I’m looking for advice for chronic finger injuries and how to proceed. In the last 2 1/2 years I’ve had three micro tears in my A4 pulley and 1 strained A2 pullet. ( left ring, right middle, right ring x2 )
Couple of background notes - 36 years old climbing 4 years, primarily boulderer. ( V5-V7 indoors and outdoors ) 5”11” 180 lbs
I workout / train tue/Thur/sun - and stick to 3 days of climbing/training even during performance phases. Normal training session is 2-3 hours.
I’ve had limited hangboarding due to the chronic finger injuries. If I supplement hangboarding and reduce climbing I’m concerned about weight going up because not working out enough. I can hold the smallest hold on metolius hangboard fairly easy with 10lbs.
Any advice on how to strengthen fingers to avoid chronic injuries. I believe my injuries are caused by overuse and potentially weight to strength ratio. ( Muscles stronger than tendons )
Is it safe to proceed and start the bouldering training while rehabbing fingers ( after mandatory time off ) ( took 6-8 weeks for the micro torn tendons, 1 week for strained A2 )?
Last Edit: Jan 29, 2019 7:48:16 GMT -7 by bjones625
Others here will have far more knowledge and advice than me, but I would feel that as you were a late starter to the game, your tendons simply cannot be strong enough to pull as hard, as your other physical/technical parameters will allow.
Prior to taking up bouldering did you do any grip intensive activities? Most climbers start at an earlier age, and progressively build tendon strength over many years. Most importantly they are building this strength in a period when the body is more able to supply the resources to build strong tendons.
That is not to say you cannot do it in your current life cycle, just that progression will ne slower. Perhaps rather than hitting V5-7, you should concentrate on amassing huge mileage on V4-5, to let you fingers build up to your technical ability.
1) Hangboarding. Follow the protocol listed in the Rock Climbers Training Manual. Start with weights much lighter than you think you should use. Your fingers and tendons will get stronger slowly and safely
2) If you're worried about gaining weight, eat good healthy food and not too much of it. You will gain weight by eating too much. Exercise plays a much smaller role in weight loss than nutrition.
3) I wouldn't take "time off", but would instead focus on rehab via the hangboard. I believe that good active rehab is almost always more beneficial than taking lots of time off.
+1 to everything Chris said. I always seem to find tweaks during time between training seasons but they always get resolved during a few dedicated hangboard cycles. Like Chris said start off really light and give yourself lots of time to build up to your PR, like at least a month over the course of several workouts. Loading your fingers in this controlled way does a lot to help them rehab and gives you a good excuse to really focus on things like full body core tension and shoulder position during hangs.
If I actually had a real finger injury at the very least I would consider buying some power fingers or something similar to start with to train the extensors. Dr. Jared Vagy's book on climbing injuries is worth looking here is a link to some good info on his website.