Rotator Cuff Strain Protocol

Rock Rehab Pyramid

The Rotator Cuff Strain “Rock Rehab Pyramid Program” is a step-by-step rehabilitation and injury prevention plan designed specifically for rock climbers who have pain in the back and sides of their shoulders. The goal of the four-phase process is to take you from the pain, inflammation and tissue overload stage to gain full mobility, strength and eventually pain-free climbing movement.

  • How to get out of pain
  • How to unload tissue with tape
  • How to strengthen the area
  • How to avoid injury again

Get The Rotator Cuff Program $10

Signs and Symptoms

  • Dull ache in the back or side of the shoulder
  • Discomfort lifting the arm, especailly 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.

Goals of the Rotator Cuff Rock Rehab Program

  • Learn taping techniques that off-load the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Improve the mobility of the rotator cuff muscles that restrict shoulder motion.
  • Regain pain-free shoulder range of motion.
  • Improve the strength of the rotator cuff muscles in positions of increased challenge.
  • Coordinate the increased mobility and strength of the rotator cuff into climbing specific movements.
  • Emphasize minimizing movement patterns that can increase stress on the rotator cuff.

Get The Rotator Cuff Program $10

rotator cuff strain climbers

The Rock Rehab Pyramid

The Rock Rehab Pyramid was developed by Dr. Jared Vagy, doctor of physical therapy, University professor, and published author. The videos will take you through a step-by-step injury prevention and rehabilitation protocol based on the location of your pain or soreness.

  • Identify where it hurts
  • Access the videos on your smartphone, tablet, or computer
  • Unload, mobilize and strengthen
  • Improve your climbing technique
  • Prevent injury recurrence

Recommended Rehab Tools 

The Rock Rehab Programs were built specifically for rock climbers. It is for this reason that any tool that is used in the program 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.” Below you will see a list of rehabilitation tools recommended for the Rotator Cuff Strain Program.

If you would like to purchase any of the rehab tools, you can find them in the links below:

About the Climbing Doctor

  • Doctor of physical therapy.
  • University of Southern California professor.
  • Residency trained in orthopedics and fellowship trained in movement science, totaling 9 years of concentrated study.
  • Board certified orthopedic clinical specialist.
  • Certified strength and conditioning specialist.
  • Numerous articles on preventing injuries in DPM, Climbing and Climb Magazine.
  • Author of Climb Injury-Free
  • Lectures internationally on injury prevention.
  • The youngest doctor of physical therapy in the country to achieve the level of fellowship training in movement science, publication status and University teaching credentials.

Get All Four Protocols for Just $25

Avoid injuries by following protocols for pulley sprain, shoulder impingement, rotator cuff strain, and neck strain.

Get All 4 for Just $25

Sample Rotator Cuff Strain Videos

These are videos from the actual Rotator Cuff Strain Rock Rehab Pyramid Program.

Rotator Cuff Strain Strength Level 2: Palm-up Band Reaches

This exercise increases the strength and stability of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Strain Movement Advice: Engage, Maintain and Step

This video gives movement advice on how to take pressure off the rotator cuff while climbing.

Get The Companion Book to This Program

The “Climb Injury-Free” book will teach you how to diagnosis, treat and prevent the 10 most common climbing injuries in step-by-step chapters. Learn exclusive injury advice with over 30 profiles from top professional climbers including Adam Ondra, Sasha DiGiulian Sean McColl, Jonathan Siegrist and many more. Now you can utilize the system used by thousands of climbers worldwide and see the results for yourself.

  • Prevent climbing injuries before they happen
  • Learn how to rehabilitate the 10 most common climbing injuries
  • Discover the 30 incorrect movement patterns that cause injury
  • Train smarter and climb stronger in a fraction of the time
  • Push your ability to the next level without getting hurt

Climb Injury-Free Cover