3 Simple Rock Climbing Stretches!

Our Physiotherapist, Simon Kelly said that he was passionate about treating shoulder injuries. So I took him to the Cliffhanger Indoor Rock Climbing gym in Vancouver this week and showed him what a good shoulder work out looked like for me. This is what he had to say after the work out.

Hi Everyone, It’s Simon Kelly. This is my first time here at the gym with Wil. I just want to give you 3 stretches that you want to do for rock climbing. Stretching your forearms are very important, stretching the shoulder and especially stretching out the lats - That’s the most important thing. There will also be videos to follow. Cheers Everybody.

This is stretch will help ease the tight forearms! Start with the elbow in a bent position. With the opposite hand, fully extend the wrist and fingers. Then straighten out the elbow and hold this for 30 seconds and repeat 3 sets. The overuse tendinopathies that occur in the medial elbow can be caused by overly tight forearm flexors. This is very common in rock climbers or golfers.

To stretch out the right rotator cuff muscle, place a non-stretchy strap with your left hand over your head and behind your back. Reach the right hand behind your back to grab the strap. Reach as far up as you can towards your limit but avoid tilting your shoulder forward. Stabilize the front of your right shoulder by placing it against a corner or a door frame and step the left foot forward. Hold tightly with your right hand and pull the strap upwards with your left. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets. Doing this stretch daily can help increase the mobility of your stiff shoulder if you’re experiencing shoulder impingement pain due to a tight overuse Supraspinatus Rotator Cuff muscle. It’s also great to do as a warm down stretch when it’s abnormally tight and stiff.

This stretch will help open up the latissimus dorsi muscles. Start by holding onto a bar or pole that is anchored down or a door frame at shoulder height with your right hand. Then, step your opposite foot slightly forward and your right foot back. As you bend your right knee down, lean your body weight backwards and feel the stretch into your lat muscle. Hold it for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on each side. This is a muscle that becomes overly developed and tight in rock climbers! It can cause non optimal movement patterns in the shoulder which can then lead to varying degrees of shoulder dysfunctions.