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Daniel W

Keep That back Straight!

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Something I see time and time and time again while I'm at my local forge working with beginners.  People bending over their anvils to work up close. Putting a strain on that so important lower back muscle group. 

One of my very first teachers had a very non traditional approach of avoiding this problem.  He stressed that - that low back has to be kept as straight as possible while working, and that if you need to work up close, or the anvil is not your correct height, to bring the work to you.  He did this by taking a very wide stance at the anvil, wide but comfortable - and a slight but also comfortable bend at the knees.  Any bending of the upper body was done by the hips, not the back. 

It's a pretty odd concept to describe correctly, when done you look a little more like a medieval character in paintings, but I've used this for years without any problems.  Personally, I have never seen another person strike an anvil as hard as my intro to blacksmith teacher. 

A second teacher, didn't like that idea, and described a more efficient way to work which if you watch any Peter Ross videos, he has a method down of feet together and swinging the hammer with his hips that is very slight.  I don't seem to have this method down as well. I can't seem to keep my feet together and square to the anvil.

Anyone else have any low back advice while you work?  Weather it's day to day life, or the real job, please add.

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Bending the knees is usually preferable to bending at the back, to keep the back straight and minimize stressors.

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