Summit Warriors
March 14, 2020
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#1 Cause of Rock Climbing Injury

Author: Administrator
Have you ever suffered a rock climbing injury? If you are like most rock climbers the answer is a resounding yes. You see rock climbing can be very hard on your body especially if are not doing the things you should be. Before we get into all of that let's talk about some common rock climbing injuries.

-Climbers Elbow
-Strained or pulled finger pulleys (most common pulley injury is the A2 pulley)
-Injured Hamstrings
-Shoulder injuries

Now all five of these rock climbing injuries can put you out of commission for weeks or even months, not too mention I have seen rock climbers who had to literally have surgery to heal from these injuries. Now if you are like me and you go through withdrawals from not being able to climb, you don't want to get injured. Especially when a majority of time you can prevent the injuries in the first place.

Let me explain. Most climbers do a lot of things that don't protect them from injury. Now I do not have time in this article to go through that entire list but I will point you in the right direction for more information if you would like. In this article I am just going to talk about the #1 cause of rock climbing injury.

So what is the #1 cause?

Above and beyond everything else this one thing is by far the major cause for rock climbing injury. A drum roll please...a simple as it may seem the #1 cause for climbing injuries is not warming up and cooling down properly. Now before you completely dismiss this and stop reading now let me explain. This is really important, trust me I know after being injured and out of climbing for nearly 6 months a few years back.

Our bodies are capable of doing many great things, but when we look at climbing we see our bodies having to do very brute, powerful, and unorthodox things. We are heel hooking, mantling top outs, dynoing for holds, snatching up tiny crimps and monos, etc. All of these things can be very hard on the body especially if your body is not warm.

Did you know your body can perform better by 20% or warm when it is properly warmed up? You probably didn't but it is true when we take the time to properly prepare our body it is ready for the task at hand and will perform even better.

Not too mention by warming up and cooling down your body your decrease your chance of injury dramatically.

So how should you warm up?

I use a several steps and recommend you do the same. Start by doing some jumping jacks, jogging, running in place, or any form of cardio to get your heart rate up and your blood moving. You only need to do about 5 minutes of this.

After the blood is moving I recommend you do some light stretching. Start with some shoulder circles, neck rolls, and forearm stretches. Be sure to breathe deeply during your stretching and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Stretch out all the muscles in your upper body including your hands and finger joints.

Don't forget to stretch out your calves, hamstrings, and quads. A lot of climbers don't even bother with this and that is why when they need to do a powerful heel hook their hamstring hurts for days on end.

After your stretching it is important to do some moderate routes for your ability before you try anything really hard. This will help you loosen up and prepare your body for the demands you will place on it.

After you do a couple routes do some additional light stretching and now you and your body should be ready to go.

After climbing hard all day be sure to do at least one easy route and stretch everything out once again. If you are able to do some light jogging, hiking, or even some jumping jacks after your climbing session. This will cool the body down and disperse the lactic acid in your forearms to help recovery.

I know this might seem hard for some but this little bit of extra work will keep you climbing injury free and keep your body in better health. Not too mention you will be able to climb harder and longer.

So the choice is yours if you want to improve your climbing while protecting yourself from injury follow my advice. If not don't come crying to me when you cannot climb.


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