Hangar Head Coach Oz works with GB Youth Climbing Team and he's also climbed for most of his life. The man knows a thing or two about the right way to get to grips with a climbing wall.
Ahead of the launch of Hangar Liverpool Matchworks on Saturday 25 July, Oz wants everybody to get back on the wall as safely as possible. Check out half a dozen tips for preventing injuries when getting back into climbing.
It’s been more than 100 days since the Hangar closed! Just let that sink in for a moment. It’s perfectly natural for you to have lost some conditioning in that time and technique may have diminished somewhat as you haven’t been moving on a climbing wall for a long time. Its ok to have a think about where you were before and have that as a goal. But be sensible about the timescale.
Rest as hard as you train!
We don’t necessarily get better at climbing or movement while we are doing it. Adaptation of our body occurs when we are resting so it’s important that we build that in. I know you are excited to be back, and we love to see you but make sure you get plenty of rest in between your sessions.
Concentrate on your technique.
Have you developed any bad habits? Is there a particular aspect of your climbing that you struggle with or would like to improve? Now is the time to focus on your movement. If you climb on easier blocs (where the climbing is well within your capabilities) you can concentrate on each movement and how it feels. Are you in balance? Are you using your feet efficiently? Are you trying to instigate movement from your feet first? This could be the right time for a technique MOT! (Hangar coaching in a 1-2 setting may well be the perfect start for you.)
Think about your diet!
Undertaking a greater amount of physical activity needs fuelling. Consider eating a bit more protein in your meals. Good sources are lean meat (if you must) fish, eggs, tofu, nuts & seeds beans/legumes, milk, yoghurt and glorious cheese. Remember you have a 20 min ‘window’ post exercise, when your muscles are hungry for the resources it has used. Try to get in some protein in this time to maximise muscle recovery and growth.
If it hurts, STOP!
If you feel any kind of pain (beyond that lovely warm achy feeling of muscle soreness), then stop straight away. Pushing yourself if it hurts doesn’t make you tough, it makes you injured and you will have to take considerably more time off. Ask a staff member if you need assistance or help with recovery.
Be kind to yourself!
You may feel a little bit down about your current level of climbing. That is normal but remember, you didn’t start climbing at your pre-lockdown level. You worked hard to get there. You did get there. And you can get back to and beyond that level. It may take a bit of time, but most likely not as long as before. You have better technique now and have the confidence that perhaps was lacking when you first started. Keep a track on your return progress (Vertical Life app can be of assistance with this if you log your climbs. You will then have a record of what you have done and can chart your progress). Take every little victory, celebrate those victories and be glad you are moving again.
Welcome to the way back!
Check out our reopening video
Find out more about indoor climbing and COVID-19
The Hangar is back, but we're making a few changes in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, so that your experience remains as safe and fun as possible.
It's all a part of our #safe2climb campaign.
Get all the latest offers and news direct to your inbox