Last week someone commented on my blog post. “Why can’t you write something to irritate or enrage all of us? That way you can leave a mark!” I suppose she’s right.  As my father the tug boat skipper used to say, “Mike, If you’re not on somebody’s shit list, you’re no damned good.”

So I thought I stir up a pot of Worker’s Compensation Board stew.

I applied for a job at WCB a short while ago, and I haven’t heard from them. I suppose I’m no damned good, so they’re fair game.

When I was a teenager, I had a job in a shingle mill, The job required lifting heavy objects off the ground and putting them down somewhere else a few feet away. In other words, a typical mill job of yesteryear.

When I picked something up, I would squat down and lift it by extending my legs. I was, in fact, following the WCB prescription of, “Lifting with your legs.” I would also use my legs if a turn was needed. All this was in aid of avoiding a back injury. I’m beginning to think that this style of lifting with your legs may be causing back injuries.

At the mill, my foreman was an older fellow from Italy who was no stranger to lifting things. His name was Tony. One day he told me, “Mike, I really lika you. You’re a real nice bow. But I n lika the way you work. You gonna hurt yourself bad one day.”

He was, of course, referring to my lifting technique. I asked him to show me how he lifted. He was eager to oblige. He strode to a heavy timber, put his feet together. Stuck his bum out, and lifted by straightening his back. He didn’t seem to be lifting with his legs at all. I thought there was a trick to it, and that at any moment  his back would spring out of his body and vibrate like a broken lawnmower starting spring.

He wanted me to lift like that. I told him I had no intention of spending a month in a Striker bed recovering from it.

Not me. I continued to lift with my legs. Every now and again I would develop a charley horse that could win s steeplechase, and I maintained my spinal health with regular visits to the chiropractor.

Then I learned weightlifting.

This morning, my class at West Point Grey Community Centre asked me, “Mike, “ someone asked. “Is there a better way to work our hamstrings?”

I told them the story of Tony and his lifting technique, then I told them of an exercise called the “Dead Lift.”

The dead lift is accomplished by approaching the weight, sticking your bum out and lifting with straight legs. In spite of the fact that there is unsupported forward flexion. The muscles that are doing all the work are the hamstrings – the muscle groups down the back of the thighs. None or the spinal muscles are recruited for the lift. There is also ne stress on the spinal joints.

This gives a whole new meaning to “Lifting with your legs.”

Mike Broderick WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he FOUND employment for people with physical disabilities.
He remains an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at  or at 604-464-4105
If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a
résumé makeover at competitive rates .
There’s even more good news for job seekers. According to the BMO Hiring Intentions Survey, 55% of business owners in B.C. intend to hire new employees this year. Make sure your résumé is ready.  I can help.




  1. Sharon Says:

    Interesting. I was told to slightly bend the knees, stick my bum out, hold the object as close to center body and possible, then straighten legs. It seems to work.

    Good story. Keeping fingers crossed for WCB job.

  2. c socket programming Says:

    c socket programming…

    […]LIFTING WITH YOUR LEGS « SpinDoctorResumes[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: