Working on your weaknesses is one of the most rewarding things you can do to boost your overall climbing ability.
Ask yourself why you are overly focusing on aretes or crimps, is it just super fun, or are you working on your strengths? After my labral injury, I myself am a poor overhang climber... I really suffer on the easy stuff (which makes it even easier to train).
On to the Weakness Quiz:
What are your biggest weaknesses in climbing?
___ Training/Life Balance
___ Route Finding
___ Over-Attacking (Pushing too hard, past the point of what your body can handle)
___ Core Weakness
___ Climbing through Injury
___ Training Schedules
___ Mental Training
___ Additional: ___________________________
Note: Clients are suprisingly perceptive. Usually you innately know what needs work and where to focus. Sometimes it just takes some added learnng to create the complete package.
Now we are honing in and can focus our skills work here. Even if you feel these areas are unrelated to your injury, they should be knocked out so you don’t have another one in a new region.
Most climbers ramping up volume too soon to put themseves at risk. Intermediate and advanced climbers training for a trip are in this category but new climbers are more susceptible to injury as they tend to overgrip, and have yet to use their legs to full benefit. Drills help all of us, we can focus on technique or skills and wait for the injury to heal.
Newbies- Since you’re on a lower level of difficulty than a seasoned athlete, you won’t be as prohibited if you aren’t allowed to do specific moves that many climbers spend all day repeating over and over.
For those of you that are gurus, now is the time to take a newbie out and give him or her some skills and training while your healing takes place. Try vertical if you are an overhang addict, or hit slab if everything else irritates your injuries. Unweighting it while we go through the short healing process is most of the battle. It shouldn’t be a long-term thing.
Check any of the following that you have
experienced in the past 12 months:
___ Do ever catch yourself overgripping on the wall?
___ Do you commonly pump out early in your climbing session?
___ Uninjured, do you tend to not use certain fingers due to weakness/fear?
___ Do you tend to get injurted towards the end of a climbing trip?
___ Are you more likely to get injured when you are tired or dehydrated?
___ Do you tend to get addicted to certain holds and primarily climb them?
___ Do you get injured more so on overhangs?
___ Do you feel like you pull harder to make up for a weak shoulder?
___ Have you ever had neck pain during a climbing move?
___ Do you tend to repeat the same difficult move over 5 times in a row?
___ Do you wake up at night with clenched fists?
___ Do you wake up with curled wrists?
___ Do you get headaches or jaw pain from climbing?
___ Does your chest cave in or do you have rounded shoulders most of the day?
___ Do you clench your fingers or hand before you pull with your arm?
How you use your time dictates how many injuries you will have. These are all things to think about and to work on if you sense an issue with them. Oddly, few of my injured athletes are trad or crack climbers and the majority are boulderers or high-end sport climbers. Here is why- If you are injured while bouldering, chances are it’s very hard to heal fingers, hamstrings, and shoulders because it’s such a dynamic and power-focused style of climbing. It’s also hard to heal while you continue to climb overhanging and steep features with a new injury. You are also prone to injury. Perhaps choosing easy slab or more gently angled sport climbing while you are in the first phase or two of your recovery program. Once it’s not as easily aggravated, then you can go back. If you are able to avoid provoking the injury that’s fine; if it just can’t heal, you need to change it up.
Note: This excerpt is taken from Climbing Injuries Solved Chapter 2: Injury Quiz and is but 2 questions in a long line of notes about what truly makes you tick and how you arrived at your dilemma. The quickest way to heal you up is to find those missing windows of self-care (or those provoking things you do at work or while sleeping) which keep you from healing.