Alternatives to Climbing When You Have an Injury

by Tom Markiewicz on March 3, 2009

As climbers, we’re always getting injures – that’s just part of the game. Hopefully your injuries are minor; but when an injury makes you stop climbing for an extended period of time, another outlet is needed for all that obsession.

ClimbingNarc has an injury and recently asked on Twitter for some suggestions on non-climbing activities for climbers. I then re-tweeted this and collected the following interesting responses (after removing the jokes!):

Jefner try #kayaking, it’s great crack.

EDWARDSCHMIDT Fly fishing > equally as compelling once you figure it out

boulderdiaries Snowboarding and that’s about it for me

bdestrempes Lots of biking, swimming and tennis for me

SectioDivina Kayaking, crossfit, breaking, jiu-jitsu.

sudarkoff I am doing yoga (Ashtanga) regardless of whether I can or cannot #climb. And it keeps me healthy and being able to climb!

mmoris when unable to #climb we need to go to work ;-) otherwise, snowboarding, hiking, photography, etc.

thepurpleflower yoga, indoor or outdoor cycling

Andif I like to use my mountain bike, I notice the difference on rock overs, I certainly notice if I don’t

trailsdotcom when our fingers are too torn up to climb, we love slacklining and disc golf. Wait, is drinking a physical activity?

lavala No running? I guess yoga, but I prefer running in the off season.

stepan interestingly enough skiing helps me climb

alliebrock mountain biking, power kiting. That’s mine #climb

climbingsponge Go on an off-trail hike that involves scrambling.

sugardayfox I’d vote for swimming (especially free style) as it is a great way to train/flex your antagonists for your back

tcabeen pull-ups, push-ups, core work. That’s all I got.

DivaMissT yoga!

Edmundhilarious Slacklining.

I’d like to add that due to my recent injuries, I’ve found that snowboarding does the trick for me. As a long time skier, I started learning to board this year and the steep learning curve is just what I needed to keep my mind off climbing.

After looking at all these suggestions, what makes a good on-climbing activity for a climber? I think the following sum up the criteria:

  • Challenging – combines some of the same mental plus physical challenges as climbing
  • Does not use oft-injured body parts from climbing (hands, upper-body)
  • Not seasonal (we get injured year round right?)

What do you like to do on rest days or when you’re unable to climb due to an injury?

  • JP

    Telemark skiing and road biking. Yum.

  • The Adventure Channel

    Snowboarding and mtb!

  • Ryan

    We should go riding sometime Tom!

  • jobo leisure

    How about kite buggying? you even get to sit down!

  • Tom Markiewicz

    Ryan – absolutely! I’m getting a new board this week, so anytime starting next week I’m in!

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