Training antagonist strength is an important form of climbing injury prevention and should be considered part of every climber’s training routine.

However, according to The Climbing Doctor Jared Vagy most climbers misunderstand how to strengthen their antagonist muscles and even what constitutes an antagonist muscle.  To help clear up this confusion, Dr. Vagy just published an article on this topic.

First, Dr. Vagy describes the three types of muscle contractions:

  1. Concentric
  2. Eccentric
  3. Isometric

In doing so, Dr. Vagy illustrates how because of the complexity of climbing movement just about any muscle can act as an antagonist or an agonist.  Its just a question of which muscle groups we use the most and which need to be targeted for specific training.

He then goes on to describe how the type of contraction a muscle typically undergoes during climbing will determine how it is trained:

Based on how a muscle is used while climbing should determine how it is trained. When training the triceps muscles, they should be targeted with eccentric exercise. This is how the muscle is typically used when climbing at the end ranges and under high load. However, when training the shoulder blades and wrist extensor muscles, they should be targeted with isometric exercises. Understanding muscle function during climbing and mirroring the muscle actions during training will make your exercises more effective. This will allow you to climb even harder and injury free. – Dr. Jared Vagy

Read the full article by clicking through bellow!  Injury prevention and antagonist training are not the most fun forms of training but doing them and doing them correctly is extremely important for keeping you climbing and climbing healthy.

Also, if you are looking for more help on how to keep climbing and stay injury free, check out our Injury Prevention Guide by Dr. Vagy for more in-depth information and exercises.

Click Here: Training Antagonist Strength for Climbing

(photo courtesy of

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