Advice and training on techniques for lifting is frequently provided. The choice of which technique to use should be based on the evidence available on a number of criteria. Important criteria include: psychophysical, physiological, biomechanical, psychological, performance and clinical. However few professionals have the time to read all the original research required to understand the limitations of the available criteria. The purpose of this paper was to present an accessible synthesis of the criteria used to choose a specific technique. Each criterion is described and its validity discussed to provide the reader with a better understanding of the criteria, and thus the evidence available.