/ Getting back finger strength after 6 months off

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chrispymocha - on 25 Mar 2013
I haven't climbed since November due to dislocating my shoulder and having a subsequent operation to fix it.

Hopefully I will be back climbing in about three weeks time but was wondering how long does it take to get back finger strength as I don't want to damage any tendons.

I was climbing at about 6b level so will obviously be climbing lower grades than that for a while but do I need to avoid crimpy climbs for a certain amount of time?

I have a fingerboard at home - will it be ok to get back on that to get some finger strength as soon as I start climbing or should I wait and develop some basic strength first.

Thanks
Terry James Walker - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to chrispymocha: My example: November onsighting f7a. took 6 months for winter, May was onsighting f6a, then f6b+ within a week or two. Then got on V5 boulder problem and ruptured A3 ligament pretty bad.

Take it really really slow
jkarran - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to chrispymocha:

Your fingers will be fine. Listen to the feedback they give you and don't go too mad in the first few weeks, avoid getting competitive and rest them better if they start to twinge.

I suspect the fingerboard (and climbing generally) is a bigger threat to your shoulder than your fingers at the moment, might be worth speaking to your physio about that.

kj
koalapie - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to chrispymocha)
>
>
> I suspect the fingerboard (and climbing generally) is a bigger threat to your shoulder than your fingers at the moment, might be worth speaking to your physio about that.
>
> kj

Ditto.
alibrightman - on 25 Mar 2013
In reply to chrispymocha: My experience is that it takes ages to improve finger strength - months or years. I have a lay-off pretty much every winter due to general sloth. I won't work on finger strength per se, I'll focus on avoiding injury. For me this means (a) don't fall off the bike, and (b) try to climb open-handed, especially when warming up. Other than that, take it slow and stay young :)
chrispymocha - on 26 Mar 2013
Cheers guys.. so it's just a case of taking it slow and steady then..

I'm not hanging off anything yet although the physio says in the next couple of weeks I will be starting that... I have just started using the TRX to get some bodyweight movements and confidence in my shoulders and will be progressing from there.
Bains on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chrispymocha:

Definitely take it slow, listen acutely to your body and set your expectations much lower to begin with.

A good physio is worth their weight in gold - I did exactly what mine said and was back on the wall within 6 weeks of a rotator cuff injury - albeit doing the easiest climbs and bouldering to get the body used to movement.

Strength came back relatively quickly (weeks), but I was surprised how long it took to recover fluidity of movement and balance (months).
I like climbing - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chrispymocha:
My observation is that finger strength takes a lot longer to lose than arm strength. I agree with the other posts here but if you warm up properly and generally don't rush getting back to your best you should be fine.
Maybe also put your hands in ice after each session for a few minutes, but not for more than a few.
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chrispymocha - on 27 Mar 2013
I would agree that a good physio is worth there weight in gold. This is the second time I have had this op after a dislocation in a couple years and the physio I had first time round was terrible, which I only know now as this time I am having to go to the gym 4x week for various shoulder and stabilisation exercises.
The new guy has given me real confidence that my shoulder should be stronger and more stable after this rehab than it was before the dislocation. :)

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