How to Pull Weeds Without Hurting Your Back

You can avoid unnecessary stress on your back by learning alternative weeding positions. This can include variations on kneeling, squatting, and sitting. You can also use standing tools or weed killers to avoid having to bend at all. Whatever you choose, be sure to consult a chiropractor or other medical professional about the dangers of back strain.

How to pull weeds without hurting your back

7 Best Ways to Pull Weeds Without Hurting Your Back

There are a few main positions that work great for protecting your back while weeding. Additionally, we’ll cover ways to remove weeds that don’t involve pulling at all. Be sure to find a comfortable position that is right for you. Don’t force yourself into awkward positions unnecessarily.


One of the easiest ways to prevent back strain while weeding is to kneel. Sink to your knees and then sit on the backs of your calves. This is an ideal position for light gardening and digging. Be sure to keep a kneeling pad handy to reduce strain on your knees. Use this extra-thick gardening pad to kneel on when weeding. Some gardeners also like to keep a second pad to sit on to reduce strain on their calf muscles.

Shallow Squat

Squatting is another great way to reduce back strain while generating more lifting power. Shallow squats are best for light weeding and require strong abdominal muscles. To do a shallow squat, pretend like you are about to sit down until you can rest your elbows on your knees. Maintain this position, using your elbow to prop yourself up to avoid back strain. 

Deep Squat

Deep squats work best for removing weeds with deep roots. These squats require strong leg muscles to generate intense pulling power. To do a deep squat, sink down until your butt is nearly touching your ankles. This pose will resemble a baseball catcher. Once again, use your elbows on your knees to prop your back up.

Golfer’s Lift

If you’ve ever watched professional golf, you’ll know this lift on sight. Golfers prop themselves up with their golf club and then lean over to fish out balls with their other hand. Similarly, the golfer’s lift means propping yourself up with a sturdy object then leaning over to weed. Be sure to keep a sturdy object to prop yourself up like a walking stick or garden hoe.

Garden Stool

Consider getting a little stool that you can sit on while you garden. This will allow you to pull weed seedlings out from a comfortable seated position. It won’t require strong core muscles like some of the previous examples. Use this folding step stool as a garden stool.

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Reduce Strain with Proper Gardening Tools

Alternative to the above examples, you can get a garden tool that works great from a standing position. A standing weeder can be a great way to remove weeds without repetitive bending. Use this stand-up weeding tool to avoid unnecessary bending. Also, be sure to only lift safe loads of weeds. Use this wheelbarrow to reduce the strain of carrying heavy loads by arm.

Consider Weed Killers

Weed killers are a great way to kill off common weeds from a standing position. There are plenty of effective weed killers to consider. Just be sure to apply weed killer that is safe for your other plants in your garden bed and not dangerous to people or pets.

Can You Hurt Your Back from Pulling Weeds?

It is very easy to hurt your back in the process of bending to weed. Daily gardening tasks are more demanding than people think. Weeding incorrectly can cause serious back strain through repetitive bending. 

  • Back injuries are very common during weeding.
  • Use safe kneeling and squatting positions while weeding—avoid bending at the waist.
  • Take frequent breaks to avoid overstraining your back.

Be sure to take breaks to reduce strain on your back. While it’s nice to get everything done in one go, keeping your back in tip-top shape is more important than a fast-weeding job.

Why Does Your Back Hurt When Pulling Weeds?

The most common reasons for back pains are poor posture and skipping warm-up exercises. Utilize a correct lifting technique when weeding to reduce back strain. Squats, kneels, and sits are all better than bending over from the waist to weed. Waist bending can lead to chronic pain down the line.

  • Use correct technique when weeding to avoid unnecessary back strain.
  • Be sure to warm up and stretch before weeding to reduce the chance of pulling your back.

Doctors also recommend performing stretches and exercises before weeding. Engaging in stretching techniques reduces the likelihood of pain while gardening. Lastly, this warm-up will increase blood flow and reduce the likelihood of pulling muscles or injuring yourself.

How Do You Pull Weeds and Not Hurt Your Back?

In order to prevent a back injury from weeding, learn alternative body positions to bending over from the waist. Here are the key ways you can avoid back injury while gardening:

  • Perform warm-up and stretches before gardening.
  • Squatting, kneeling, and sitting are great weeding positions.
  • Avoid bending from the waist to weed—this increases back strain.
  • Use weeding tools that can be used while standing to avoid bending.
  • Weed killers can make weed removal a breeze and will not strain your back.
  • Keep in mind that damaging your back while gardening is fairly common, but it can be avoided.

With these tips, you are well prepared to avoid serious back strain. Be sure to find a position that works best for you and consult with a medical professional should issues arise. Back pain is one symptom of poor weeding technique, but an injured spinal disk can cause pain, itching, or numbness in your limbs. By practicing good weeding techniques, you and your garden will remain healthy.

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