Climbing is a high demand sport. No question about that. When looking at other sports that are such high demand it is protocol to run through some form of warm-up. All too many times I have gone down to on of Brisbane’s Climbing Spots, Kangaroo Point cliffs and witnessed people just rock up, set-up their gear and get right into their climb. We have all been there, myself included. We’re time crunched, with no time for anything but pumping out a few climbs, right? Sometimes you’ll start with an easier climb, but for the most part no warm up required….
And this is how we set ourselves up for injury.
So why is warming up so important?
Prepares you physically and mentally for the climb by:
- Increasing blood flow to the muscles
- Increasing body temperature which increases tissue elasticity and thus increasing joint/muscle range of motion
- Increasing neuromuscular co-ordination (muscles will fire in the pattern appropriate to climb)
- Helping you get your head in the game
How to do a proper climbing warm-up:
- Do a general warm up to get your blood flowing and your temperature up: jog, skip, jumping jacks, body weight lunges and squats
- If you feel restricted somewhere after your general warm-up you can do some dynamic stretches for the area. This type stretching is done with movement that will prepare the muscles to work rather than relax them into a state they don’t function optimally. Similarly, muscle releases can increase range of motion without affecting strength or performance. NO static stretch prior to climbing. *note static stretching and release work is definitely encouraged post climb!*
- Bouldering/easy climbs practicing various holds and moves you expect to use climbing that day. Brisbane Climbing at KP has a range of climbs so you can build into your work out.
A good warm up is key to getting things working from the start and preventing injury!
Other Factors to help Prevent Climbing Injury
Being properly hydrated
Getting enough sleep to allow adequate muscle healing/regeneration
Proper Nutrition: adequate carbohydrate, protein, vitamin C and E