The Germans have crushed it. They put together a resource with a perspective which attempts to counter what they view as the prevailing wisdom of approaching injury prevention through hypertrophic antagonist training. Their preferred method is what they call “adjunct compensatory training” or ACT which seeks to “compensate biased movement patterns and strengthen the structures of the locomotive system which undergo high strain during climbing.”

  • More specifically, they recommend first maintaining climbing-specific range-of-motion (ROM), and then creating more strength and control surrounding that range-of-motion.
  • Even more specifically, they give examples that suggest climbers can compensate around the range-of-motion needs of many common exercises, so they recommend specific exercises with subtle movements which may involve some discomfort.
  • For prevention, they recommend two, 20 minute sessions per week with 1-2 exercises from each grouping category they have. Each exercise has one or more functional “intents” ranging from mobility, to strength endurance, to muscle/strength building, to intermuscular coordination.

They made it easy-to-access by making it online, free, and heavily illustrated. And for that, I’m stoked. You can download a free copy (for the moment) at this link. If the link ever breaks, let me know. I’ll see if I can get permission to post a copy of the PDF. Thanks go to Eric Hörst for first pointing this out to me.

The authors include Dr. Volker Schöffl (MD/PhD), author of the original climbing injury book One Move Too Many, as well as Dicki Korb and Patrick Matros, authors of the popular Gimme Kraft training book.

It should be noted that there are other great resources out there, including Dave Macleod’s Make or Break, Dr. Jared Vagy’s Climb Injury-free, and Dr. Lisa Erikson’s Climbing Injuries Solved. Each of these resources has a perspective and a place in the overall conversation of climbing injury prevention and rehabilitation after injury.

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