Since the Olympics, climbing has rapidly grown in popularity, especially in Bristol. As access has been easier than ever with five climbing centers within a ten-minute drive of the city center, it’s important to understand the best ways to prepare your body and maximize your climbing sessions. Whether you boulder, sport climb or go on trad adventures, this blog will give you an insight into helping you climb for longer and injury free.
Some of the most common injuries whilst climbing pulley tears, golfers/tennis elbow and ankle sprains. Due to the nature of climbing the main injuries result from impact or overuse, however following some of our best tips there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury.
Climbing is an exciting and challenging sport that involves strength, creativity and a lot of skills and it is common to see climbers rush into a session without adequately warming up. However, this can result in injury or a shorter session from being too tired. Therefore, completing an effective warm up can reduce the risk of injury and prepare your muscles so that you can climb longer. The most beneficial warm ups involve pulse raisers (jogging/skipping), active mobility (wrist rolls/shoulder circles), muscle activation (shoulder shrugs/banded rows) and progressive climbing starting on the easiest blocs and slowly increasing the difficulty. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to practice techniques and prepare the mind for the creative aspects of climbing.
Equipment and Landing zones
Although it seems obvious, ensuring that you have and use the right equipment can make climbing a lot safer. From ensuring the correct shoe size, checking the quality of your equipment to clearing landing zones, doing appropriate checks is a great way to keep everyone climbing happily and for longer. Whether your inside or out, a cluttered landing zone (chalk bags, water bottles) can result in injury and time away from injury.
This is an area of climbing, I think everyone can admit to not doing enough. It’s so easy to suddenly have ten attempts at a single climb or a single move within a short period of time without giving the body time to recover. However, ensuring proper rest between attempts or between climbing sessions can allow the bodies energy systems to recover and mean that you can feel stronger on your next attempts/sessions increasing your chance of success!
Remember, always listen to your body and ask yourself, “am I recovered and ready to climb?”.
Completing some easy climbs and stretching at the ends of the sessions are great methods of cooling down and allowing the body to recover. Even 10 minutes of stretching at the end will help develop your flexibility and potentially reduce the soreness felt after training.
Seek a coach/physio if required
Climbing is a great community sport where there are always people to ask for advice/help. In most climbing centers there are qualified coaches available to help you develop your skills, improve the efficiency of your movement, and understand training for climbing. However, when pains appear or muscles feel tight, it is always a good idea to seek a physio to help not only recover but also to prevent any injuries from occurring.