Return to climbing carefully!

EDITORIAL

Tuesday, 2 March

As we found that a lot of climbers have not been climbing during lock down we asked physiotherapist, researcher and 8a member, Gudmund Grønhaug, Insta if there are anything to consider when returning to climbing after a break. Currently he is doing a research including a questionnaire on training and injuries during the quarantine and/or corona restrictions.

"First of all it is important to remember that all structures in the body, muscles and ligaments are weaker after a break. Most people know and understand that they will have weaker muscles, but also tendons and ligaments will be weaker after a long break. When returning to climbing the muscles will gain strength faster than the tendons and ligaments. In practical terms, this means that those who quickly return to climb on their previous level are taking a huge risk of getting injured!"

How to avoid injuries when returning to climbing?
Spend a bit more time to train smart, do not rush it and focus more on footwork and technique, regaining the psyche and climb more on easier routes than you would do in a normal year.

Climbing easy routes will not return the strength?
That’s true. To make a successful comeback it is important to train strength by bouldering or working some cruxes on the routes you want to do. But trying to send hard should not be the focus of the first two months of climbing. It is a long time to wait if you feel strong, but going out hard and getting injured will influence the rest of the season! Training wisely and returning to the previous level slowly will make you stronger and better prepared for the rest of this season, and the next. Going too fast at the start will end the season before it even began!

Sounds difficult to climb with the breaks on if you are feeling strong?
Yes! Try to think of this as returning from an injury! Not being able to climb is pretty much the same as having an injury. It takes time to recover and get back into shape again. Two months of careful climbing may sound a lot, but that is what it takes to get back to previous strength for the tendons and ligaments. The muscles will be stronger after 2-4 weeks. The hard part of this return phase is to feel strong but not try your hardest on the projects. Which means that week 2-8 after returning to climbing is where a lot of climbers will injure themselves if they are not taking care!

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