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/ ARTICLE: Lattice Training Series - Part 6: Finger Injuries (LIVE Q&A)

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UKC Articles - on 29 Nov 2018
Tendon Glides are a great low load exercise for finger injuriesAs a climber, if you are regularly pushing yourself and trying hard, it is likely you will get a finger injury at some point. The only people I know that seem to not get them, are those who have been climbing from a young age and very gradually built up their climbing level, never pushing themselves too hard. It is well known among climbers that finger injuries are without doubt the most common injury, and this has been reflected in climbing specific literature (Schöffl et al, 2003; 2012; 2015; Jones and Johnson, 2016).

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Skotch85 - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Read the book by Schöffel "One move too many". A good summary on the topic.

In reply to Skotch85:

> Read the book by Schöffel "One move too many". A good summary on the topic.

Yes that book is worth reading! 

In reply to UKC Articles:

I will be checking this thread up to 9pm, so if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. 

 

sbentley - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Sam Radcliffe (Lattice Training):

These are only indirectly finger injury related but I’ve two questions:- 

1. Are you aware of any “mapping” of required finger strength to grades (eg if you can hang 10 seconds on an x mm edge that would usually be enough for grade x) and, if so, would it ever be the case that you would advise someone not to bother too much with finger strength training as the person is constrained by other factors or is finger strength so central that no matter how strong someone is relative to their grade more strength will help. 

2. I often feel like my fingers aren’t failing on climbs but I’m kind of giving up due to a (semi subconscious) fear of injury blocking giving a true 100%. Is there some way to train for this?

Thanks

 

 

  

In reply to sbentley:

> 1. Are you aware of any “mapping” of required finger strength to grades (eg if you can hang 10 seconds on an x mm edge that would usually be enough for grade x) and, if so, would it ever be the case that you would advise someone not to bother too much with finger strength training as the person is constrained by other factors or is finger strength so central that no matter how strong someone is relative to their grade more strength will help. 

There are a number of statistics Lattice have given out in the past on around how strong your fingers need to be for a given climbing grade (but this varies depending on height weight and gender).  Lattice assessments give you some great information on where your finger strength is in relation to your goals. I think training finger strength is a key part of anyones training but the emphasis of it may vary depending on your goals and your periodisation. 

> 2. I often feel like my fingers aren’t failing on climbs but I’m kind of giving up due to a (semi subconscious) fear of injury blocking giving a true 100%. Is there some way to train for this?

It is good to train on the grip types you feel most at risk on. Start very easy with a light load and build up strength by completing hangs using that grip adding weight/load as you go. A fingerboard is a really good way of doing this (check out the Crimpd app for some finger strength sessions, its free). As your strength improves you will find yourself using the holds that felt "risky" before and not even thinking about it. 

Hope that helps!

 

L Steve89 on 29 Nov 2018

Are there any reasons that would make someone particularly prone to pulley injuries? I’ve been climbing for 5 years, and after my first injury have always made an effort to warm up properly. I traverse around, climb easy routes, do some gentle hangs. Generally spend around at least 30 mins warming up before trying any harder routes. However I’m constantly plagued by pulley injuries, 5 in the last 2 years. I have friends who just rock up to the wall and jump straight on v6-8s and never seem to get injured. Generally climbing around 7b /v5-6 ish if that’s important. 

sbentley - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Sam Radcliffe (Lattice Training):

Thanks. Very helpful. When you say you released the finger strength stuff does that mean it is somewhere on your website (I did do a quick search) or is this only available if one gets an assessment?

 

thanks again 

Steve Crowe - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Sam Radcliffe (Lattice Training):

Hi Sam

I have developed on issue in my hand.

I have become aware of a soreness in the heel of my right hand. It appears to be related to my ring finger.

General climbing is mostly okay but the finger board appears to aggravate it.

 

In reply to Steve89:

Hi Steve,

It's great that you are spending some time warming up properly! Make sure you build up intensity slowly and finish with some higher effort hangs.

It is important to have good strength in a number of grip positions. It you are the type of person who over relies on crimping everything then this could mean you could potentially overload the pullies that are used in that grip position. If this is the case I would really try to focus on improving your open hand and half crimp strength (it takes time but you will benefit from it). You will find you can use an open hand on holds that you used to have to crimp on. Spreading the load to other area of the fingers. This will also make you a better all-round climber. It is worth mentioning though there is nothing wrong with crimping and we all use it on certain holds and when we are pushing ourselves. 

I have also found that people who tend to be of a heavier build or are very strong in there upper body but have not climbed for a long time are more prone to getting finger injuries. 

Make sure you are regularly stretching and completing other exercises to help look after your fingers (see article for some suggestions). 

In my opinion using a fingerboard appropriately to help increase the strength of your fingers is a really great way to help reduce risk of injury as well. 

Make sure you are not dehydrated when climbing. 

Adequate nutrition + protein for recovery.

Train consistently with overload. Sporadically having really hard sessions is not the best. 

Have short high quality sessions and don't climb till exhaustion. 

Do not become fatigued enough that your fingers start to open up on holds (high risk!!)

Try to avoid foot slips and holding uncontrolled dynamic moves to small holds (potential overload). Work on your foot technique if this is the case. 

In reply to sbentley:

There is a video here that talk a bit about finger strength and testing. https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/lattice_training_-_testing_finger_strength-10065

You would need to get a Lattice assessment protocol to get the results. 

In reply to Steve Crowe:

 

Hi Steve,

To be honest it could be a number of things!!

The heel of the hand is where the tendons of the little finger and ring finger pass behind the Hook of Hamate (these can sometimes become aggravated with lots of undercutting)? 

In the palm of your hand you also have the Lumbrical's which can be torn and be difficult to clear up... 

Are there certain grip positions that aggravate it more/ less? 

To be honest it might be worth getting it assessed by a health professional near you if its been hanging around for a while. 

Steve Crowe - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to Sam Radcliffe (Lattice Training):

Thanks Sam

I looked up Hook of Hamate and that looks exactly like to spot of soreness. My recent project had a crux move on a small right hand undercut, so that could have caused it.

I will try to avoid undercut and anything that aggravates it but if it doesn’t clear up I’ll see a physio 

Meanwhile I can read up on it.

cheers

In reply to Steve Crowe:

No worries. Glad you have found it useful! 

 


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