How to Prevent Climbing Injuries with Stretches
Rock climbing or mountain climbing are without a doubt some of the most fun-filled and exciting activities. Ignoring the risks can however, take all of the fun out of what should be a pleasurable experience. As is the case with any adventure sport, climbing does pose its fair share of risks. Very often, these injuries are caused due to a lack of flexibility in the body, which can occur as a result of muscle and ligament strain, while climbing.
As with most physical activities, exercise can be of much help in reducing the risk of such injuries. A quick warm up before you begin your climb can go a long way in stimulating blood flow to the muscles. This not only energizes you for the activity, it improves your agility, which is crucial in rock climbing. Stretches are usually recommended as an essential exercise in a climbing warm up routine.
Although it is generally believed that stretching exercises can significantly lower the risk of climbing injuries, scientific studies have produced mixed results. It was observed during much of the research that stretching before climbing does not benefit the body during the activity. Yet, one must note that the experiments aimed to study the immediate effects of the activity. It would be premature to dismiss stretching exercises as ineffective when it comes to avoiding climbing injuries however, as many other studies have shown positive results and to some extent the benefits will also be greater to an individual with higher fitness levels.
Enhance Flexibility with Stretching
Stretches as a part of your exercise routine or climbing warm up can greatly enhance the flexibility of body muscles over a period of time. So, although there are no immediate benefits, stretching is of much use in the long run. Rock climbing enthusiasts can participate in flexibility training programs that determine the imbalances or weaknesses in muscles and address them with stretching exercises.
Needless to say, a flexible and athletic body helps you perform better in activities like rock climbing. Your muscles and joints acquire increased mobility and you are able to climb with much greater ease.
Things to Consider
In order to gain the best results, it is important to establish a routine of rock climbing stretches that is best suited for your body. It is therefore crucial to assess specific muscles that may need stretching. It is equally important to choose the right type of stretches.
- Begin by performing a stretch and hold it for a few seconds. If you experience tension or stiffness in certain muscles, those are the less flexible areas of your body. Focus your exercises on these parts to loosen them up.
- While determining your rock climbing stretches it is important to focus on muscle areas that are strained during the activity. Opt for dynamic stretches that focus on the calves, thighs, lower back, and so on.
- Be sure to exercise caution and seek professional aid or supervision. Determine your capabilities and do not exert yourself beyond these, as doing so can cause even more harm than good.
Include stretches in your exercise and climbing warm up routine to avoid injuries, so that you can truly enjoy this thrilling activity.