If you have ever been injured, you know that one of the most frustrating parts is not knowing if you are gaining strength and progressing in your recovery.  The reason for this is that it can be very difficult to quantify strength when it comes to small muscles like those of the rotator cuff.  As a result, you don’t really know if the rehab or injury prevention work you are doing is actually working.

However, while it is still advisable to seek professional medical attention for serious injuries, using a simple and cheep luggage scale it is possible to easily and accurately quantify the strength strength of these small muscles.  Here’s an article by Dr. Jared Vagy, The Climbing Doctor, that will show you how.

“I work with a lot of climbers internationally and many of them want to know how to quantify their muscle strength to determine muscle imbalances. I used to tell them that they had to fly to Los Angeles to see me in the clinic so that I can use my expensive equipment to quantify their strength. However, with technology advancing so quickly, testing muscle strength doesn’t have to be so difficult.” – Dr. Jared Vagy

How to Quantify Strength Using a Luggage Scale

In this article, Dr. Vagy explains how to use luggage scale to test the strength of the rotator cuff (he has another article coming up that will explain testing finger strength).  The blog post is complete with photos and videos to show you exactly how.  Click through below to see exactly how it works.

Additionally, Dr. Vagy explains how testing in this way is a good form of readiness monitoring to determine whether or not you are fresh enough to climb or train.  Ultimately, using a luggage scale in this way simply gives you another tool to be more scientific and deliberate in your climbing and training.  With such a cheep price tag ($10-$18), it’s definitely worth a shot!

More from Dr. Jared Vagy:

If you like what you see here from Dr. Vagy, be sure to check out the Injury Prevention Guide he wrote for us.  It is full of detailed information and practical advice about how to prevent all kinds of climbing injuries.

Full Article: Dr. Jared Vagy – Using a Luggage Scale to Quantify Strength

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(photo courtesy of theclimbingdoctor.com)

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TrainingBeta is a site dedicated to training for rock climbing. We provide resources and information about training for routes, bouldering, finger strength, mental training, nutrition for climbers, and everything in between. We offer climbing training programs, a blog, interviews on the TrainingBeta Podcast, personal training for climbing, and nutrition for climbers.


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