My Top Tips for Preventing Climbing Related Shoulder Injuries, which occur quite often amongst Progress Oriented Climbers for obvious reasons. A good prevention strategy is key to avoid most short term accidents and long term overloads, both of which can develop into real throw-backs.

The shoulder is a relatively complex joint in the human body, which is emphasized by the amazing range of motion that we as monkeys possess compared to other animals.
On an inner, skeletal level it is held together by a bunch of tendons and ligaments and stuff, in a more distal direction it is sheathed by a great number of muscles, which ensure mobility and protection of the healthy shoulder.
If you want to avoid shoulder injury in general, use those muscles, and use all of them. Warm up properly, and throw in some corrective exercise from time to time. Do not fall into your open shoulder, as this will wear out those inner structures, which take a long time to heal and adapt. Be careful on extreme gaston moves.

Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe if you’ve got something from this video, and I would also like to encourage You to share Your experience with injury in the comment section, as I’m sure a lot of people including myself would like to learn from them as well, so that we can prevent some upcoming injuries from happening Thank you for your attention, see you soon!

Climbing Related Shoulder Injuries : Prevention

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36 COMMENTS

  1. I just had to stay, Mani, I agree with all of this 100%. I have a friend who tore her labrum during a fall where she tried catching herself one armed on a good hold. And recently I tweaked my shoulder repeating a hard Gaston move more times than I should have. I've rehabbed it with stretching, bands and weights, but I'll never obsessively try a hard Gaston ever again and I've made shoulder stretches part of training now.

  2. Looking forward to the follow up rehab vid (hint hint 😉 ) i realise shoulder injuries are often unique and it is a complex subject but i imagine there are many people, myself included who could benefit from more climbing specific rotator cuff rehab ideas. Keep up the good work

  3. Nicely done 🙂 good point on the individual character of these injuries, sadly for me it seems to be an inherited thing after my mother who suffered from really severe shoulder problems and I seem to have these joiints rather fragile as well. I increased the intensity of my trainings from 1-2 times a week to 3-4 times a week after a 3 years period of climbing just for fun and damn, after mere 6 months I realised my shoulders click and creak all the time and got an inflammatory state shortly after pushing it too hard on a boulder problem. The pain would keep me awake at night. I did quite decent warmups and tried to be careful but it just wasnt enough. Now I'm gonna try to get back to climbing after 6 months of rest and corrective exercises and really hope to avoid shit like this in the future. Keep up the good work and wish me luck 😉

  4. Awesome video. You are totally right about the gaston moves. I've recently suffered a minor shoulder injury and have been thinking back to what may have caused it. I thought it might have been over training but then I realized I was projecting a boulder problem where the crux was the gaston move. Thanks Mani for the tips.

  5. I injured my left shoulder during a boulder festival, where I lost my foot in a move and fall on my open shoulder… I manage to match hands and do another move with my left arm, which made some strange noises on my left shoulder joint.
    Next month it was pretty much traversing using my right arm.
    After 2 months I started some physio exercises.
    After 3 months I was climbing again. Started slowly.
    After 6 months I was completelly healed…
    From that day on I started to pay attention to my warm ups, and do some injury prevention routine exercises every day. With patience and perseverance all injuries heal and make you stronger and more connected with your body. THanks for the video!!!

  6. Great stuff! Thanks.

    First of all: as a climbers we have to work on your posture to avoid climbers hunchback! Climbers posture is inward rotated shoulders which leads to shoulder problems at first. I like some of Kelly Starrett books and YT films and "chest up!" 😉

    second: Mani my friend, when I look at your finger nails I see that you need some supplementation with zinc and iron! 🙂

  7. awsome video…i should have watched this before i injured my right shoulder. I was on the beach and there are some ropes hanging from the trees…and i can climb them without feet so i did that but without warmup or any exercise before…and as i pulled i heard something in my right shoulder and it hurt really bad…in the beggining i couldnt lift my arm i would just felt so powerless and my arm would just drop…and now i can properly do like 98% of climbing and its not bothering me that much…but i cant do pushups or plank…it hurts decent amount and its not very pleasing feeling…what do you suggest me do to…bcs plank is really good and effective way of building abbs strength and pushups are just…pushups haha

  8. Informative Video ! Thanks for this one, I'd really like to see that corrective exercices video. Thanks Mani!

  9. Hey dude,

    again a really good video! nice overview about the topic. just one criticism:
    the exercise you do at 7:34 onwards (outward rotation rotator cuff) is poorly executed imo.
    The elbow should be touching your body at all times (but a pice of paper inbetween, if it falls down: wrong!). You will probably have to restrict your range of motion in this particular exercise to achieve this.
    Looking forward to that video on corrective exercises!

