Five Rules for Shoveling Snow Without Injury

There are countless ways to enjoy Colorado snow, but throwing your back out while shoveling the driveway before work isn’t one of them. Tackle the arduous task of snow removal with a safe and efficient approach.

Authored by Erin Malcolm

1. Bundle up

Before you start, make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Two pieces of gear are indispensable: heavy-tread snow boots to reduce the risk of slipping on ice, and thermal waterproof gloves with good grip. Our picks for the 2019-2020 season: The North Face Chilkat III boots and Give’r 4 Season gloves.

2. Invest in ergonomic equipment

Using the rusty shovel that’s been sitting in the garage for years invites disaster. Instead, opt for an ergonomic choice designed for ease and comfort, like the True Temper 18-Inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover.

3. Think technique

Technique is crucial. Maintain proper posture by bending at the knees instead of at the waist, keeping a flat back, and lifting with your legs. Don’t twist your body to throw snow out of the way— pivot your feet instead. Even easier on the back is to clear the snow without picking it up. Just push it like a walking snow plow.

4. Start early

Over time, fallen snow compacts and becomes heavy, wet, and icy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to wait for the snow to stop falling before you start the job. Two or three small shoveling sessions while the snow is still coming down are easier, in the long run, than one huge one at the end of the storm.

5. Invest in extras

Shovel handle attachments like the EziMate by BackEZ, designed to relieve back stress, are worth the money. Get some eco-friendly salt or sand to sprinkle on the driveway before the snow comes down—it will make the task a lot easier. Try waxing the blade of your shovel to prevent snow from sticking to it.