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How to Bend Properly

Bending properly can help you avoid back strain and injury. Here are some tips for proper bending:

  • Don't stand with your feet together, but instead keep them shoulder-width apart.

  • Flex (bend) at the hips and knees, not at the waist.

  • Pull in your abdominal muscles and tighten your quadriceps (thigh muscles).

  • Keep your spine straight — don't try to tuck your buttocks under. 

  • Place a hand on a wall or fixed heavy object, such as a desk for support, if needed.

If you need to bend all the way to the floor:

  • Lower yourself to 1 knee. If needed, place 1 hand on a sturdy, stable object to steady yourself as you move downward.

  • Rest an arm on the raised knee.

  • Bend at the hips and knees, but not at the waist, to get closer to the floor.

  • Don't round your shoulders or hunch your back or neck. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Bellendir, Trina, MSPT, CLT
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 10/28/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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