Earlier, we posted a blog about the recent publication in Climbing Magazine on Training for Off-Width Climbing written by local Missoula rock climber, Pamela Pack, with guidance by Alpine’s Leah Versteegen. Part I of the two part series published in May 2013 reviewed the basic foundation of a training cycle to prepare a climber for the grueling sport of off-widths. Part II, released in the June 2013 edition of Climbing Magazine, is on the shelves now. Check it out!
I want to highlight a specific area of Pamela’s training program, stabilization. At Alpine Physical Therapy, we put a lot of emphasis on stabilization training, for the core of course, but also the hips and lower extremities, shoulder girdle and upper extremities. Understanding core stability is an aspect of training that is important for everyone, but becomes absolutely necessary for elite athletes such as Pamela. After suffering dislocating ribs, herniated discs in her lumbar spine, a torn rotator cuff, torn MCL…the list goes on, optimal stability and biomechanics are allowing Pamela to continue her pursuit of tackling the most difficult off-width climbs imaginable.
As part of her article on training for off-width’s Pamela describes the role of Pilates in her program: “One of your greatest challenges may be working around injuries. If you are injured, addressing that should be a priority. Trying to get stronger around an injury means other areas are overcompensating, and you’ll never truly heal yourself and be full-body strong. In my experience, Pilates has been the single most effective form of injury prevention and rehabilitation. Shoulder, back, hip, and other pain/damage require more stabilization work to get your entire body back to full strength, and Pilates can create deep core stability while maintaining flexibility and mobility.”
Pamela attributes much of her success climbing to the detailed workouts that have been developed specific to her sport by a combination of exercise specialists during the off-season in Missoula. While Leah has guided her overall rehabilitation and training program, Samantha Schmidt at Alpine PT and Samantha Glaze at The Core Studio have taken her to the next level in stabilization training with fine-tuned mechanics and isolated stability utilizing Pilates and Core Align. Well done ladies.
For more information on Alpine’s sports performance outreach for climbers, visit our clinic webpage on the topic by clicking here.