Exercise to stay safe at your Grooming Job!
Being a Groom is hard for many reasons- one of which is the volume of physical work that you will do. You will notice over time that you get stronger - and are you getting stronger on both sides, or mainly just on one?
Do you also notice that you are tighter on one side than the other, or do you have tightness in weird places? Like your left shoulder and your right hammy?
We also know that as Grooms - much of our day is consumed with work. This leaves little time for much else - like working out. Our friend Bridget Braden-Olson of BioRider Fitness program has some quick and easy tips for how to balance our bodies out while still having time for other things - like eating and sleeping!!
"A groom's daily activities could put some construction workers to shame. The constant movement of bending down, standing up, twisting from left to right takes a huge toll on the lower back and shoulders. Stiffness and tightness in these areas can make working extremely difficult for a groom. If your working around horses you should condition yourself for the functionality of your job. De-stress the body by stretching during your work day.
When you are lifting, brushing or sweeping, you are using muscles in your arms, core and legs. Muscles will shorten when they are being used, resulting in tighter areas.
Let's say you sweep to the right, you going to be stronger on the right side of your body. As the strength develops more on the right side, the muscle fibers will become more dense in that area. It's like one giant pulley system, shorter muscles will pull the body to that one side. Stretching lengthens the body equally from left to right preventing any imbalance of natural movement from occurring. Since everyone should strive for optimal balance in natural strength; what you do to the left, you must do to the right. More wear on the body will result in tear. Injuries will prevent grooms from being able to work.
Grooms are on their feet all day long, the calf muscles are being worked all the time, leaving them short. The location of these muscles will result in the back of the leg being pulled towards the knee. When the hamstring gets tighter, so do the muscles in the lower back. Most low back pain comes from the pulling of tight hamstrings and calf muscles. To be better prepared for the job as a groom, take moments to stretch and find yourself using the body more efficiently while you work."