From dough to rock: How kneading dough can help you strengthen your antagonist muscles

Are you looking for new ways to train? Look no further than your kitchen! Kneading dough for bread and pastries can help strengthen the same muscles you use for climbing. As an easter special, we had a look into the benefits of kneading dough and tested it with a delicious recipe: “Hot Cross Buns”.


For 8 buns

  • 500g flour
  • 42g fresh yeast
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50g sugar
  • 200ml milk
  • 100g butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60ml cream
  • Icing sugar
  • Water
  • 1 tsp honey


  1. Mix the flour and spices in a bowl. Create a well in the center and crumble the yeast into it. Mix with 1 tsp sugar, 3 tbsp warm milk and some flour from the edges. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in the remaining milk and add to the dough with the remaining sugar and a pinch of salt. Knead until the dough feels smooth (and your antagonists are feeling it). If the dough is too sticky, add some flour dust.
  3. Rinse the raisins with hot water, drain well and knead the dough with your strong muscles. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  4. After kneading the dough again with your now burning muscles, divide it into 8 portions and form them into balls. Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with some distance between them and let them rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius top/bottom heat and whisk the egg yolk with the cream.
  5. Just before putting the buns in the oven, cut a cross in each one with a sharp knife and generously brush them with the egg-cream mixture.
  6. Bake the hot cross buns in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. During this time, do at least 20 (even better, 50) pull-ups to challenge your muscles and whet your appetite. Just before the buns are done, bring 1 tsp of honey and 2 tsp water with a pinch of cinnamon to the boil.
  7. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them with the honey mixture and let them cool down. Meanwhile, mix about 2 tsp powdered sugar with 6 tsp flour and some water to make a glaze. Use this glaze to draw the crosses on the cooled buns.

So next time you’re getting ready for your next big climb, consider adding some dough-kneading to your training routine. Not only will it help strengthen your antagonist muscles, but you’ll also have some tasty bread or pastries to enjoy afterwards. Happy climbing (and baking)!