Planting Bulbs, Harvesting Smiles, Staying Healthy

There’s no doubt about it. Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, Va. knows how to garden. Why? Just look at their resume. Their award winning bulbs are bought, sold and grown all over the world. Plus, they have the backing of Martha Stewart herself – Brent was a guest star on Martha Stewart’s show, talking about gardening.

Recently, the Tidewater Physical Therapy team at the Gloucester Courthouse location teamed up with Jay Hudgins of Brent and Becky’s to film a show of their own – detailing how to protect your spine when gardening.

Gardening’s a healthy activity that strengthens your arms, core and legs. But because it’s a physically demanding activity, it can leave you prone to stress related injuries.

“We’re your bulb and general gardening experts, not health experts,” Hudgins said in the video. That’s why “we’ve asked our friends up the street at Tidewater Physical Therapy if they’d come in…and show us how to work in the garden while staying safe and healthy.”

The key to staying injury free in the garden is a proper hip hinge when lifting and keeping your spine straight when bending over.

“The hip hinge harnesses the power of the gluteus maximus,” said Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Gloucester Regional Director, Natalie Conway. “That’s the largest muscle in your body. It’s designed that way to do most of the lifting.”

To do a proper hip hinge, Conway advised keeping the spine straight, not allow hips to sink below knees and keep feet flat on the ground.

To save your spine when bending over, like to weed, Conway said, “the principles are the same. You’re still going to have your spine straight.”

Ways to do that include sitting on a bucket and leaning forward, kneeling on one knee and reaching down or getting on all fours and reaching forward.

All of the techniques are showcased in this video.

“With the techniques demonstrated by Tidewater Physical Therapy all of our staff as well as all of you gardening fans out there will never miss another beautiful day…playing in the garden again,” Hudgins said. “Now go, plant bulbs and harvest smiles while staying healthy.”