With all the talk in the training community about injury prevention, it can seem like overuse injuries are the inevitable outcome of hard climbing and training.  However, this attitude is missing the most important part of injury prevention and that’s the prevention part.  With a little bit of consistent work and a focus on improving climbing mobility not just strength, you should be able to avoid overuse injuries all together.

To highlight the importance of climbing mobility, here’s an article by Andrew Bisharat of Evening Sends in which he interviews physiotherapist, CrossFit coach, and author of Becoming a Supple Leopard Kelly Starrett about all the things climbers can be doing on their own to improve mobility.

“Spoiler alert: my shoulders feel totally awesome now! I had no surgery, received neither blood transfusions nor prolotherapy, and had no far Eastern treatments involving dubious mushroom powders and stimulation of life meridians. I didn’t give up gluten or coffee, and I never took any trips to a chiropractor or a massage therapist.”

“I fixed myself in about 10-20 minutes a day over four to six months. Much more importantly, I learned a lot more about what it means to create stability through a range of positions, how to practice that stability through weight training, and why it’s so, so important to continue to maintain your tissues on a daily basis.” – Andrew Bisharat

Climbing Mobility Tips from Kelly Starret:

Bisharat shares these climbing mobility tips through sharing his own journey out of chronic shoulder pain, but ultimately Starret’s advice doesn’t just apply to shoulders and is more about changing how we think about strength.  The key, according to Starret, is to focus on improving mobility so that we can express strength through a full and healthy range of motion.

To help you work on this yourself, Bisharat and Starret discuss a wide range of topics that include:

  • Training and diagnosis
  • How overuse injuries are our own fault
  • The difference between lack of mobility and a tear
  • Icing injuries
  • Warming up
  • How we are probably hangboarding wrong
  • Resting before performance days
  • Glucosamine and CBD Oil
  • Tools we can use to work on climbing mobility

Do yourself a favor and click through below to read the full article.  Then, take the next step and starting working on your own mobility.  This article isn’t going to give you a magic set of exercises that promise injury free climbing, but listening to its message about changing how we approach mobility and strength is a great first step towards continuing to climb for years injury free.

Full Article: Evening Sends – Climbing Mobility with Kelly Starrett

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(photo courtesy of eveingsends.com)

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