Alternative Sports Remedies: Save Your Game
October 2008
Climbing:
The Problem & The Plan

Problem: Climber’s elbow, or tendinitis of the medial epicondyle (the inside of the elbow), caused by overuse of the forearm muscles.
Prevention: Adequate rest between climbs; stretching and strengthening the forearm muscles.
Key exercise: Sit in a chair and rest your forearm along your thigh, with your palm up, holding a lightweight dumbbell horizontally. Rotate your hand inward, lifting the dumbbell perpendicular to the ground, then lower back to horizontal. Work up to 15 repetitions with each arm.

Cycling:
The Problem & The Plan

Problem: Iliotibial band syndrome, an irritation of the IT band (a fibrous tissue that runs along the outer thigh) where it crosses the knee.
Prevention: Proper seat positioning; stretching the IT band; strengthening the hip muscles.
Key exercise: Roll a foam roller or tennis ball along the outside of the thigh, from the knee to the hip, to loosen up prior to cycling.

Running:
The Problem & The Plan

Problem: Shin splints, or tenderness along the shinbone caused by an overload on the connective tissues that attach the muscles to the bone.
Prevention: Running on soft surfaces like dirt or sand whenever possible; increasing mileage slowly; strengthening the shin and calf muscles.
Key exercise: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your heels down, raise the balls of your feet as high as possible. Hold for five seconds, then lower. Work up to two sets of ten reps.

Swimming:
The Problem & The Plan

Problem: Swimmer’s shoulder, or inflammation of the rotator cuff.
Prevention: Strengthening the rotator cuff, shoulder blades, and core.
Key exercise: Hold a tennis ball in one hand and place it against a wall, with arm fully extended and shoulder blades squeezed together. Roll the ball against the wall in small, counterclockwise circles for 15 seconds, then switch directions. Work up to two-minute bouts.

Text by Ian Dille