<p> No matter what you&#39;re carting around in a wheelbarrow, using good body mechanics is a must. Slide on for step by step instructions on how to use this piece of gardening equipment without straining your neck or back.</p><p>When your garden wheelbarrow is loaded with soil or other contents, and it is time to dump it out, play it smart by bending from the hips and knees before you lift. Don&#39;t use your spine for this. When you bend from the hips, you have the advantage of using very strong muscles to lift the load. By comparison, back muscles are much weaker; the structures of the spine is vulnerable to <a href="https://www.verywell.com/what-is-back-strain-296533" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">strain</a> and injury.</p><p>Bending down will allow you to pick up the wheelbarrow from underneath, which is more efficient and will give you more leverage.</p>Now switch to an underhand grip. This will help you avoid wrist, arm, shoulder and neck strain when lifting the weight of the wheelbarrow straight up.Because you&#39;ve bent from your hips and knees to lift the wheelbarrow, you now have the power of those muscles on your side. Begin to straighten your legs.<p>To empty the wheelbarrow, straighten all the way. Lean your weight forward onto your front leg. Keep a nice long line from your head, through your spine down to the very bottom (your <a href="https://www.verywell.com/tailbone-pain-and-injury-3120414" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="1">coccyx</a> bone). A long spine will help protect your back from injury and <a href="https://www.verywell.com/what-is-back-strain-296533" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="internalLink" data-ordinal="2">strain</a>.</p>The most important rule for saving your back when using wheelbarrows may be something you would prefer to ignore, but please don&#39;t: Do not overload the wheelbarrow. Overloading makes pushing harder, can cause you to strain your hips, and to lose your balance.