Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rest is training!

Revisited: In French, there is a lot more instructions about these types of information as it turns out. I was speaking with a good French climber. He climbs 8b and V10 and trad hard climb in his town of Serre Chavalier. He said it takes 3 years for tendon and ligament be stronger enough to get beyond V6 or 7. My answer to that is freeze theraphy every rest day and it is working out nicely. My fingers feel wholesome and not run out.

I increased the rest to two days that I am climbing more intensely. I don't have real expectations where I will go with this as long as I don't have chronic injuries.

I do this routines according to SCC, aka Self Coached Climber.

Fingers are doing good. I load them carefully and generally don't load statically and excessively. Every time I load my hand, I flick my wrist and stretch hand to flush. I give Adam Ondra the credit for this little amazing trick. Left shoulder and elbow are doing better with stabilization exercises. I should do little flush trick on them as well.

I am afraid to push my fingers too much. But instead of exclusively pulling on fingers, I engage forearm and upper arm into the hand hold. It could mean I don't keep my arm dead straight but at an angle.

But most of improvements and injury preventions come from foot work. I have enormous trouble where I need lots of shoulder stability and strength. With stronger core, it is surprising that I can make moves I was not able to make in the past.

I feel I need to be patient at the moment. I need to wait for the rest of deeper muscles to develop with techniques. I need good positive motivation like "with good approach and training, I made some hard moves and sustained climbing and it felt good instead of obsessing and getting discouraged."

The Self Coached Climber - The Bible for climbing so far. I hope someone betters it.

I ordered it and finally received it. Starting reading it, most of time, climbing is something I do not read about. I hate reading books on how to in sports.

In the past, I bought sports get-stronger recipe books and pick them up and down. This one is pretty readable as Dave Mcleod said. I have books I would give away because they just don't do it for me; giving me incremental approach.

It is almost like learning alphabets, learning how things fit and giving me understanding of directions and approaches I need to take.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why do my articles repeat themselves?

Why do I revisit same injuries as they are new? Well, they are new.

You change one thing. It is different. Change amount of climbing from weekend to a few days at a time. Change to higher grade. Change your habits and try new techniques that you have not mastered.

Two things affect injuries drastically; angle and amount of climbing. Injuries are reactions. They flare up again and again. I call them weakest links. Elbow problem now is not exactly the same as elbow problem of the past. In the past, wear and tear of multiple days of climbing lower grade, weakest link fails first. My current elbow problem is muscle inbalance resulting in excessive stress on the weakest link.

This is the reason Dave Mcleod promotes deep learning instead of taking quick recipes. There are few reasons why this approach causes injuries.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Elbow and Shoulder

Injuries tell you about what you are doing wrong. Like most people, I rely on pull strength. My elbow and shoulder injuries are from muscle inbalance and past injuries.

I over train pull muscles with poor techniques; foot works and hand use.

Answers are training of opposing muscles. Check out the article by Ali Rainey. Ali has a bunch more articles in the web site. She really has a system worked out. Basically in climbing, one tends to over train pull muscles and you injure yourself. In order to avoid, one needs to train opposing muscles. For every action, there is reaction. Injury is a reaction. More comprehensive exercises are found in this article.

Have you seen climbers whose shoulders are warped forward? It is because muscles are tightening and pulling them forward. The answer is simple push-ups or press-ups in England.

Second answer is massages. There are several massages of various affected places. I found out these massages; self massages. It loosens and warms and breaks down and promotes circulation. End result is just as good as Dave's freeze therapy. But little I did is already helping me.

I have a tender shoulder. Techically, it is an unstable shoulder. I have injured and dislocated in ski accident and since then, my shoulder joint is loose; stretched tendons. You need to do certain exercises to stabilize. Lie on your side and keep your elbow on your waist. You can keep a towel under it. Use 2-3 pounds weight. Lift it without lifting elbow; basic rotation. Do 10+. It is like fanning movement. Rotate your wrist and do some more. Then rotate wrist once again in different orientation and do some more. Just keep doing these light movements. This warms up and makes all your shoulder muscles work together. If you use heavier weight, your muscle inbalance will continue and your shoulder will be unstable.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lazy Method Revisited

Are you making progress?

If there is one hard lesson I learned, don't rush into hard training. You get beaten and the body blues sets in.

