Pain-free Snow Removal Begins With The Shovel

Expert offers tipson the righttools, techniques
By Beth Botts

If the first snows of winter have left you aching and sore, you might want to brush up on your snow-shoveling tools and technique.

Michael Lambert, who grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minn., knows about snow. Now he’s the operations manager of Lowe’s in the Brickyard shopping center in Chicago, and has some advice about a task that hardly anybody puts much thought into.

1. Push, don’t toss: Snow shovels are designed for pushing snow aside, not scooping it up and tossing it, Lambert says. “Snow is very heavy,” he says. “If you start picking it up, you are going to wear yourself out very quickly.”

Every winter, there are reports of people who have heart attacks from the unaccustomed exertion of snow shoveling, so choose your tools to make it easy on yourself. Have a snow thrower? You still need a shovel or two for tight spaces and exceptionally wet, heavy snows.

2. Pick a pusher: The traditional snow shovel, with a flat, rectangular blade, creates a wall of snow that you stop and push off to the side every few feet.

The other kind, with a deeply curved blade, “will work more like a snowplow,” Lambert says. As you push it ahead of you, the snow falls off to the side. It’s good for long, straight sidewalks or driveways. More…