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  • Writer's pictureMaritza Linzey

How To Shovel Snow With Diastasis Recti

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Digging snow with a snow shovel

The big question is : How do you move snow without straining your diastasis or bearing down onto your pelvic floor?

Luckily, living in Norway has taught me a thing or two about moving the piles of snow with a diastasis and I've got your back.

To be honest, I used to dread the snow when I had a diastasis.

It meant I’d have to dig out my driveway and I knew I'd pay for it later with sore hips and lower back ache.

I've learnt that keeping your diastasis safe while shoveling snow means you need to have some tricks up your sleeve.

Here’s the lowdown on how to keep your diastasis safe while clearing snow.

The first thing to look at is where you are with your diastasis rehab..

This will help you figure out how much you should take on when it comes to clearing the snow.

Doing too much when your diastasis is vulnerable is a recipe for setbacks and back ache.

3 levels of diastasis recovery and what that means for shoveling snow
Check your level of diastasis recovery.

Look at the least amount of snow you need to clear to get on with your day. Then decide based on your level in the graphic if you should do any more than that

The next question is what to use to clear the snow.

shoveling snow verses a snow scuff
Should you use a shovel or a snow scuff?

The answer depends on the type of snow and how strong you are.

If it’s heavy wet snow,or you’re a level 1 or 2 then a snow shovel is the better choice.

You want to be able to control the weight of the snow you lift with each shovel.

It’s better to scoop less and more often so you lift lighter amounts of snow. This means you can pay attention to how you load your core and your posture.

Don't risk lifting heavier shovel fulls of snow if you don't have to.

Snow Scuffs are popular for moving larger areas of snow.

Keep in mind that it is tempting to pick up too much snow making it too heavy for your diastasis.

It also needs more core strength to push it and control it's movements.

Which tool is best for you to use depends on your level of core strength.

Heavy, wet snow or light powder snow makes a difference as well.

It’s a workout!

If you have a larger area like a driveway that needs clearing, you need to look at it as exercise.

Keep an eye on how long you are working - it can turn into an endurance exercise.

Don’t be afraid to break it up into several mini sessions rather than doing the whole job at once.

Here are some more tips to make the job easier:

  • Take a break if you need to . When you get tired your form will suffer and that's when you end up bearing down on your pelvic floor. This can make you cheat and use the wrong muscles which can give you back ache.

  • If your diastasis is a level 1 or 2, make sure you avoid repeated twisting movements through your core. It’s better to move your feet and turn your whole body before you dump the snow.

  • It’s also important that you switch hands on the shovel and turn the other way. This will vary the stress on your core and help to load both sides of your abdominal muscles evenly.

  • Save your lower back by using your legs and glutes to bend over. Hinge from your hips and don't round your lower back when you’re scooping snow.

  • Pay attention to your breathing, posture and core and pelvic floor activation while you work.

  • When you’re using a snow scuff, remember to use your glutes to push, as well as you core You can see how to do this here

As with any exercise, it's best for you to warm up before loading your core.

Here are two of my favorite warm up exercises you can try.

Shoulder Circles or CARS

These will open your chest, warm up your shoulders and help you connect to your core muscles.

Warm up your upper back with rotation - ½ kneeling upper back openers.

Get ready for lifting and twisting with this great upper back opener.

These stretches are awesome for releasing tension in your chest and back when you're done.

Chest Stretch - foam roller angels

Lying upper back stretches

Now you’re all set to have fun and enjoy the next snowfall instead of worrying about how to move it.

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