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Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information
Training The Finger Extensors For Rock Climbers

Rock climbing is a challenging sport. However, training for climbing might be an even more challenging endeavor. To rock climb well requires developing strength, endurance, power, mobility, and sport specific skill. Moreover, it requires developing all of those areas for the entirety of the body due to the whole body nature of the sport. However,...

Closed Kinetic Chain: Unlocking Shoulder Pain For Climbers

Introduction Climbing is a physically demanding and exhilarating sport that requires a combination of strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Unfortunately, when injuries to the shoulder occur some elements of good shoulder function tend to be negatively impacted. With any good Physical Therapy program, the compromised elements are found and targeted with exercise to restore function....

Why Every Rock Climber Should Strength Train

Strength training is not utilized by rock climbers enough! While many people assume that strength training is only for building muscle, showing off the biceps, and being able to campus better, there are numerous additional benefits that directly carry over into improving your climbing performance. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of...

Medial Elbow Pain in Rock Climbers

Pain to the elbow is very common among climbers and is one of the leading causes of time away from the sport. The most likely areas of pain are to the lateral elbow or medial elbow. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for elbow pain.   Medial epicondylalgia (also...

Improving Core Strength for Climbers Using Eccentric Exercises

Many abdominal strengthening exercises focus on the concentric phase of contraction. For climbers this is important, but often the abdominals have to activate eccentrically. To review: a concentric contraction occurs when a muscle creates tension while it shortens and an eccentric activation occurs when a muscle creates tension while it lengthens. Think about what your...

How to Best Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility for Rock Climbers

Joint stiffness in the thoracic spine can be a significant contributor to neck, upper back, and shoulder pain in rock climbers. The high muscle demands and repetitive pulling down movement of climbing often leads to excessive thoracic kyphosis, internally rotated shoulders, and a forward head position. If left untreated this can lead to long term...

What’s the best way to recover between rock climbing attempts?

When performing near your upper limit, multiple attempts on a single climb is crucial for optimizing sequence and to improve strength specific to that route. In climbing, recovery between individual attempts has a huge impact on climbing performance. The quality and effectiveness of your recovery are just as important as the climb itself. Let’s take...

Finger strength has been shown to have the greatest impact on climbing performance. Without adequate grip strength or endurance the larger muscles of the upper body cannot produce adequate force to complete a climbing movement. Rock climbing creates unique demands for the forearm muscles taxiing both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. On average, climbers...

It is estimated up to 10 million Americans participate in either indoor or outdoor climbing activities.  Research documents 4 to 5 injuries per 1000 hours of climbing participation and each climber can expect 1 to 2 injuries over a climbing career (Backe et al. 2009).  These injuries can be either traumatic or overuse in nature. The...