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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Finger swelling from crimping? 1-Aug-2005 At 10:22:46 AM CJ
Off on a bit of a tangent, but related to the crimping vs open hand debates that often spring up when injury topics appear.
More often than not these types of injuries occur when
a/ The forces encountered are greater than the climber is used to (adapted to perform through climbing / training)... perhaps pushing for that elusive new level.
b/ Under conditions of fatigue. Either acute fatigue where technique has dropped off and you try to muscle / crimp through... the lowest common denominator approaoch. Or more long term fatigue where the climber has not allowed sufficient time for adaptation / restoration to occur.
c/ Where the specificity of training and climbing do not parallel one another... train in the gym on steep openhanded problems then try to climb vertical crimp fests.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it does highlight some key points. Training for anything is built around a stimulus response model. Provide a stimulus (training) and a response follows (adatation to training!). This does hovever come with a catch... and shows how responsive we are as adaptive creatures... all this potential for adaptation is hugely specific and largely determined by the joint angles used in the activity. Climbing is not a crimp only activity... and nor is it an entirely open handed affair. We use hand joint angles from open palm through to the tightest nail removing crimp. These ALL need to be addressed for the climber to adapt to the demads of the sport.

The often quoted comments that you should not crimp or train crimp strength because it is a "dangerous" activity or the forces are too great are misguided. Indeed you should train all climbing encountered joint angles... with sufficient attention to training exposure, subsequent recovery and long term progression. Given these "rules of engagement" you give all the structures affected time to adapt hopefully this translates into better climbing performance

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