When it comes to climbing and especially to training, climbers are spending more and more of their time climbing in indoor gyms.  While gyms are the perfect place to hone your skills, there are some important differences between indoor and outdoor climbs.  One of the most critical is that unlike outdoor climbs where the rock determines the holds and movement, indoor climbs are created by route setters.  What this means is that a skilled route setter can not only set challenging and fun climbs, but can also minimize the risk of injury through skilled route setting.

To highlight the role of route setters and how they can help prevent injury, here’s an interview Dr. Jared Vagy, The Climbing Doctor, did with professional route setter Chris Danielson.

“With creating specific movements, route setters also can be aware of common strains on the muscles or tendons that can create injury.  Some gyms or route setters will strictly limit the use of small pockets entirely, for example, as some believe pockets may be more likely to cause tendon or pulley issues.  Anything that involves a proportionally high degree of strain on one particular area during a movement, are things both route setters and climbers alike can take caution with.  This could be something simple like pulling most of one’s body weight on a very small crimp, or it could be more full body movements – a hard drop-knee or a shoulder-press above the head.” – Chris Danielson

Inside the Route Setting Interview

Chris Danielson is one of the top American route setters having set for competitions on both the national and international level.  In this interview with Dr. Vagy, he goes into his thought processes for both competition and commercial setting.  He talks about everything from how he visualizes the route or problem he is creating, to setting climbs that will be of relatively equal difficulty regardless of height.

Danielson finishes the interview by talking about the steps he takes when setting to ensure he is creating safe climbs that minimize the risk of injury.  This interview is definitely a worthy read for anyone anyone who route sets be it professionally or on a home wall.  Click through below to read the full interview

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 Interview: Route Setting to Prevent Injury with Chris Danielson

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(photo by Berti Willer; courtesy of theclimbingdoctor.com)

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