Greg Conlon is a soft tissue therapist, sports injury practitioner and full time belay slave to his son, Rhys. He is always available and happy to answer questions when loitering at Craggy.
“When I am climbing at Craggy I constantly meet new people every time who need to discuss the pain in their shoulders. As a therapist who came to climbing late after 30 years as an athlete I can totally understand where they are coming from.
In my experience, almost all shoulder injuries in amateur climbers occur because of an imbalance in strength between chest musculature (the squeeze and press muscles), the latissimus dorsi (the pulling ones that strong guys like me rely on because my footwork is rubbish) and the shoulder stabilisers under, over and between your shoulder blades (the hold you close to the wall ones).
The result is typically irritation of the supraspinatus tendon in the shoulder which gets worse and worse until you can’t raise your arm above your head.
The obvious way to prevent/fix this is to improve your technique; a bit of coaching or input from your more experienced climbing buddies can go a long way to helping with this. As well as that, mix up your climbing styles – doing too much of the same thing is a sure way to injure yourself.
In addition, a little judicious strength training is a good plan. I encourage use of a suspension trainer to correct muscle imbalances. They are cheap, portable and super easy to learn. 10 mins pre climbing is smart to “activate” shoulder stabilising muscles. Bigger work outs are best on non climbing days.”
Greg is offering FREE workshops at Craggy Guildford on this very thing during January:
Monday 15th of January – slots available between 10am and 12pm & 8:30pm and 10pm
Friday 19th of January – slots available between 5pm and 8pm
Sunday 21st of January – slots available between 10am and 12pm
For more info, availability and to book please contact Greg via his Facebook page – GCSportInjury.