If the rocks are only hand-sized, use a wheelbarrow to move them.

How to Carry Landscaping Rocks Safely

by Nicole Vulcan

Hauling rocks from one part of your yard to another might make you feel like Superwoman -- but always take care to do it safely. Trying to lift rocks that are too heavy or doing it the wrong way could result in long-term injuries to your back. That could derail your effort to impress the neighbors with your landscaping prowess.

Wear a sturdy pair of shoes that cover your toes, have a solid sole and laces or other attachments that keep the shoes on your feet.

Test the weight of one of the smallest stones in a large pile to give you an idea of the general density and weight of that type of rock. Then, choose a slightly heavier rock that looks manageable to lift. Don't choose the largest rock right off the bat.

Stand near the rock and bend at the knees, keep your back straight, and tuck in your chin. Move one foot slightly in front of the other to give you more stability. You can also rest one knee on the ground, keeping the other foot resting solidly on the ground. Try to find an even part of ground to stand on.

Grab the sides of the rock with your palms first, and then wrap your fingers securely around it.

Push up with your legs, working to avoid bending at the waist, which will cause you to lift with your back. If you can't straighten your legs, the load is probably too heavy to lift. If you're in a knee-down position, stand up slowly, maintaining a natural curve in your back.

Take small steps, keeping your arms close to your body and keeping your core muscles tight.

Bend at the knees, squatting instead of kneeling, to lower the rock to the desired spot.

Items you will need

  • Shoes


  • If you find the rock is too heavy to lift on your own, rent a dolly and then roll the rocks onto the dolly's bottom shelf.
  • You can also roll the rocks from one part of the yard to another. Even rocks with square edges can be "walked" by tipping the rock on one of its edges, tilting it to one side and then pressing it with your thigh to turn it, advises The Family Handyman.
  • If you have a lot of rocks to move, you may find wearing work gloves or gardening gloves makes the process less painful on your hands.


  • Never try to lift a rock that seems too heavy for you to handle yourself. If you're not in good physical shape, ask a few friends to help you with your project instead of doing it yourself.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

Photo Credits

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