How to look after your back when kneading

Posted on July 25, 2014

How to look after your back when kneading- from another Fabulous (non-) Baker Brother!
Hello, I’m Charlie. I’m one of Tom and Henry’s many brothers, the black sheep that stepped away from the family business… Growing up I tried out most roles in the bakery, from kneading and baking to cleaning and scrubbing, with some jam doughnut filling in between. In my teens I realised that as much as I loved eating it, I was better at kneading backs than dough. So with enough brothers to help Hobbs ‘rise’ I went off to the depths of the Welsh valleys to study Chiropractic!
You ‘knead’ good posture

If you’re a dough kneading enthusiast then it’s important you do it with good posture. If you don’t, you’re exposing yourself to potential back problems. What most people do is stand square on at a worktop, that is either too high or low, and arch their back over their dough. Now, the spine is designed to have 3 beautiful curves that act as suspension and help with movement. This bad posture, as shown, turns those 3 curves into one big banana shape and rounds the shoulders forward too. This posture puts a lot of strain on the low back, neck and shoulders. Do this often enough and you’ll develop problems and need to come see me…

poor kneading posture

Passing on the wisdom!

So, firstly we need to get your back in the right position and get you using your core muscles. We’ve all heard about core muscles, it’s a word used a lot, however now we’re going to find out how they help you knead the tastiest, tightest sourdough baps!
Standing in front of your un-kneaded dough, put your hands on the top of your pelvis (the bony bit in your waist) and rock your pelvis back and forth. By this I mean, stick your bum out as far as you can and then tuck it in as much as you can without moving your hands back and forth. When you can do this, find the mid point between fully back and forward. This is your neutral pelvic point. In this position, imagine a piece of string attached to the top of your head pulling you up. As you lift up, you should feel the muscles at the front between your pelvic bones tighten slightly. These are some of your core muscles for your low back. We now have our back in a strong position and are ready for the next step.

Finding pelvic neutral

Rather than stand ‘straight on’ at the worktop we want to be in more of a lunge position. With a soft bend in your knees you are ready to lean forward over the worktop, bending from your hips, not arching your back. In this position a good knead comes from two movements, firstly the gently rocking of your weight between your front and back legs, and then the movement of your arms compliments that movement further. This way of kneading takes a lot of the pressure off your spine and arms.

good kneading posture

Follow these steps and you’ll be in a strong position and able to knead all day long without unnecessarily straining your spine, just like the bakers at Hobbs House Bakery do!

The other option, however, is to get a Kitchen Aid to knead for you…

If you knead anymore information or want to visit one of our Bristol Chiropractors then please feel free to get in contact.

Charlie Herbert
The Chiro Centre
01179741501