STEP 1

Select your equipment. Test a shovel in the store by holding it as you would if you were pushing snow. Note where the handle rests—it should be near your belt buckle. If it rests above that, you'll work harder; if it's below, you'll hunch more.

STEP 2

Warm up. Take a minute before heading outside to stretch your lower back and hamstrings. (A few jumping jacks aren't a bad idea, either.) Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.

STEP 3

Dig in. If you can, push the snow instead of shoveling it. Your arms and legs, not your back, will do the work. If the snow is too deep or heavy to push, think wall squat: Set your feet shoulder width apart, keep your lower back and core set, and lift with your legs and butt.