Vogue magazine published an interesting piece in their fitness section on rock climbing. The Climbing Doctor was quoted in the article saying "There are over 30 muscles in the hand, wrist and fingers alone," explains Jared Vagy - a Los Angeles based physical therapist who specializes in climber "These are essential to grip onto smaller holds."
The majority of climbers waste their time performing useless exercises to improve climbing performance and end up injuring themselves. Most training exercises don't reflect the position or the demand on the body while climbing and therefore don’t translate into meaningful climbing improvements. In order for an exercise to carryover to climbing the body position must be similar to climbing.
Dr. Jared Vagy and Steve Bechtel collaborated on an article that breaks core exercises for climbing into four fundamental rules based on movement. Sasha DiGiulian demonstrates the most effective way to utilize these rules during abdominal training.
Adaptive climbing competitions, known as paraclimbing, have made huge strides nationally and internationally. This table was used in the Adaptive Climbing Book by Paradox Sports to educate competitors on proper movement patterns to reduce injury rates.
When I first started climbing I would spend long days training as hard as possible. I thought for sure my climbing would improve exponentially. But it didn’t. So I trained even harder. Over time, I started feeling some soreness in my shoulder and fingers. I ignored the discomfort and climbed through it. Eventually the soreness [...]
The 'pop' of a finger is most commonly associated with a fully ruptured pulley, but a silent strain or partial tear can be almost as debilitating, requiring weeks or months of rest and recovery. This is one of the most common climbing injuries, but, luckily, it can be prevented by changing your movement patterns and practicing some targeted physical therapy exercises.
Carpal tunnel syndrome used to occur in office workers after spending hours compressing their wrists typing at the computer. Now it is becoming common in climbers because of the repetitive use of the muscles in the front of our wrists to grip holds. These muscles are called our wrist flexors. Underneath the wrist flexors runs an important nerve named the median nerve. Often times when the wrist is in a flexed position repetitively, such as working a climbing project with a lot of slopers, the median nerve can become compressed underneath the muscles in an area called the carpal tunnel. This can cause numbness, pain and weakness in the hand.
This article teaches the cause of outside elbow pain in climbers. It depicts how the position of the wrist while grasping handholds plays a large role in the stress at the elbow. An exercise using a FlexBar is introduced to help strengthen the tendons on the outside of the elbow.
This article teaches about the cause and treatment of belayer's neck in climbers. It discusses how to align your body properly while belaying to minimize the stress on the neck. Neck strengthening exercises such as chin tucks and standing belay tucks are described.
This article shows you how to properly warm-up prior to climbing and is based on the latest research. The warm-up is broken into four stages. The first stage is "on the wall" and uses the entire body to generate warmth while mirroring climbing positions. The second stage is "rotation" which uses circular movements to warm-up the joints. There third stage is "upper body" which uses dynamic stretching to warm-up the primary muscles used climbing. The fourth stage is "wrists and fingers" which targets the smallest muscle groups with tendon glides.
This article teaches the cause of rotator cuff strain in climbers and an exercise that can be used to prevent it. It illustrates the dangers of climbing with ams rotated in and describes how this places a greater amount of stress on the shoulder. A wall slide exercises is introduced to activate the muscles in the rotator cuff.