Injuries and Medical Advice

Tips for Climbing While Rehabbing Your Crappy Elbow

Photo Jan Novak

1. Crimp less, open-hand more. Crimping loads the wrist flexors more than any other grip position (with the exception of big sloper holds that are common in gyms). The flexor carpi ulnaris is the most commonly afflicted tendon (along with pronator teres). For lateral epicondylosis, avoid pinch-grip training.

2. Train smart. As long as you maintain intensity and duration, fitness can be largely preserved for several months even when you drop training frequency by 80 percent. This huge drop in volume can make healing attainable without you becoming a fat frump. An exercise physiologist can help you here.

3. Although you may think ongoing use of the campus board will solve the conundrum of what to do with your feet, it may be the one thing you can’t do because it pushes your muscle-strength gains too fast, causing elbow injury. Fingerboards are just as bad.

4. Projecting is great in many regards, but none of them relate to your elbows. As the great Kenny Rogers once sang, “Know when to walk away. Know when to run.” If your elbows are sore, better to run.

5. Cross-training is a great way to create and maintain your strengths without all the usual overloads that cause injury.

6. Buy your Hottie some flowers or a new ice tool, whatever blows his/her hair back—great good can come of such things for reasons less difficult to understand.

This article appeared in Rock and Ice 238

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