Watch Your Back!

Rescuing food is a big job! If you have a heavy rescue, you can ALWAYS ask the workers at the donor and non-profit to help load and unload. See tips below to keep you safe and uninjured while volunteering with Last Mile.

Tips on lifting heavy items

1. Try to keep your head and neck in a neutral position and back straight not rounded when picking up heavy items.

2. Bend your knees to help keep your back straight and drive upwards with your glutes and thighs.

3. Keep the load as close to your body as possible when picking it up and putting it down.

Exercises to strengthen back:


1. Lie down on an exercise ball with your abdomen on the center of the ball. Press the balls of your feet into the ground to stay balanced.

2. Extend your arms forward. Bending at your waist, slowly raise your upper body toward the sky. Be sure to engage your core and glutes. Keep your feet on the floor.

3. Pause for a moment when at the top, then slowly lower down.

4. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.

Resistance band pull apart

1. Stand with your arms extended. Hold a resistance band taut in front of you with both hands so the band is parallel to the ground.

2. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band to your chest by moving your arms out to your sides. Initiate this movement from your mid back, squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping your spine straight, then slowly return to start.


1. Get into a plank position with your elbows and forearms on the ground and legs extended, supporting your weight on your toes and forearms.

2. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Engage your core to ensure your hips don’t sag.

Rotational stretch

Set-up: While side lying, flex the top hip above 90 degrees and to keep the pelvis stacked to support the knee with a foam roll or medicine ball if needed. The head is supported by a pillow or towel roll. (You may need less pillow or towel roll as you rotate. The goal is a relaxed neutral neck and to not get pushed into neck flexion) The bottom arm is extended out from the shoulder and the top arm is reaching up.

Action: Begin rotating the top shoulder toward the floor. Maintain contact with the foam roll/ball or floor as rotation occurs. Reach the top arm out at an approximately 45-degree angle from the body. Reach the bottom arm toward the ceiling. Let your breathing sink you further into the stretch while actively reaching.

Return: After 5 deep breath cycles begin to rotate back to the start position, returning to the start position.

Post Care

Already hurt your back? Consult your doctor if you’re having extreme pains. For minor aches/soreness:

  • Rest, a good nights sleep can work wonders!

  • Be aware of posture, poor posture can make pain worse, intensify and or last longer.

  • Use a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, and foam roller to work out trigger points on concentrated points of tension in your body.

  • Get a sports or therapeutic massage from a notable therapist.

  • Once again for continued pain or extreme pain consult a doctor or Physical Therapist if you’ve already done these other things.

-Kyle Capers
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Personal Trainer
CEO and Founder of The Hands Myotherapy