Rock climbing is a sport that has been gaining popularity over the last few years. The diverse range of movement, mobility, and strength the sport requires makes it appealing to everyone from the weekend warrior to the most serious and dedicated athlete. This fast-growing allure has helped catapult climbing into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The three disciplines that will be included in the upcoming Olympics are sport, bouldering, and speed. Each discipline has its own unique demands varying in power, agility, strength, and endurance naturally inducing risk for both traumatic and overuse injury. In this article, I will highlight the most common injuries seen in rock climbing and demonstrate rock climbing prehab exercises based on research and biomechanics to prevent these injuries.
We will be addressing 3 commonly overlooked front rack mobility constraints and more importantly, 3 ways to fix them. Yes, thoracic extension and shoulder flexion limitations are often times the biggest culprits, but let’s not forgot to address wrist, elbow, and transverse plane shoulder mobility as well.