10 Tips for Your Body During the Big Game

With the weekend here, we want to give you some coaching to help take care of your own body while enjoying the big game.

  1. Proper lifting technique for your TV.

Whether it’s a brand new TV for your home, or moving the bedroom TV out for a second viewing area, you want to make sure you are using proper lifting mechanics.  A team lifting approach is great for larger objects such as a TV, allowing you to maintain good form with only 50% of the weight.  Keep the load close to your body, bend from the hips and knees to maintain a neutral spine, and use your legs to do the lifting! Make sure you do not hold your breath (exhale with the lift) and coordinate with your team member on executing the lift together.

  1. Throwing mechanics when playing catch.

It’s not a tailgate if you don’t toss the pigskin around! But when you go for the Hail Mary toss, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep your throwing elbow at shoulder height to decrease strain on the shoulder.
  • Step into the throw with the leg opposite of your throwing arm to incorporate the whole body and maximize your distance.
  • Make sure to rotate your hips, pelvis and trunk as you wind up and release to effectively transmit forces without excessive strain on the throwing arm.
  1. Body mechanics when washing your team’s gear.

We know you want to have on your favorite team and football gear when watching the game! And, for those of you that say ‘how dare you ask me to wash my favorite game-day gear,’ no worries, this one’s not for you. But when putting your clothes from the washer to the dryer, maintain a neutral spine, you can even use one arm for support while reaching in with the other to get your clothes. Come into a half kneeling position to get lower enough to put your clothes in the dryer, or bend from the knees and use your legs. Take small quantities in and out of the washer and dryer.

  1. Sitting posture when rooting for your team.

When sitting in your favorite spot on the couch, make sure that you have adequate support to your lower back, sometimes a small cushion or roll behind the small of your low back can help provide support to the soft, comfy couch.

There is slightly more support when sitting a firm seat, having your feet in contact with the floor, hips slightly higher than your knees, a neutral spine, and upper body slightly forward stacked over the pelvic floor (just in front of your ‘sit bones’).

  1. Most effective chip-dipping techniques.

No spills, no judgement! Dip on.

  1. The beverage bicep curl.

Here’s a couple things to keep in mind when enjoying your favorite refreshment during the game: keep a firm grip on the cup, don’t let your shoulder hike up too much, and make sure you get plenty of reps!

  1. Make sure to be changing positions frequently throughout the game.

We know this game should be a close one, but don’t get caught sitting in the same posture the whole time. Be sure to change positions from sitting to standing every 20-30 minutes. Whether it’s getting up to use the restroom, pacing back and forth during a coach’s challenge, dancing during the halftime show, or celebrating a touchdown when your team scores, be sure to be moving frequently throughout the game.

  1. Good posture when using your phone.

When checking player stats and texting your friends about the game, be mindful of your neck position and postural alignment when doing so. One helpful tip is to raise your arm up and bring the phone closer to you, so you do not bend your neck as much.

  1. Get a good night sleep before game day.

Sleep is important. Make sure that you get to bed early and sleep in a supported posture for your low back and neck, so as not to put any additional stresses on them throughout the night.

  1. Cleaning up after the game.

After enjoying the funny commercials, halftime show, and result of the game; it’s time to clean up. When doing your dishes, be sure to keep your body close to the sink. You can open the cabinet underneath the sink and place one foot on the ledge for additional support. Be mindful to keep a neutral spine.

When vacuuming, hold the vacuum with the arm near your side, step back and forth to move the vacuum and avoid twisting your back.

Use these tips and enjoy the game! Your body will thank you for it!

Author: Dr. Chris Hagan, PT, DPT