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Yoga and rock climbing injury prevention

Blazeyoga2010-07-04 20:29:58 +0000 #1
Hi all. I am a rock climber and a novice Yoga practicioner. I do Ashtanga. I practicised for 6 months then had to take 6 months of to care for a family member.

I was hoping to ask a rather technical question about Yoga and injury prevention for rock climbing and was hoping someone here could provide me with an answer. Below i have included a short summary of the area's i need to strengthen / balance from rock climbing. I currently strengthen these area's with some light weights. Now that i have restarted my yoga practice I am wondering if Ashtanga will work these areas out so i can drop the weights or should i continue to use them?

many thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this rather long post


Climbing uses mostly the "flexor compartment" of the forearm, that is, the finger and wrist flexors. To avoid imbalances i need to strengthen the extensor compartment. (methods include Reverse wrist curls, and resisted finger extension, probably most easily done with rubber bands, they are pretty weak)

Common elbow pain injuries often arise from the forearm pronator teres muscle which gets incredibly developed in climbing. So i need to also work on resisted supination to equalise things.

Also, climbing tends to use elbow flexors and back muscles a lot. I need to strengthen the elbow extensors (triceps) and the chest, to keep things balanced. Lastly i also need to work out the rotator cuff.

InnerAthlete2010-07-04 20:42:58 +0000 #2
Isn't the purpose, or one of the purposes of rock climbing to work these imbalances?

I have a similar debate with my friend who is a functional strength trainer. He claims he is doing weights so that if he need to pick up the groceries or run for the bus, he can. My curiosity wants to know if the running for the bus and the picking up the groceries IS the workout and no preparation is needed for preparation.

But that's not your question, is it.

I am familiar with and have taken the primary series in Ashtanga. In that regard I "know" the postures. But I cannot speak to whether that practice can do what it is you are asking. This is purely an anatomical question and from that perspective there may be certain postures to focus on. More to the point though would be the actions in poses. Those actions would be the ones to strengthen your weakness, as you put it.

However just because we as human beings over-develop our biceps that does not warrant labeling the triceps as a weakness. It is of course an imbalance of sorts. We should not forget that some of our work in yoga is to release muscles we're overworking, rather than just bulk their reciprocal inhibitors. Again another sort of balance.

And finally it should be pointed out that the activity itself is one manifesting imbalance. It is not an accident but rather a choice. I'm not suggesting one should abandon one's passion, whether it's rock climbing, or bull riding, cycling, or golf. But it is choosing an activity inherently imbalanced. And therefore the consequences that come with it are one's we've agreed to, either directly or indirectly.



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