I want to make sure I'm not ruining my back, which I usually feel like I am.
this solution requires almost no effort on your part, get someone else to do it.
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Lift with your arms and switch hands every one in a while. For example, if your right hand is on the handle , then after about 3 min switch so your left hand is on the handle.
The most important thing you can do is to shovel the snow frequently so that you do not have to do very much at one time. Lifting is the hard part so if, for example, the weather forecast calls for 20cm of snow, go out and shovel it several times while it's falling so that you only have to do a few cm at a time. You can push that snow rather than lift it. Use a snow pusher and push all the snow into the street. leave it near the side 'downstream' from where the street snow plow comes from so that it all doesn't get returned as a windrow across the bottom of your driveway.
Hire someone to do it. Cheap if you can. Other than common sense in technique, your tools are your best friend.
Your best bet if you have to do it yourself is to use a snowthrower. Of course, depending on where your live, the conditions will dictate how powerful a machine your need, and choice of gas or electric for smaller models.
If doing it by hand, get a nice ergonomic shovel with a bent shaft. It gives you a fulcrum point to lift the snow and places the upper handle in a better position for the other arm. Get a wide shovel that is reinforced with a metal strip at the bottom to cut into the snow/ice.
That is for the light powdery snow and deep falls. If you need to scrape a paved driveway or concrete walk, no better tool than a heavy steel snow shovel with a long straight handle. That allows you to get into the ice and scrape the ground clean.
Don't forget to get an ice chopper. It looks like a hoe that is straightened out, just a small flat blade attached to the end of a pole. You drive it straight down into the ice to chop and use it as a spatula to lift it off.
And get some salt safe for use on sidewalks to melt the last of the snow or ice that won't break free.
Stay warm and take lots of breaks.
WITH A FLAME-THROWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P
my basic rule of thumb is if I don't feel strain in my back I must be doing something right
I usually kind of hunker down and let my arms do all the work also don't try to take too much at once