Rock climber

Return to rock climbing – prevent new injuries

I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited to get back to my bouldering gym!


However, I’ve already seen an increase in the number of climbers coming in with injuries following their return to the gym.

Whether you’re returning after lockdown or following an injury there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of injuring your fingers and wrist.

Karen Friesen Hand Therapist at Melbourne Hand Rehab at a bouldering gym

1. Use the big power muscles of your body

When climbing you should engage the muscles of your back, shoulders and upper arm to pull you up rather than hanging off your fingers.

2. Reduce the volume or intensity of your climbs

If you’ve had a break from climbing, don’t expect to jump back at the same level you were at before. Your tendons like working at one level and can get irritated by big spikes in the amount of load that they are exposed to. Aim for a climbing session that is shorter or easier than your average climbs when you start back and see how you pull up from it over a 48h period.

3. Don’t work to fatigue

Working to fatigue or failure puts you at risk for further injuries as you’re more likely to make minor errors that add up to something that causes a new injury. I like to aim for an 80% intensity.

4. Warm up

I like to warm up before each session with some body weight hangs, pocket hangs, rice bucket exercises and dynamic stretches.


If you’d like to find out more, or create an individualised plan, you can book in with me online or by phone.



For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166

Karen Friesen, Practitioner in Hand Therapy, Melbourne Hand Rehab

By Karen Friesen