As humans, we tend to beat up our bodies a lot. The human body can take a lot and work through a lot: broken bones, pulled tendons/muscles, missing limbs, working out with bronchitis, eating sixty doughnuts in nine minutes, child birth… (I’ve literally never experienced any of the things previous mentioned, but I can imagine.) Let’s just take a moment and thank our bodies for all of the amazing (and weird) things that it does for us.
Being a climber does not make any of these things less likely–some of these things are more likely actually: pulled tendons and muscles, eating copious amounts of frozen yogurt… But what if there was something you could do to help reduce the chance of being in pain or on the bench from climbing? Something magical that takes next to no time and can change your entire life? You could get a better job, get asked out by that cute guy or girl that the see on your commute every day, find a genie in a lamp, or become the best rock climber in the world.
This could all be achieved by one simple change to your daily routine: Warm up. (Note: Warming up has no direct link to improving job status, love life status, or the possibility of magic lamps.)
Scoff if you must, but warming up is as important for climbing as it is for any other work out. Warming up not only prepares your body for all the work you are about to put it through, but warming up also helps you perform better and prevent injury. No one wants to sit on the bench for weeks on end due to an injury that likely could have been prevented with a simple warm up. Time out of from injuries eat up more time than a short injury prevention warm up ever will.
So how should you warm up? This DPM article on warming up is largely what I used to make my own warm up routine. It’s an excellent article on a climbing-specific warm ups that I could not improve on. You know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I asked a lot of my climbing friends for good advice or knowledge they received or learned about climbing. One of my good friends, Pete[r] Tereszkiewicz, said that climbing is a learning/developmental process. One of the examples he gave was about learning the necessity of warming up: “…It’s a painstaking process, but I think especially with climbing you can only learn through experience. Young comp climbing Pete scoffed at extensive warming up; however, after rupturing a pulley he became all the wiser and gained a new perspective. This is how climbing works…”