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Climbing & Basketball


Original Post
MClay · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 710

I am curious if there are any climbers that train for climbing whilst training for basketball. I have not come across other climbers that also play or have played basketball, but most of my climbing has been done outside of the USA in areas where basketball isn't common. Basketball was my primary sport growing up but I've not played much since I started climbing as my main physical activity. I've been following the Anderson's program and they are pretty anti-running. Recently I got back into basketball and I'm concurrently trying to follow an Anderson macrocycle while playing basketball recreationally. 

I am experimenting with the combination on myself and I'm not far enough into the new macrocycle to see much of difference in my climbing. However, after a month of moderate reintroduction of basketball "training", my upper legs have been trending in a larger/non-climberish direction. This is also evidenced in about 6 pounds of weight gained. This would not seem to be sustainable as climbing is still my main focus. Anyone been able to combine the two activities successfully and willing to share some advice?

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

I used to love basketball but I gave up on it years ago because of regular sprained ankles. I much prefer to stay injury free to climb than add messy basketball games into the mix. If you can do both, more power to you. 

Jplotz · · Wenatchee, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 1,055

Is your lifetime average >20.0 PPG?  I've always been a high scorer and seem to do all right climbing. 

On the other hand, my climbing friend of very modest (limited) climbing ability who also loves b-ball, can't shoot worth a shit and therefore excells at fouling other players. 

Is there a connection there?  I tend to think so.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20
Jplotz wrote:

Is your lifetime average >20.0 PPG?  I've always been a high scorer and seem to do all right climbing. 

On the other hand, my climbing friend of very modest (limited) climbing ability who also loves b-ball, can't shoot worth a shit and therefore excells at fouling other players. 

Is there a connection there?  I tend to think so.

I'm assuming this is aimed at me. The answer is no, I suck at both basketball and climbing. However, it is the other players playing sloppy that caused most of my injuries. Lots of dumb fouls by people that use wild effort to overcome lack of skill. Congratulations on your high bball and climbing skills. 

Jplotz · · Wenatchee, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 1,055

That's the biggest risk eh?  When you play rat ball against older folks who have lost their first step and therefore use their knees and elbows more than they should, and undercut you as you go for a rebound or lay-in.  

My point is, I agree with you, that if you value climbing more than hoops, then you're way more prone to season ending injury playing basketball.  The benefits of basketball as training are just increased quick burst cardio anyway, which doesnt seem to compliment climbing in any appreciable way.

I love shooting, and it pains to pass the ball.

ALuckyDuck · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 60

I was thinking about this the other day after bricking every shot I took..I notice that the harder I'm climbing, the worse my shot is. It seems like the more you train for climbing, the more you will alter the muscle memory gained from practicing shooting (fine motor control). 

tenesmus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 2,190

I got a lot more into climbing after I tore my ACL playing basketball in college. Climbing is a much more controlled movement and therefore less likely to injure you. The stats bear this out. I didn't play for almost 15 years but moved to a neighborhood with a really great gym and game. I currently play 1-3x/week and have never shot better in my life. Part of the reason is I goof off with some of the shooting and dribbling drills I was taught in H.S. They actually work and I'm now a 3 instead of a 5 and often play PG, depending on the game. I'm definitely not a true PG, no matter what, lol. 

Here's I notice as an old man who likes to do both basketball and climbing: 

When I don't climb, my shot gets way better. Dribbling is way better. I kind of slay it.

If you do both a lot, you need to be extra careful with your elbows. Following through with your shot stresses your elbow extensors so be really diligent about stretching them or you'll get weird tennis elbow. I also get another elbow pain near the insertion of my brachioradialis if I don't stretch it after both activities. 

Basketball gives you cardio and burns fat. If you're old and have a time consuming job and family, this is a fantastic, quick workout that can help keep your weight down. It also keeps you in shape for hiking. I guess that helps climbing. A little.

When you've been climbing a lot and need to post up, No One Can Move You because your core is super strong. Seriously, put your elbow out to hold someone off and they're hosed. Also, when there is a loose ball, if you can get to it, you'll keep it.

Its kind of funny when you're describing how to do a dyno in terms of dunking a basketball. For example, when you say, "you have to get your hands up and over that hold - Just like when you're dunking!", NONE the short climbers have stinking clue what you're talking about. blank stares. crickets. Obviously, this skill has absolutely no impact on anything about climbing.

tenesmus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 2,190
Jplotz wrote:

That's the biggest risk eh?  When you play rat ball against older folks who have lost their first step and therefore use their knees and elbows more than they should, and undercut you as you go for a rebound or lay-in.  