  10. I just hurt my leg tendons at Saturday while climbing. What I have learned is – when doing something hard, don't just push, or just pull. Do it either both (push and pull at the same time) or nothing (try new position, jump off)
    Be smart. Instead of pushing your whole body weight on a single leg, place the other foot on the wall, where you'd like a foothold. And help yourself with hands. It's good to have your legs working, but feel other muscles in your body, too.
    If you feel that something's super hard, think about this: take a huge risk and get injuried (that means – not climbing for about a month) or try something easier and kick ass there?

  11. Hi MAni! Great Channel, you are really improving 🙂 Could you do a video about your gear and good accessory & your editing? Would be really great to get a glimpse behind the scenes! Keep on rockin'!

  12. What about dyno's? 🙂 When I first started climbing I often fell into an open arm when landing a dyno, which I then realised – since I've started doing lock-off exercises and deadhangs with engaged shoulders it's gotten much better and I feel I can engage my shoulders much better when I land a dyno… I'm pretty sure it's a source of injury for a lot of people, though! 🙂

  13. yo Mani. Any chance you can do a video on core strength, grip strength for the poor climber who dosent have equipment to aid them?

  14. Thanks mani great vid
    I'm trying to make my YouTube channel grow and my dream is for it to grow as big as yours, any tips for me?

  15. Excellent advice; very well explained and easy to understand. Mani has a better command of English than many native speakers of the language.

  16. Hi mani, another super video, thanks a lot! By the way i want to congrate you to your new name, you could not find a better one😄

  17. Sometimes i wonder about my shoulder because i can rotate my shoulderblade outwards in a very strange way. But only my left one. And when i pull my shoulders back my left one feels like it come out of the jointpocket and when i release it i slides back in.
    When i went to a chiropractor he said that it is no wild thing and that it is just because i can aktivate single muscles in my back like someone who can wiggle with his ears. But i'm not quite sure if i should trust him or if i should go to another dic 😂 But luckyly it never inference me with climbing until now

  18. Thanks Mani, great video. Am looking forward to the shoulder injury prevention exercises video very much.

  19. Thank you Mani, Ive been climbing for about a year now and couldn't figure out why it would just wreck my shoulders this helped a lot!

  20. great video, I can tell you're really improving your shooting, talking end editing skills! keep it up!

  21. One other thing I would add is paying attention to your form. Especially when lead climbing, it's easy to get into the bad habit of disengaging the shoulder muscles (i.e. hanging like a "bag of rocks") while you pause to make a clip or re-chalk. That really wears on the rotator cuff over time.

  22. I'm probably an odd case among climbers in that I'm triple discipline fitness wise. I long distance run, heavy weight train, and climb. I do these things because I enjoy them all but as a consequence of a very active lifestyle I'm always at the edge of over-training and at risk of injury. It took me having a bad year to give up just trying to do everything all at once. Something like, run 3 miles to crossfit, do crossfit workout, run home, go to work, and then climb in the evening would have been common place 4-5 days a week. After a lower back injury (crossfit), a shoulder injury (climbing) and a strained hip flex (running but it's hard to say where I did the damage) I had to get my head on strait and make a workout schedule that had some synergy. I stopped crossfit and adopted a planned controlled lifting regiment (531 if your wondering) with my assistance work being all core and mobility. Running on it's own day and only as far as makes sense given my training week. Finally climbing 4 days a week but a planned pyramid each day 3 of the days and campus training the last day. I still have to balance things week to week drop a climbing day, shorten my run, or combine lifting days as it makes sense for me that week. I guess what I'm getting at is when you love doing stuff it's easy to go to far and we have to learn to know what we can do in a given time frame without hurting ourselves because once you are hurt you will lose a lot more time then just skipping a run or a campus day.

  23. I am really looking forward impantiently for corrective excercises with thera bands!!

  24. Very nice video mani! I think that I have quite strong shoulders too but I ve seen a lot of people dealing with these kind of problem.. Very helpful thanks!

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