If you’re a psyched rock climber, there’s really nothing worse than having to take large portions of time off climbing just to rehab injuries.  While climbing injuries do happen, one of your main training goals should be actively preventing and avoiding injuries.  However, an often overlooked form of injury prevention is learning efficient and injury-free movement patters that put less stress and impact on injury prone areas.

To help you learn more about how to prevent climbing injuries through injury-free movement patterns, here’s an article from Climbing Magazine by Dr. Jared Vagy, The Climbing Doctor, in which he outlines some injury-free movement tips.

Ultimately, ingraining these proper movement patterns into your climbing style will not immediately have you climbing the next grade.  However, learning to move properly while climbing will help you climb more fluidly, which, especially when paired with antagonist training to avoid any muscles imbalances, will help prevent injuries.

Dr. Vagy’s Injury-Free Movement Tips

Here are Dr. Vagy’s tips for more efficient, injury-free movement:

  1. Don’t hunch over
  2. Bring your hips into the wall
  3. Straighten your arms
  4. Push with your legs
  5. Climb like you crawl

These five tips may seems super basic.  However, trying to focus on them all while climbing will feel difficult at first.  Stick with it though.  Ingraining these movement patterns into your climbing style will not only help you stay healthy, but will also help improve your technique.

Proper Movement for Injury Prone Areas

Beyond providing you with the above general movement tips, Dr. Vagy also goes into specifics about how proper movement patterns can minimize the strain placed on injury prone body parts.  Specifically he covers:

  1. Shoulders
  2. Writs
  3. Elbows
  4. Fingers

When discussing each of these areas, Dr. Vagy describes how improper movement can place additional stress on these areas.   He then outlines how to correct your climbing form to minimize any unnecessary stress and prevent injuries.  All of his examples are also accompanied by photos that show both “bad” and “good” movement patterns, which makes it very easy to visualize and understand.

Click through below to read the full article yourself, and next time you are in the gym try and focus on improving your climbing form.  Then, if you are interested in learning more about injury prevention from Dr. Vagy be sure to check out his Injury Prevention Guide for more information about how you can stay healthy and stop climbing injuries before they happen.

Full Article: Injury-Free Movement for Rock Climbers

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(Photo Credit: Matt Pincus; @mpincus87; Climber: Katy Dannenberg)

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