Keep a wide base of support. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other (karate stance).
Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle (half kneeling).
Maintain good posture. Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back.
Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Keep your back straight, and don't twist as you lift.
Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.
Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps.
Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.