The 7 best recovery tools for climbers
Recover better today, climb better tomorrow ! Here are the self-care tools that we use at La Fabrique verticale to win over sore muscles and fatigued fingers. Collect these as a mobile self-care kit you can use at home or on the road. Use them 2-3 times per week to recover from all that training and prevent injury.
Basic Foam Roller
Good for: Opening up your chest, working into your hips, loosening tight calves
A basic foam roller can cost you as little as $20 and can be your best assistant for full body needs and recovery. Pick a super soft one to start out and then move up to a more aggressive (firmer) roller as your tissues loosen and you can lay on the region without crying in pain. Lay onto your back and work into your upper shoulders with the goal of trying to relax and to rest onto the roller. Breathe. There is no right or wrong to rolling, just make sure to avoid your lower back (it can irritate those with disc or joint hyper-mobility issues).
Good for: Pumped forearms, elbow pain
Ask any climber who has one, and they will tell you all about it fixing their elbow pain. It also unloads the finger tendons, and in our opinion, it’s the best tool to mimic a climbing-specific massage. Useful for the treatment of tight, angry, whiny, overly abused, or commonly pumped-out forearms, you can first secure the Armaid to your leg, position it on your arm, and then cry with painful bliss as your tight muscles learn to forgive you for your abusive ways. Forearms like rocks? Try two to three times per week of gentle use for a perfect recovery. We use a foam roller attachment for the day after a really hard session. On off-days, we’d recommend the singular ball to dig deep into your finger flexor muscles.
The KnotOut : perfect for recovery
Good for: Targeting knots in your forearms and back
This palm-size travel buddy is awesome for its efficient way of delving straight into your tight knots. Like the foam roller, it comes in a variety of sizes and densities. Unlike the foam roller, this tool is region-specific and a great substitute for an Armaid if you’re traveling.
Position it on a table and lean on it for maximal forearm compression. Or lean against a wall and get the roller going in gentle wavelike motions. Find a sore spot? Gently hold the spot and breathe. Imagine it melting. And do your best to be patient while you train your muscles not to hold unneeded tension. Use it on your calves and feet, as well as your forearms, but watch out, pets love to steal it for a chew toy.
If your dog eats it (or you just want to save some coin), try the simple man’s tool of a can of tomato paste or a two-inch diameter piece of PVC pipe.
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