Why (and How) You Should Stretch Before Strenuous Physical Work

Full days spent working in cramped conditions, hauling heavy equipment and maneuvering around coworkers — jobs like construction work and chipping concrete place heavy physical demands on team members. At General Chipping, safety is our top priority. We encourage our team members, clients and colleagues to practice proper stretch and warm-up techniques before starting a job in order to avoid injury and muscle strain.

We’ve pulled together some helpful tips your team can use:

Warm Up Before Beginning a Job
You warm up before exercise to prevent injury and aid in muscle recovery. The same concept applies to strenuous physical work. Warming up makes your muscles more limber which, at the end of the day, means less muscle strain, cramping and soreness. Some companies have corporate warm-up programs. If you’re in one of the many that doesn’t, implementing your own regimen is even more important to prevent pain, discomfort and work-related injuries.

Tip: Before starting your day’s work, take 3-5 minutes to do some jumping jacks or an easy jog. Then, follow it up with these stretches for workers with demanding jobs.

Take Breaks While Working
Warming up before getting to work is a great start, but it is no match for hours spent, bending, reaching and working with heavy-duty machinery. That’s a recipe for sore, achy muscles — and even for more serious strain or injury. Your back and spine, hand and wrist, knees, neck and shoulders are most vulnerable to strains and pulls. Be sure to take extra care with those parts of your body. Remember, you may not want a break, but your aching muscles, sore back and stiff neck do!

Tip: A few times an hour, step back from your job. Do some light stretching, shake out your muscles and loosen up a bit. Most importantly, when you feel discomfort, resist the urge to push through it. Take that as a signal that it’s time for a stretch break.

Stretch When the Work is Over
Construction, concrete and other physical labor are exercises in endurance. Stopping cold will lead to more stiffness and strain.

Tip: Finishing with some cool-down exercises when you’re done will help you sleep better at night and feel better the next day.


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