I'm looking for advice on better posture and hand position to avoid back/ neck strain and carpal tunnel issues. My husband I both recently had wrist strain as the demand for espresso beverages increased for the holidays and winter weather. Getting the right tamp pressure can mean bad posture when trying to speed through orders. I feel like I need remedial training again just to remember my proper posture.
I'll review my ABCs training videos but I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has combined a knowledge of barista & medical fields to specialize in this area of info?

Tags: medical, posture, tamping, training

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While better posture may help, you might also simply be tamping too hard. One of the things I discovered about myself early in my coffee career was that after a while, the standard 30 pounds of pressure I thought I was using to tamp had actually ramped up into almost 45 pounds and I was doing way more work than I needed to. As the years passed, and I had several arm injuries (doubly bad, being both a musician and barista) I really began to experiment with how I tamped and found that using a lighter tamp and finer grind could serve me just as well, and didn't require so much out of me. I would definitely play with those things as you evaluate your technique.

try using you body weight not your arm.

Exactly. Line up your wrist and forearm perpendicular to PF, elbow bent and locked as is shoulder also lockced, basically entire hand holding tamper up to shoulder locked extension of tamper. Then do slight deep knee bend for the tamp power. Your legs are your strongest limbs, use them.

lance battenfield said:

try using you body weight not your arm.

also, to get a feel for a good 30 pound try pushing on your scale. Try to apply the same amount of pressure to the espresso.

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