/ Good climbers, what injury prevention stuff do you do?
Particularly interested in stuff to stop your shoulders and elbows getting sore, but everything really.
What if the best physio is only climbing 6's ? ;)
The best physio might not be climbing at all! I'm just interested in what people actually do in practice.
I'm on the cusp of the 8's (or at least that's what I tell myself ;-) ) I don't have a large sample area but I have noticed the guys getting finger injuries are absolutely crimptastic. That and sloppy footwork - not placing feet precisely, the feet ping off a moment later, the crimps shock load.... etc etc.
I haven't been injured much myself (but others attribute this to being 22) so I can't add much to the conversation other than I'm listening to my body and letting go before I pull too hard too soon. Though I get tweaks here and there as everyone pushing themselves will - shoulders need real attention: high range of motion means unstable and being susceptible to tweaks and injuries. When my shoulder goes funny I'm hoping it goes away soon.
I also remember a few years ago I got pretty bad tendinitis in a wrist (from playing piano) and it affected rock climbing in that I couldn't weight the wrist at an angle. So any hold had to be taken with the wrist straight on which was annoying to say the least... it took about 18 months to disappear and the wrist is back to strength.
I work really hard on keeping my fingers, elbows and shoulders from becoming injured. Have an excellent weekly programme. Climb more or less full time, boulder October to Feb ( 7a/7b), sport and trad rest of the year ( 7c/7c+ .. E4/5) and have had very few injuries. Those I have had have rehabbed well. Sadly don't get up 8's.
Hello! I thought 8s would be a usewful short hand for climbing loads which you obviously do.
Please share what you do!
Each day unless doing max strength / Ancap training.
Shoulders: Use strong theraband to go through the routine shown in Mick Ryan's (UKC) article on shoulders. 3 complete sets of 20 reps. I have added:
1. 3 sets putting band under feet and doing 20 forward and 20 reverse shoulder shrugs.
2. 3 sets 10 reps... double thickness band fixed at shoulder height behind me ends in each hand, walk away from fixing ( pulls arms backwards and shoulder blades together, flex to try to further move shoulder blades).
3. 3 sets 10 reps reverse of previous exercise... i.e. hold band facing fixing, keep feet near fixing, lean back whilst moving arms into crucifix.
Elbows: All 3 sets of ten.
1. Reverse wrist curl ( fairly heavy dumbell 10-15 kg), forearm supported on box or knee, palms facing up... important to lift weight back up with non exercising hand.
2. I have a 1.5 m 5cm diam stick with 1.5 kg weight fixed on it. Hold it and rotate it clockwise from vertical to horizontal, adjusting the grip to just make it possible each time. Repeat with anticlockwise rotations. ( A big hammer would do for this)
3. Same stick 1m cord to pile of weights wind it up wind it down.
Warm them up with a light gripping device or a " Spikey". Also when doing max strength pulls ... don't crimp... chisel ( see Beastmaker site) and I warm up by standing on a set of scales doing sets of 10 pulls increasing load by 10 % each time, ( e.g. 10 St person does 10 pulling to 9St 10 t0 8St etc....)
There are lots of other things that can be done but that's my strategy and it works for me. Might sound like a lot but it can all be done in about 30 mins each day.
Also whatever else... warm up then warm up then warm up progressively before training or climbing.
I suspect that most long term committed climbers will tailor their injury prevention to their own personal weak points. For me it is postural so if my shoulders are getting tight, pushed forward, making crunching sounds and difficult to sleep on I start doing yoga type floor exercises including using a yoga block and push my shoulder against a door post to get it back into alignment. Good shoulder alignment can prevent referred problems in the elbows. Also if something is amiss in other areas I will go straight to the physio as they are better able to sort things out in the early stages. You also get to know who are the good ones.
The best Physio is the one having the most fun.
Thanks very much. A few questions below.
Would you do this before/after climbing?
How do these work? (I've found a few different theraband soulder shrug exercises I've found on the internet)
Are your arms straight and horizontal, like a sort of crucifix position?
Just normal pull ups, ie gripping a bar?
You actually push them back into alignment?
By pushing the front of your shoulder against the door frame?
I do shoulders and forearm antagonists after climbing unless i've had a particularly hard session.... this includes shrugging exercise. Just do normal warm up before climbing.... raise heart rate, loosen up joints, progressively load fingers arms etc.
I do the reverse pull with the theraband with straight arms... feels like it brings my shoulders back and works the back muscles that pull the shoulder blades towards the spine. The forward version of this is like the slings exercise in the " Gimme Kraft " training book.
The finger warm up I do is more of a finger forearm flex to lift an increasing percentage of my body weight. I do this either using a door frame as a small edge or using beastmaker grips. I start with two hands then one handed on each BM grip. Probably sounds a faff but finger paranoia drives me to do it. Would always do this before doing any training that really stresses my fingers.
Just dawned on me today that wrist rolling exercises can be done by rolling a theraband around a stick whilst standing on the free end.... saves tying strings on and changing weights and gives greater flexibility of load.
Not sure how much of this is useful, just my response to the question of what do people do to try to minimise injuries. Much of it is based on the stuff used to rehab injuries working on the theory that it may be useful to strengthen and stretch before something goes pear shaped. I am very old and am probably a bit oversensitive to potential injury as it takes much longer for older folks to heal.
There are alternative indirect ways to do this but I found that I would bend my back to accommodate or not get the correct angle of alignment I was seeking whereas directly leaning my shoulder into a door frame enabled me to more easily get the alignment Im after. Typically I find my lat locking up as I do it. Clearly you need to know what you are trying to achieve and is something I have invented rather than been recommended. The shoulder doesnt hold that exact position after but Ive found it helps. Caveat emptor etc. You did ask..
Thanks for your tips!
Pretty much all climbers climbing hard tend to do a series of warm up routes of increasing difficulty before getting on something they consider hard.
Sore elbows and shoulders are most likely to result from overtraining (not recovering fully from previous workout or session) or continuing a single session when tired which makes you climb with less precision and control.
Although of course it depends on the kind of soreness. Shoulder soreness could be simply muscle soreness. Elbow soreness could be down to something else like ulna nerve which runs from the back down the wrist, so not necessarily the elbows at all.
If you're getting sore elbows every time you train/workout you should probably see a physio to find out why.
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