so because certain kinds of stretches can overstress your joints. A few things to keep in mind are:

● If the only kind of exercise you can do is stretching, then try to do so at least three times a week for about 20 minutes. ● Each stretch you do should be performed three to five times per session. Stretch as far as possible – painlessly – and hold it for about ten to 30 seconds, then relax and repeat while trying to stretch a little farther each time. ● While stretching should never result in outright pain, a little bit of slight discomfort and pulling is normal. If it does hurt, you’re stretching too far and you should pull back until the pain stops. ● Don’t lock your joints, you should be aiming for straight arms and legs when you stretch, but not to the point where your joints lock. ● Your stretches should be done with smooth, steady, and slow movements. “Jumping” or “bouncing” into a stretch may result in your muscles tightening which can lead to injury.

How to Stretch

Two things you should remember to do when stretching: when you stretch, do each one until you feel a sort of light tightness. Each movement should be gentle and slow. The other thing you need to do is be sure to breathe regularly and deeply. Each breath that you take should be done in a rhythmic and controlled way. With all of that out of the way, let’s move on to some actual stretching.

Arm and Shoulder Stretches To stretch your arms and shoulders, lift one of your arms like you’re about to grab something in front of you and then use your other one to pull it across your chest. Once you’ve done this, hold this position for 15 seconds, relax, and repeat the same motion for another 15 to 30 seconds. After you’ve done so, switch arms and repeat the same process.

Back Stretches To stretch your back, sit down in a chair and turn your upper body around to try to grab the back of the chair. While doing so, be sure to keep your feet flat on the floor and hold this position for 15 seconds. After you’ve relaxed from this position, you’ll repeat the stretch in the opposite direction.

Hip Stretches If you’re looking to stretch your hips, then cross an ankle over the knee opposite to it (if you’re using your right ankle cross it over your left knee). From there, you’ll lean forward at the hips with your hips in an upright position. Doing this will stretch your outer hip. Keep yourself in this position for 15 seconds, relax, and repeat the motion from your other ankle.

Although working as an electrician (or as any kind of tradesperson, really) can hurt, it doesn’t have to. Keeping yourself limber can go a long way towards making your job and life at least a little pain-free. If any of you guys have any suggestions on how to keep limber and painless on the job, say so in the comments, anything that helps is welcome!


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