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Topic - Strength Plateau and Tendonitis

Simos on 11 Oct 2013
I've recently started indoors climbing again after a couple of years off but this time, as I haven't got a partner to go with and I enjoy it more, I exclusively do bouldering.

When I used to top rope/lead, I had some tendonitis (pain mainly above the elbow on both arms) but since I started bouldering it has returned and gotten worse. I tried taking a break (4 weeks) and it did get better, however as soon as I started climbing again it came back in the first couple of sessions.

Since then I've been training all the antagonistic muscles more and it seems to help (at least I am well enough to climb) but I can't really push very hard as it does get painful, especially on slopers or any movese that needs some arm pulling or strength. As a result I feel that I've hit a plateau since I'm limited to easier problems.

Any advice on how I could keep progressing while working around tendonitis would be great. I don't think stopping for any period of time will make it better.

Some ideas that I had:

1. Try to give up bouldering for a bit and start top-roping on self-belaying machines. (I am assuming here that top roping will be kinder than bouldering). Not sure what this will achieve though as even a break didn't help.

2. Stick to bouldering but work on routes that I am weak at and in particular those with very small holds so that I can't pull too much with my arms.

3. Keep doing very easy problems that don't tax my arms too much and start complementing this with some strength training that doesn't hurt e.g. tried some campus boarding last night for the first time and it didn't seem to aggrevate things as I couldn't really bend my arms much.

Any other ideas? Would really appreciate some advice especially regarding campus boards as I have avoided them like the plague up to now but I think I might have been wrong in thinking that I'd get more injured, assuming I am sensible and take it slowly.
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