Rock Rehab Protocol: Rotator Cuff Strain


This “Rock Rehab Protocol” is designed to take you step-by-step through the entire rehabilitation process

  • Learn how to diagnose your injury with orthopedic tests
  • Choose a rehab category based on your test results
  • Follow the specific protocol for your rehab category
  • Return to climbing at full strength and injury-free


Rotator Cuff Injury Climbing

Understand the signs, symptoms and cause of a rotator cuff injury. Then learn how to determine the severity of the injury, choose a rehabilitation category, and start a self-care program to return back to climbing injury-free.

Step 1: Determine Your Injury

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your physician or physical therapist before performing any assessment or beginning a rehabilitation protocol. 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Dull ache radiating into the back or side of the shoulder.
  • Discomfort lifting objects, especially out to the side.


The shoulder is made up of four rotator cuff muscles. These muscles connect the shoulder blade to the arm bone. The rotator cuff muscles act together as a unit to control shoulder motion. The rotator cuff is weaker than the large muscles that attach the shoulder blade bone to the spine. When you climb with poor posture and pull excessively with your arms instead of climbing with your shoulder blades engaged, you increase the strain on the rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder. Use the videos below as a resource to determine if you have a rotator cuff strain.

Step 2: Choose Your Rehab Category

Use the table below to determine your rehabilitation category based on the results from your orthopedic tests. You will fit into a rehabilitation category (mild, moderate or severe) based on the number of tests that are positive.

Step 3: Start The Protocol

Once you have determined your rehabilitation category, you can begin the rock rehab protocol. The protocols contain a detailed timeline and step-by-step instructions. They utilize a four-phase system to unload the injured tissue, gain full mobility, improve strength and eventually return to pain-free climbing movement. The protocols can either be viewed within the program or downloaded as a PDF.

Reference the companion videos, where professional climbers teach you efficient climbing movement and proper exercise performance.

Any equipment that is used in the protocol can either be bought as a rehabilitation tool or created from retired climbing equipment or household items. If you use retired climbing equipment or household items, it will be referenced in the videos as a “dirtbag substitution.”If you would like to purchase any of the rehab tools, you can find them in the links below:

How do I know if I am Purchasing the Correct Protocol?

It is always recommended to consult a medical practitioner to determine your diagnosis so that you can select the correct protocol. However, orthopedic special test videos are given on the product purchase page to show how a medical practitioner would diagnosis your condition. There tests are supported by research and can provide insight on your diagnosis and condition.

How are the Rock Rehab Protocols Different from the Rock Rehab Videos?

The rock rehab videos are meant to be a companion for the book Climb Injury-Free and provide exercises and movement advice for the 10 most common climbing injuries. The rock rehab protocols are specific to one injury and provide a step-by-step protocol, timeline, and exercise videos that can be used in conjunction with self performed diagnostic tests to help climbers rehabilitate injury.

Can I download the videos and the protocols?

The videos will stream from any device but they cannot be downloaded. However, the protocols and timelines can be downloaded as a PDF or printed.

What is your return policy?

100% refund within 30 days if for any reason you are not satisfied with the protocol.

Get all Six Protocols for $99


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