Now that the leaves have changed color and are falling from the trees it is time to take on the job of fall clean-up. Raking is a dynamic exercise that involves bending, twisting, reaching and lifting so it is important to be warmed up and ready to go before starting. Below are some exercises to help strengthen the arms and legs to make everyone’s favorite fall job a little easier.
Start by attaching some resistance tubing to a door handle and stand facing the door with an end of the tubing in each hand. Stand with good, tall posture and gently squeeze the shoulder blades together as you pull your arms in toward your body. Hold for a brief moment, then slowly release back to the starting position. Avoid shrugging the shoulders up. Repeat 10 times for 2-3 sets.
Start by standing with both feet together. Imagine you are in the middle of a clock. Step straight out to the 12 O’Clock position with one foot, as if completing a lunge. Step back to the middle. Next step out to the 1 O’Clock position. Continue to the 3, 5 and 6 O’Clock positions, returning back to the middle each time. Repeat 5-8 times on one leg before switching to the opposite leg. Complete 2-3 sets.
Standing Axial Extension
This is a good exercise to perform if you have been raking leaves for a while and your back is starting to feel stiff. Start by standing with good tall posture and reach your hands up over head. Without arching your back reach straight up into the air with both hands as you inhale. Relax the arms back down as you exhale. Repeat 5-10 times.