• Coming Back From Injury
  • Get Trip-Fit Fast
  • Systems Wall and Symmetrical Training
  • Coaching Climbing - How To Train Juniors with Care and Caution
  • Grip Trainers - Gimmicks, or Worth the Money?
  • Hangboarding for Endurance: Not Just for Power
  • Simulation Training: How to Do a Move You Can't Do
  • Planning a Year's Climbing
  • Portable Training Rigs - How to Stay Fit on the Go
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Suspension Training for Rock Climbing
  • Eat Fat, Climb Harder - The Ketogenic Diet
  • Witness the Mental Fitness: Set Thought Aside to Improve Performance
  • Mental Training Made Simple
  • Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 2
  • Endurance Training Tips for Winter
  • Five Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 1
  • Staying Power - How to Last All Day at the Crag
  • Attack and Defend - Tips for Effective Resting
  • Change Up - Plug the Gaps In Your Strength Training This Winter
  • Training While Injured
  • The Hard Way, Easier: How to Cope with Redpoint Nerves
  • Climbing Literacy - Get Better Instantly by Reading Routes
  • The Numbers Game - How to Use Your Age to Your Advantage
  • Injury-Free Bouldering: 15 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Strong
  • Injury-Free Boarding: 14 Training Tips to Save Your Fingers
  • The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard?
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock - Three Strategies to Prevent the Pump
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Phase - Peaking
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 7 - Power Endurance Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 6 - Endurance II
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 5 - Strength and Power II
  • The Training Effect - Steve House and Scott Johnston
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Gutbusters - Core Exercises for Rock Climbing
  • Rest ... or Else
  • The Intuitive Approach to Training
  • Free Climbing Tips: Why Get Stronger When You Can Get Better?
  • Crank Like a Russian - How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • How to Improve Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • How to Use a Hangboard
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
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    Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!

    By Neil Gresham

    I have a recurring elbow injury. I know how to fix it, but how can I stay strong while it’s healing? I am keen to do more core-stability work but am getting bored of base-building and doing easy laps immediately after it heals. To what extent can you cut this short and move on to training power?

    —Alan Barnow, Glasgow, Scotland

    The right response is indeed to increase the level of core-stability training. I have seen spectacular examples of injured elite-level competition climbers maintaining their performance with this approach. There seems to be some weird, unexplained phenomenon here, and most coaches agree that doing high levels of non-specific training will help you hang onto your specific strength and fitness during a layoff. Better yet, these climbers often return to a higher level after resuming just a few weeks of specific training. Now is your chance to make a real difference in your performance by turning yourself into a proper athlete.

    With core-stability work you need decent recovery time to make the best gains. Start by training day-on, day-off, and start with endurance sessions for core, then switch to strength after two or three weeks. Do three or four sets of 20 to 30 reps for endurance and five or six sets of six to eight reps for strength. After a month you will be able to recover sufficiently to consider training two days on, one off by doing strength sessions for your core on day one and endurance on day two. Pick your exercises carefully and avoid ones that hurt your elbow. A variety of floor exercises [see www.rockandice.com/coreexercises] such as the plank and the iron cross should be OK for your elbow provided you do them with your palms flat on the floor and not on your fingertips. Exercises such as sit-ups and dorsal raises are the best for not aggravating climbing injuries, so stick to these alone if you experience any elbow pain. You can also train your antagonist muscles in the same session (antagonists are the oppositional muscles commonly not worked in climbing). For example, do push-ups or dips for the chest, shoulders and triceps, but only twice a week. These sessions will reduce the chances of future injury and you should endeavor to keep them going once you resume climbing training. The ideal combination is to do core and antagonists in the same session on one day and then cardiovascular and flexibility training the next day, then repeat.

    Regarding your return: You are tempting fate by proposing trimming down the base-building phase. I know repeating routes can be tedious, but try giving yourself a series of technique prompts such as “silent feet,” “straight arms,” “relaxed grip,” “twist-in” and “steady breathing.” Not only will they help you stay engaged mentally, but it can make a massive difference to your technique.

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