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Injury Prevention for Advanced Climbers

Injury Prevention for Advanced Climbers

Common does not mean “Normal”. Never confuse the two. You will talk to many climbers with similar injuries, especially in the upper extremities. We start to see said problem as part of climbing. It isn’t. The difference between elite athletes in any field, and recreational athletes is NOT that elites learn to “tough it out”. They learn to be smart about getting help, injury prevention, and listening to their bodies. Pay attention to how your body is coping. Don’t ignore it; this is a losing battle. It will win by shutting you down if it needs to stop an activity. Pain is a warning.

read more
Injury Prevention for Intermediate Climbers

Injury Prevention for Intermediate Climbers

Think about ways of incorporating stretches into your workday. Each one only takes a minute. It’s better for your mind and body to take these breaks at work, and it helps cut down the amount of time at the gym.

More range of motion available, means a longer muscle from which to recruit strength! Healthy motion means more strength, not just more functional, healthy tissue. Strength and flexibility DO NOT compete with each other! To have one is not to sacrifice the other.

read more
Injury Prevention for Beginner Climbers

Injury Prevention for Beginner Climbers

I work with a ton of climbers. I see all ages, all levels of climbing, and a wide variety of injuries amongst them. I see who injures, at what grade, and usually, WHY. I see what climbing styles injure what body parts. Pain has three general causes: (very basic explanation here for my fellow clinicians).

Pathology, which we cannot always control in spite of our best efforts to prevent it. This includes cancer, genetic disease, etc.

Trauma, which you can only control to a point; accidents happen.

Poor mechanics or poor technique when it comes to sport.

read more
Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Advanced Climbers

Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Advanced Climbers

In the U.S., we are just starting to recognize climbing as a sport worthy of sponsorship and funding by the nation you may someday represent. As I write this, climbing has just premiered in its first Olympics in 2021! Already the rules and competition will change for the next summer Olympics in 2024. This has started to open the door to financing for the first national training facility, coaching, physio, nutrition, and the entire village it takes to keep athletes at this level healthy, happy, and injury free.

read more
Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Intermediate Climbers

Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Intermediate Climbers

At this point in your climbing, you will need to start setting specific goals. “Get better” is NOT specific. Are you training for a trip? How should you structure your training to meet your goals? What are the training priorities? What climbs shut you down and WHY? What does life outside of climbing look like? What time of year should you rest or train hardest? What’s at risk of injury for your body type? What is your climbing style and what are the things you avoid? Are you training for bouldering? Trad? Sport? Alpine?

read more
Self Assessment & Goal Setting for Beginning Climbers

Self Assessment & Goal Setting for Beginning Climbers

During each phase of your climbing, the priority changes. And, your goals will change as well. For beginners, I recommend you work on mental aspects of climbing. Focus on the skills in the skill section of my blog (link here). Focus on improving your body awareness, especially breathe work.  Focus on keeping minimal upper extremity use.  Focus on core tension during movement. Focus on lower extremity pushing. Focus on calm and controlled movement, even if you feel a fall coming. Learn to fall like you did as a toddler.

read more
At Home Strength Training for Runners

At Home Strength Training for Runners

When you’re training at home, variety helps! Hill climbing is all about glutes. We use hamstrings for speed on the track. Downhill runs can often result in foot fractures and patello-femoral issues when we are in our quads too much (putting the breaks on vs controlling eccentric motion with hips).  Mastering glute and posterior chain endurance is great for distance runners; we use high rep strength training for you!  

read more
Strength Training for Advanced Climbers

Strength Training for Advanced Climbers

I’ve said it in previous posts, but it bears repeating. “Difficult” is great! There isn’t any point to an exercise that isn’t hard. Pain is never OK. Modify, or have someone observe painful movements to see what’s wrong; don’t push through it. The things that are hardest for your ego, are likely the things you need to work on. The stuff you avoid is what you need to keep on you work out list.

Be specific with your training. Be mindful of goals and stay prioritized. There are only so many hours in each day. Eliminate the “easy” stuff on your workout plan. To advance exercises, try it on one foot or one hand. Try it on an unstable surface like a BOSU, or cushion. Try it with eyes closed. Do it with a climbing cone, ball, or cylinder.

read more
Strength Training for Intermediate Climbers

Strength Training for Intermediate Climbers

In all my years of working with athletes, this is one of the areas with the most questions and confusion (nutrition is at the top). Movement science (kinesiology) has come a LONG way. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers during workouts. There are protocols for everything and it can be tough to figure out who the reliable sources are for your questions. The answer is… there is no wrong answer, really. Anyone that tells you there is a perfect number of sets & reps is LYING to you! Whatever reps & sets you choose are based on YOUR goals, YOUR body needs, YOUR injuries, YOUR current project. Your body does not know math, so don’t get consumed by it.

read more
Strength Training for Beginner Climbers

Strength Training for Beginner Climbers

Posture. Posture. Posture!  As an injury prevention specialist, my goal is get you functioning properly first, then strong and flexible.  If you can’t maintain a neutral spine for a minute, how can you pull from that mess and expect that something isn’t going to break down in the chain of weakened links? 

