Reduce Climbing Related Shoulder Injuries With This One Simple Yoga Pose

by | Feb 2, 2017 | Climbing, Tutorial, Video

Excessive tightness across the chest and front of your shoulders is very common for climbers, causing the typical round-shouldered and ape-like climber posture. If not managed, this postural misalignment can cause imbalances in the shoulder stabilising muscles and some pretty serious shoulder injuries. It’s super important when you’re training and climbing a lot that you keep you shoulder stabilising muscles balanced and strong. For climbers, this typically means opening though the front of the chest, upper back and shoulders.

There’s a whole list of yoga postures that work on opening the upper chest, shoulders and upper back. But sometimes we don’t have time for a 40 min yoga routine at the end of our training session. Good news! You don’t have to squeeze a full yoga practice into your training in order to improve your posture.

Here is one simple yoga pose that you can do either as a warm up, warm down, or rest day activity, to help reduce your risk of climbing related shoulder injuries.

Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana (reclined bound angle pose) is one of the best restorative poses around, especially when combined with the use of yoga props. In this demonstration I have used two yoga blocks and a belt, but you could also use pillows, blankets and/or bolsters.

Baddha Konasana is a great pose for opening the hips and inner legs. When combined with props that elevate the upper chest, shoulders and head, this pose becomes an amazing opener for the chest, upper back and shoulders.

This is a ‘go to’ exercise that I use for shoulder recovery after a hard day training or climbing. I’ve added in some gentle neck releases as well, great for releasing ‘belayers neck’.

 Some Cautions

Just like any other yoga pose, watch out for discomfort and pain. In particular, be careful if you have previous knee or lower back injuries. Seek medical advice if you’re not sure this pose is good for you. If you feel discomfort in knees, hips or lower back add more support with blankets and pillows. BUT, if discomfort and pain persists, you need to come out of the pose.

– Many thanks and enjoy the process