If you have ever spent time in a climbing gym, as a climber or spectator, you are familiar with all the ways a body moves as one climbs a wall or belays. It’s truly a full body experience that requires, at minimum, focus, control and mobility. Kinstretch® is a great tool for climbers as it allows for self-assessment and a check in with the body in a unique and challenging way.
Kinstretch® uses a module type approach that allows for an instructor to focus on particular movement approaches. The module layout is helpful when you instruct climbers, who tend to have a unique internal competitive nature that needs to be guided carefully. I have learned that starting with Class Module 1: CARs Class is helpful in addressing range of motion and self assessment. This either confirms for the athlete that their hips are bad or teaches them that the neurological connections to their toes are lacking. It’s important to remind them CARs are not a competitive sport where you try to have the biggest articulation. (This is a real life struggle).
Once it is understood that Kinstretch® can help increase their end ranges so they can reach for that next hold safely and reach that leg out a bit further to help with movement up the wall we talk about Class Module 2: PAILS/RAILS class. Watching the same group of climbers and the hunger in their eyes as they start the class with CARs and move to PAILS/RAILS is empowering as an instructor. You watch them focus and start to sweat and see that they are able to obtain more range in a particular joint. After a class, if the opportunity is there, I will take them to a vertical climbing wall with generic holds so they can feel the difference.
Class Module 3: all end ranges and all base positions is fun to challenge climbers with after the introduction to their personal end ranges in Class Module 2. I feel like Class Module 3 allows for a good outlet for the unique competitive nature of climbers. However, not all the climbers see each module in their numerical order. From my personal experience, running through classes with the same group of climbers, I have seen great value in using the module system. Kinstretch® and climbers are slowly becoming close friends as the continued enthusiasm to climb for as long as ones body holds up becomes more important to all age groups.
Andi Segur, FRCms, FRAs, Kinstretch Certified Instructor