Be gentle and nourishing. Take it slow and enjoy more with less. Not enjoy less with more. I see beginners headlong into V1 and V2 and getting discouraged. I see climbers making same mistakes and powering through eventually hurting themselves. You need to learn to crawl before running. As far as vertical world is concerned, you can't even make a few steps.

Keeping yourself motivated no matter what level you climb is the name of the game and FUN.

Proper rests are golden. It is easy to train without a break, a proper break.

Putting them together, warm up properly, train gradually, be gentle. Enjoy yourself. Motivate yourself. Cool off properly. Eat well. Rest well. Don't go back without proper rest.

That keeps you injury free and stronger and happier.

Ben Moon sayz; A little and often. Be patient and let it happen. It is no good if you are not happy.Just climb, climb and climb

Francoise Legrand sayz; Not too fast, not too slow. Sometimes fast sometimes slow. I will do mental tatoos of these words...

Elbow and Shoulder

It started suddenly; tiny and bothersome dull soreness in my elbow and shoulder. I was expecting them. Result of overtraining? Not. Read on.

I read one article by Nicos and then a few more by Dave Mcleod. More I read, there were many things I am doing wrong; my techineques rotten techniques. I did not know how stretch to the elbow! There are two different ligament tears; Golfer's elbow and Tennis elbow. Or they are called tendinosis and tendinitis better known as golfer's elbow and tennis elbow; dull persisting pain or sharp temporary pain. Stretching your elbow is actually stretching your pronator part of your forearm; twist your arm so your thumb points downward, keep twisting, grab it your hand with your other hand, and gently twist more with your other hand. Pronator is top portion of your forearm. Stretching it will stretch elements of your elbow.

How do you prevent? It is said climbing statically generates higher peak stress than dynamic climbing. Dynamic climbing is not the same as dynamos. Dynamic climbing can be described as dead pointing. You have a path and you make moves and letting go at the same time. Here are what pros have to say. Lynn Hill mentions dynamic release or simultaneous releases. She makes a move through releases not catches. Others elaborated in making a habit of stretching your hand after each move and shaking tension out. Some mention letting go high stress point; hand or foot holds to lower stress situation. Keep your hand hold with least amount of force. Instead of crimping, use friction. Instead of using hands at all, let forearm do the work. Bigger, the better.

Let's decipher this hand hold least force business. If you look at your forearm, bottom part is bigger and meatier than top part. If you cock your wrist, you engage the top part and it does not last long. If you relax your wrist, you engage bottom part and it lasts longer. If you don't engage wrist, there is no tension in either parts of your forearm. If you don't engage forearm or wrist, you engage your skeletal structure and shoulder muscle. You can rest and linger. But you can't swing on your shoulder as your shoulder will become unstable. Your next bet is to engage without cocking your wrist. Best yet, you should build "micro shakes" between each move to shake tension and stress out.

One needs to exercise pronator muscles and strengthen forearm. The forearm is just as complicated. Pronator is a set of muscles enabling you to rotate your arm as you have it extended in front and twist your hand. One exercise is to grab a stick and rotate it slowly from side to vertical. Then resist its falling back to side.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rest Oriented Training

So, for the time, my mantra is to have fun and get stronger and improve endurance. It has been super fun with good warm-up, stretches and cool off. I think I am building a routine course that keeps me injury free and flexible with good amount of power. My training is to see how far I can go from "rest oriented training with intensity exercises."

I did develop some sore or pain spots; deep back muscle rushing into exercise without deep stretch, tenderness of big toe from improper foot work. I am learning new stretches. I treat my toes and feet just like hands; stretching each digit and ankle stretch.

My training at the moment consists of; learning new techniques, body tension exercises and bouldering.

The same technique is not same given angle of the rock. I am working on techniques; center of gravity awareness, instinctive climbing style, and precise foot works. Learning new tricks is not easy as I have bad habits. Bad habits are; sagging, hanging on arms without proper feet, over grip, pulling instead of pushing, and bent arms.

I am doing various exercises; limited iron cross, calisthenics and v-up.

But actual climbing is the best exercises. I like to use slopers and big holds to toughen soft tissues and to increase power and to bring techniques.

I think I need to do ; touching every holds with feet and climbing without pulling. I have been sharing some of these with other climbers.