The Movement of Sweeping

Have you ever watched yourself sweeping? You place your feet apart (at least I do) to steady your back, you grab the broom, place one hand at the top and the other near the middle, then you gently push the broom forward collecting all the dirt into a little pile. You grab your dustpan, bend over at the waist, and with your other hand, sweep the pile onto the dustpan


Have you ever wondered what muscles you use to sweep the floor?

I have.

You really use mostly your shoulder and arm muscles but if you are walking you also use your legs, hips, and feet.

If you do plenty of sweeping for your employment, you start seeing how this simple job can turn into a gigantic pain.

Watch how you sweep. 

As you are watching how you sweep tune into your body. Feel which muscles you are moving. You can do this with any activity. Just focus. Focus on your breathing and what you are doing. As I type this I can feel the muscles in my hands and forearms. I am aware of which muscles are moving so I can type each key.

The main muscles you use for sweeping are:  

  1. Pectoralis major
  2. Coracobrachialis
  3. Deltoid
  4. Biceps brachii
  5. Infraspinatus
  6. Teres minor

Walking alone uses fifty-one different muscles.

We use other muscles as well but if you are standing in one spot these are your major muscles.  We tend to walk as well when we are cleaning our house. We tend to bend down on our hands and knees. We use our hand muscles for cleaning with toothbrushes in filthy corners. We use our wrists for vacuuming various sites. Every grandmother on the planet has told their grandchildren to put some elbow grease into that scrubbing. Walking is one of the first fitness ideas everyone does when they try to lose weight, but you can also clean your house to lose the extra pounds as well. Cleaning your home involves taking steps meaning you must walk around your house to clean it. You have to reach high to clean a shelf. You have to bend down to sweep up a pile of dirt. Have you considered all the muscles you are using?

People always forget that simply cleaning your house is a workout.

Cleaning your house is a workout. Sweeping helps to burn calories when you need to get rid of a few extra pounds. Put in mopping on your hands and knees, you will really see more calories burned. This is also going to make your muscles sorer. Epsom salt baths are great for helping your muscles to heal themselves after any type of workout.

Remember you burn calories while even breathing. Some people have to sweep and/or mop daily for employment. You can see how this can lead to back problems, hip issues, foot soreness, arms hurting, and other pain. This is really why people who have manual labor jobs need massage therapy.

You should be aware of your posture as well when you are in employment that requires physical labor. You twist just right and there goes your erector spinae.  The erector spinae is one of your back muscles and one of the muscles that causes lower back pain. We use our muscles in different ways every day. Just sitting you use your muscles. How else are you able to keep your head up when writing? That takes the strength of your neck muscles. The body moves like a dance that is well performed by a dancer. You’re not even aware of how each muscle should move or when it should move but your body does. Each muscle has its own special movement in the body. Some muscles take on double duty.  Here is how we tell if a muscle will do double duty. If a muscle only crosses a single joint then it is usually for extension or flexion for example.  A muscle that is biarticular crosses two or more joints and can be used to do both.  There are a few muscles that cross three or more joints. These muscles will either be for extension or flexion plus be able to provide pronation or supination of the muscle. Remember to love your muscles daily. They do so much for you.


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