Tips To Make Weeding In The Garden Easier On Your Body

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / stopabox

Weeding is an essential part of gardening, and it’s a key to its success. Regular weeding allows the plants in your garden to enjoy all the water, nutrients, and sunlight they require, without some of it being stolen by pesky weeds. Weeding is important, but it can also be tiring and downright painful on your body. If you find that your body hurts after weeding, then you might need to change the way you are going about this gardening task.

To prevent pain while weeding your garden, make sure you kneel on one knee if possible, and pivot your body instead of twisting it. Use a knee pad if you have one, and always bend with your knees, not your back, and keep your back straight. Listen to your body, and don’t wait until you are in pain before you take a break.

There is no way around weeding, as weeds always seem to find a way into a garden no matter how hard you try to keep them away. The good news is while weeding is inevitable, the pain associated with it can often be avoided. There are several techniques and postures you can try to help mitigate the pain associated with weeding. Keep reading to learn all the top tips to avoid feeling pain the next time you weed in your garden.

Tips To Prevent Body Pain When You Weed In Your Garden

1. Change The Way You Kneel

The most common weeding position is a kneeling position. This is because weeds come out of the ground, so the closer to the ground you are, the easier it is to pull them. What you might not know is that there are several types of kneeling positions, and some are better for your body when weeding than others.

When you weed your garden, kneel with one knee on the ground, and one knee upright. You can switch knees as one grows tired, or as the change suits your purposes. This helps keep your body more elongated and is less likely to cause body pain.

2. Use Knee Padding

Knee pads are a gardener’s best friend. Since you are bound to spend lots of time on your knees, the more support you can give them, the better. Consider investing in knee pads, or a rectangular knee pad. Knee padding is one of the best garden tools you will use this spring. It will help cushion your knees and prevent those joints from feeling discomfort while you weed, and long after you stop.

3. Use Both Sides Of Your Body To Weed

You might be a lefty or a righty when you sit down and write a note or pick up a baseball bat, but you need to remember to weed with both hands. Don’t simply tire out one side of your body. Remember you have an entire second half of your body that can share in this burden.

If it is hard to remember to switch sides, try setting an alarm for 15-minute intervals. Switching sides every fifteen minutes is a great way to prevent you from over-working one side of your body and causing it pain while you weed.

4. Try To Maintain A Straight Back

Back pain is arguably the most common type of pain associated with long weeding sessions in the garden. The good news is that much of this pain is avoidable. The best way to avoid back pain while you garden is to keep a straight back. Staying on one knee helps, and remember to maintain a straight back even when you aren’t on one knee. Make this a conscious priority.

5. Stretch Before And After Weeding

One great way to prevent pain while weeding your garden doesn’t even happen while you are weeding. Remembering to stretch before you weed in your garden is crucial, and a great way to prevent residual pain, or even worse, a pulled muscle. Some simple leg, back, neck, and arm stretches are a great way to loosen up your body.

Weeding is a form of exercise. Therefore, just like with any other type of exercise, it’s important to stretch afterwards. After you weed your garden, do some simple stretches to keep those muscles loose and prevent them from feeling sore the next day.

6. Stay Hydrated

Weeding is an outdoor activity, and it is a task often performed on sunny days in your garden during the spring and summer months. This is a recipe for potential dehydration. Dehydration can cause headaches and other more serious problems, including body pain and cramps.

Remember to hydrate before weeding your garden, and keep a water bottle by your side. Take a quick water break any time you are thirsty or remember to do so.

7. Take Breaks Before You Feel Pain

If you wait until your body is in pain to take a break, then you have waited too long. Once you hurt yourself or overwork your muscles, the damage is done, and you will need time to heal. Instead of waiting until your body hurts, take frequent and scheduled breaks.

Weeding might not be the most fun task, but it shouldn’t be a grueling one. Set an alarm if you have to, but take a few scheduled breaks, especially when weeding for longer than an hour. This is particularly important for those weeding on hot sunny days, or for those who are just beginning to build physical stamina.

8. Bend With Your Knees

At some point in your life, someone has surely told you to bend with your knees, and not with your back. This is usually something someone will instruct you to do when lifting heavy objects. The idea is to use your leg muscles instead of putting unnecessary and potentially dangerous strain on your back.

Weeding doesn’t usually involve heavy lifting, but the same philosophy still applies. Bending with your knees helps keep stress off your back. The less stress on your back when you are weeding, the better.

9. Pivot Your Body, Don’t Twist It

Another important thing to remember while weeding to help prevent physical pain is to pivot your body, and never twist it. Pivoting essentially means positioning and turning your body to face your area of focus. This helps keep your back and body in line.

If you are staying in one position and constantly twisting and over-exerting your body, then you are placing lots of unnecessary stress on your back and other muscles. Take the extra few moments to shift your positions as needed.

10. Stop As Soon As Pain Begins

While it is important to take breaks before pain hits, sometimes body pain appears out of nowhere. The important thing to remember is to stop weeding in your garden as soon as your body starts to hurt. Don’t try to push through the pain, as this will likely only make things worse and keep you in pain longer.

11. Work In Your Garden Often To Build Strength

Lastly, one of the best ways to prevent pain while you weed your garden is to build up your strength. The more you perform this physically demanding gardening task, the easier it will become.

Remember to start slow, and don’t be overly ambitious. Instead, gradually increase how long you weed, and how long you keep at it before you take a break. Keep at it, and slowly but surely you will find it easier to weed for longer periods of time.

Final Notes On How To Make Weeding Easier On Your Body

Weeding might be tedious, but it doesn't have to cause you pain. To help prevent your body from feeling pain while you weed your garden, remember to kneel on one knee, pivot your body, and use both sides of your body. Always bend with your knees, and remember to keep a straight back. If you have a knee pad, use it, and take frequent water and rest breaks to avoid exhaustion.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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