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Climbing / School / Stretches Upper Body
Stretches Upper Body
Stretching the upper body after a climbing session is very important indeed and should become a routine for every climber. Not only will stretching improve flexibility and range of movement within the upper body, it will also help relax the muscles, speed recovery and help prevent aches and pains the following day. Stretching should be used as part of a warm down routine (see warm down article).
Types of stretches
There are thousands of different types of stretches that can be used for the upper body, I have chosen a select few that I use in my own warm down routine which I feel include all the main muscles used in climbing and the main muscle groups.
All stretches should be repeated twice for each muscle group and held for between 15 and 30 seconds. Please refer to guidelines for stretching for more in-depth information.
All of these pictures show the left side of the body been stretched unless otherwise stated.
Since climbers use their fingers for climbing, this stretch is essential to prevent forearm and finger stiffness.
Placing the palm of your hand in front of you on the floor gently roll the weight back over your fingers until a stretch is felt in the fingers and up the inner forearm, keep your fingers close together so that no one finger is stressed more than the others.
b) Shoulders and back
Placing your elbow on your opposite knee gently lean forward until stretching is felt in the shoulder and back area in the side that your are stretching. You can use your other arm to pull under your bent leg for extra leverage if needed.
c) Biceps and pecs
Place the palm of your hand sideward onto a door frame or other firm upright object. Whilst facing forwards gentle twist your hips into the stretch and if needed lean into the stretched arm gently with your bodyweight. Stretching should be felt in the bicep and pec area.