Anne Asher, a movement specialist from The MOVE! Blog, has been kind enough to answer some common questions about how professional and/or passionate gardeners can reduce the strain that comes from repetitive gardening tasks. Here’s the first one: Dear Anne, By September, many trees and shrubs have grown out of bounds and finished blooming, so I find myself using my loppers often to try and keep plants looking good. Do you have any tips for reducing wrist and hand strain when pruning with loppers? Hi Gen, Many people get wrist and hand strain because they are working in “parts”. In other words, ask yourself about your attitude here. Do you believe that the only way to use your pruners is through effort BELOW the elbow? If you do, you are “muscling” through the task, as I call it. Some of the heavy lifting and clipping can be supported by the shoulder blades. Before we get to that, here’s a tip for the wrist: Try to work with an unbroken line between the forearm and the hand. If your wrist is bent forward or back, or tilted to one side, the added challenge of heavy pruning may strain the muscles that are keeping them in that position. Back to the shoulder blades. These are the big triangular bones that can be found at your upper back; they lay flat against the ribs. This is one of those “thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone” kind of thing, except it’s the arm bone that’s connected to the shoulder blade. The two bones of the forearm are connected to the “arm bone” and the many little wrist bones are connected to the forearm. The fingertips are connected to the wrist bones.