How to Lift a Car in a Pinch

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Normally, if you need to lift a car, your best bet is a jack. But if you find yourself in an emergency where you need to move a set of wheels off of a trapped victim, plain old elbow grease and adrenaline can be more effective than you would expect.

1. Get Hysterical

Hoisting up an automobile is no small task, but there’s anecdotal evidence that an emergency situation can kick start your muscles. It’s still scientifically mysterious, but “hysterical strength” apparently occurs when a disaster triggers a surge of adrenaline that allows otherwise average people to engage in awesome feats of strength. Mothers have lifted cars off their children and little old ladies have flipped lawnmowers off friends. This maneuver is only recommended for emergency situations, but if you really need the strength, you may find you have it.

2. Brace Yourself

Even if you’re not muscle-bound, don’t despair. Getting a car off the ground doesn’t require as much raw strength as you might expect. Remember, you don’t need to lift the whole thing. You just need to get a wheel or two in the air to allow anyone trapped underneath it to get out. Finding a good place to grab the car is a must. Open one of the front doors and brace your shoulders against the upper part of the frame. If that doesn’t work, find a good handhold on the bumper or anywhere else sturdy on the car’s body.

3. Put Your Best Feet Forward

Remember all those squats you’ve done at the gym? You’re going to be doing basically the same thing, but with a much more impressive burden than a barbell. Take a broad stance with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and slightly out in front of you to maximize your leverage.

4. Get a Leg Up

You’re going to be a hero once you lift this car, but there’s no sense in being a hero with a mangled spine. As always, lift with your legs and pretend you’re doing the toughest squat of all time.

5. Hold That Pose

Once you get the car in the air, hold it long enough for anyone trapped underneath to wriggle out. After they’re clear, gently lower your burden back down. Take a celebratory flex – this is one of the few times nobody will hold it against you.
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If you’ve lifted a car, you’ve probably worked up a massive sweat. Why not cool off with a frosty Dos Equis?

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September 9, 2013 - 8:00am
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