The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Arm/Back/Shoulder Strain

bakerboss's picture

Arm/Back/Shoulder Strain

As I'm sure you all know, baking is a much more physical job than anyone gives us credit for. One of my associate bakers has a lot of arm/shoulder strain and in particular, finds pulling the dough from the mixer difficult. Our mixer bowl is not removable so you have to grab and pull the dough in chunks. I'm racking my brain for a better way to get the dough out of the mixer or any tool that would be helpful/relieve some arm strain, but haven't come up with any solutions. 

If anyone has any tips or tools for this or anything else they've found that alleviates some of the physical demands of baking I welcome your advice. Thanks!

GaryBishop's picture

I have no commercial baking experience but that won't stop me from trying to help.

Would a hay hook or ice hook help? I'm hallucinating that you might have a knife (scraper?) on an extension to cut the dough without bending too much and then use the hook to pull the chunk out. 

Hopefully someone with real experience will chime in.



bakerboss's picture

I don't foresee those grasping the dough well enough but it's a really good train of thought!

Yippee's picture


When removing dough from the mixer, cut it into even smaller chunks to reduce the weight and stress on the arms, shoulders, and back.


In the long run, it will be beneficial for your colleague to exercise regularly to strengthen his/her muscles. For immediate relief from pain and strain, I recommend performing the following exercises that target the




upper trapezia


lower trapezia


serratus anterior


I hope your colleague feel better soon.





It's also important to seek professional advice, such as from a physical therapist, to ensure your colleague is on the right path to recovery.



Generally, applying moist heat can quickly soothe strained areas and enhance the effectiveness of exercises.

bakerboss's picture

Yes, she works with a physiotherapist. I'm just looking for advice for alleviating additional strain at work.

Moe C's picture
Moe C

A bit off-topic, but how do you wash/clean the mixer bowl if it does not detach?

bakerboss's picture

It's very annoying to clean but we pour boiling water down the sides and let it sit to soften the dough, then use a plastic scraper to get everything off. We use a small cup to get the water out and use more boiling water as needed and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Note: we do not use any high risk ingredients like egg or milk in that mixer.

rondayvous's picture

#1. have someone else remove the dough.

#2. get a different mixer (one that would also be easier to clean)

#3. Explore possible modifications to existing mixer.

#4. get a worker who can do the job without hurting themself.