My point is, I agree with you, that if you value climbing more than hoops, then you're way more prone to season ending injury playing basketball.  The benefits of basketball as training are just increased quick burst cardio anyway, which doesnt seem to compliment climbing in any appreciable way.

I love shooting, and it pains to pass the ball.

This is all 100% true. Except the passing part. I love dropping a nice dime. 

I play with mostly older guys and the undercutting thing isn't usually a problem. That's how I tore my ACL so I'm kind of sensitive about it. When I play with someone who does this, I almost always just switch people. Mostly because if they do it a few times I get furious and make an ass of myself. Holy cow I'm an idiot when it comes to stuff like that. Our game is super friendly and I'm too afraid of embarrassing myself like that.

Jplotz · · Wenatchee, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 1,055
tenesmus wrote:

This is all 100% true. Except the passing part. I love dropping a nice dime. 

Precision passing is only fun if the recipient's chances of converting is 45% or greater! 

One aspect of hoops with which I can draw a parallel with climbing is the times I've gotten into a flow where I could do no wrong.  There are  fleeting times in climbing when I've achieved that sensation. 

And the teamwork aspect is similar too.

Emmerson Donnell · · Bend OR · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 15

I play pick up basketball at the local parks fairly often and I like to view it as a great active rest day activity and antagonist workout since it is all about pushing rather than pulling. That being said, I prioritze climbing over basketball so I make sure to be careful not to injure myself.  One can only pull off so many posterizers before landing wrong, so I've been sticking to layups as of late ;)

Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 378

I don't play basketball but run a fair amount while training for climbing. Your weight gain comes from increased food intake. If you can control your calories you can use leg-based activities to lose weight, making climbing easier. 

Jplotz · · Wenatchee, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 1,055
Emmerson wrote:

 One can only pull off so many posterizers before landing wrong.

Pic!

I was going to call BS until I saw that you're 18 y/o.  So dunking over someone is not out of the question yet.

rob.calm · · Loveland, Colorado · Joined May 2002 · Points: 630
tenesmus wrote:

Its kind of funny when you're describing how to do a dyno in terms of dunking a basketball. For example, when you say, "you have to get your hands up and over that hold - Just like when you're dunking!", NONE the short climbers have stinking clue what you're talking about. blank stares. crickets. Obviously, this skill has absolutely no impact on anything about climbing.

Wolfgang Güllich (first person to climb 14d) in his book "Sportklettern Heute" said that he got his ideas for perfecting his dyno moves from patterning the dynos after the way basketball players make jump shots.

rob.calm

P.S. I'll add to the other posts here about basketball injuries. In my forties, I was playing a pickup game on concrete surface. Faked left, moved right. The orthopedist said he could make the diagnosis based on that information. He was right-torn medial meniscus. 

drewp · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 125

So psyched we are finally talking basketball on the proj

tenesmus · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2004 · Points: 2,190

This has me thinking again. One of the classic situations I face with my elbows as I'm getting a little older is that: 

I can climb a lot and play basketball but I can not also ski in the back country. 

I can ski in the back country and climb but then I can not also play basketball. 

I can play basketball and ski but then I can't also climb hard. 

Too much elbow stress. I'm a Physical Therapist and have gotten pretty good at treating elbows over the last few years. I just think there are limits to how much you can put your elbows through. If I weren't 6'4, I probably wouldn't bonk my elbows as much when climbing. If I weren't 200#'s, I wouldn't push and pull on them so much with all three activities. Actually, if I didn't have a crazy busy life I would take the time to strength train a little more and it would probably take care of it. 

Fritz N. · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 115

I grew up in Indiana, where b-ball is the state religion, and played point guard in high school. I've been missing it lately. Like previous commenters, I'm a bit paranoid of ankle injuries ... maybe I'll start playing in mountaineering boots ;-)

Every time I go back to sea level and play with the guys (who are now almost all overweight), they have a good chuckle at me playing in zip-off hiking shorts and trail runners. Then we start running full court and I get the last laugh.

Here's me and my brother Carl at Spiece Fieldhouse, aka the Fort Wayne Holy of Holies.

 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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