I usually have beginners start with a basic movement screen on the ground.  I’m not so much looking at the movement as much as I’m looking at HOW you accomplish it. What muscles are you using?  Did you stay balanced and stable?  Was it graceful?  Was it painful?  At the end of the assessment did I cross my arms, end up shaking my head, and saying “PLEASE make it stop.”? 

read more
Injury Prevention for Advanced Climbers

Injury Prevention for Advanced Climbers

Common does not mean “Normal”. Never confuse the two. You will talk to many climbers with similar injuries, especially in the upper extremities. We start to see said problem as part of climbing. It isn’t. The difference between elite athletes in any field, and recreational athletes is NOT that elites learn to “tough it out”. They learn to be smart about getting help, injury prevention, and listening to their bodies. Pay attention to how your body is coping. Don’t ignore it; this is a losing battle. It will win by shutting you down if it needs to stop an activity. Pain is a warning.

read more
Injury Prevention for Intermediate Climbers

Injury Prevention for Intermediate Climbers

Think about ways of incorporating stretches into your workday. Each one only takes a minute. It’s better for your mind and body to take these breaks at work, and it helps cut down the amount of time at the gym.

More range of motion available, means a longer muscle from which to recruit strength! Healthy motion means more strength, not just more functional, healthy tissue. Strength and flexibility DO NOT compete with each other! To have one is not to sacrifice the other.

read more
Injury Prevention for Beginner Climbers

Injury Prevention for Beginner Climbers

I work with a ton of climbers. I see all ages, all levels of climbing, and a wide variety of injuries amongst them. I see who injures, at what grade, and usually, WHY. I see what climbing styles injure what body parts. Pain has three general causes: (very basic explanation here for my fellow clinicians).

Pathology, which we cannot always control in spite of our best efforts to prevent it. This includes cancer, genetic disease, etc.

Trauma, which you can only control to a point; accidents happen.

Poor mechanics or poor technique when it comes to sport.

read more
Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Advanced Climbers

Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Advanced Climbers

In the U.S., we are just starting to recognize climbing as a sport worthy of sponsorship and funding by the nation you may someday represent. As I write this, climbing has just premiered in its first Olympics in 2021! Already the rules and competition will change for the next summer Olympics in 2024. This has started to open the door to financing for the first national training facility, coaching, physio, nutrition, and the entire village it takes to keep athletes at this level healthy, happy, and injury free.

read more
Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Intermediate Climbers

Goal Setting & Self Assessment for Intermediate Climbers

At this point in your climbing, you will need to start setting specific goals. “Get better” is NOT specific. Are you training for a trip? How should you structure your training to meet your goals? What are the training priorities? What climbs shut you down and WHY? What does life outside of climbing look like? What time of year should you rest or train hardest? What’s at risk of injury for your body type? What is your climbing style and what are the things you avoid? Are you training for bouldering? Trad? Sport? Alpine?

read more
Self Assessment & Goal Setting for Beginning Climbers

Self Assessment & Goal Setting for Beginning Climbers

During each phase of your climbing, the priority changes. And, your goals will change as well. For beginners, I recommend you work on mental aspects of climbing. Focus on the skills in the skill section of my blog (link here). Focus on improving your body awareness, especially breathe work.  Focus on keeping minimal upper extremity use.  Focus on core tension during movement. Focus on lower extremity pushing. Focus on calm and controlled movement, even if you feel a fall coming. Learn to fall like you did as a toddler.

read more
At Home Strength Training for Runners

At Home Strength Training for Runners

When you’re training at home, variety helps! Hill climbing is all about glutes. We use hamstrings for speed on the track. Downhill runs can often result in foot fractures and patello-femoral issues when we are in our quads too much (putting the breaks on vs controlling eccentric motion with hips).  Mastering glute and posterior chain endurance is great for distance runners; we use high rep strength training for you!  

read more
Strength Training for Advanced Climbers

Strength Training for Advanced Climbers

I’ve said it in previous posts, but it bears repeating. “Difficult” is great! There isn’t any point to an exercise that isn’t hard. Pain is never OK. Modify, or have someone observe painful movements to see what’s wrong; don’t push through it. The things that are hardest for your ego, are likely the things you need to work on. The stuff you avoid is what you need to keep on you work out list.

Be specific with your training. Be mindful of goals and stay prioritized. There are only so many hours in each day. Eliminate the “easy” stuff on your workout plan. To advance exercises, try it on one foot or one hand. Try it on an unstable surface like a BOSU, or cushion. Try it with eyes closed. Do it with a climbing cone, ball, or cylinder.

read more
Strength Training for Intermediate Climbers

Strength Training for Intermediate Climbers

In all my years of working with athletes, this is one of the areas with the most questions and confusion (nutrition is at the top). Movement science (kinesiology) has come a LONG way. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers during workouts. There are protocols for everything and it can be tough to figure out who the reliable sources are for your questions. The answer is… there is no wrong answer, really. Anyone that tells you there is a perfect number of sets & reps is LYING to you! Whatever reps & sets you choose are based on YOUR goals, YOUR body needs, YOUR injuries, YOUR current project. Your body does not know math, so don’t get consumed by it.

read more
Strength Training for Beginner Climbers

Strength Training for Beginner Climbers

Posture. Posture. Posture!  As an injury prevention specialist, my goal is get you functioning properly first, then strong and flexible.  If you can’t maintain a neutral spine for a minute, how can you pull from that mess and expect that something isn’t going to break down in the chain of weakened links? 

I usually have beginners start with a basic movement screen on the ground.  I’m not so much looking at the movement as much as I’m looking at HOW you accomplish it. What muscles are you using?  Did you stay balanced and stable?  Was it graceful?  Was it painful?  At the end of the assessment did I cross my arms, end up shaking my head, and saying “PLEASE make it stop.”? 

read more

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