Movement Works – James Hale
Ever increasing climbing aspirations and working full time in the industry takes its toll on my body. Long days on the hill tax my ankles and knees. Long days in a harness affect my hips and lower back. Route-setting kills my wrists. Climbing itself makes me hurt all over.
I know I am not doing all I could to take care of myself. I regularly ignore the advice I give others, on how to warm up properly and be careful of injuries.
Its easy to consider lower grade bouldering or routes as a good warm up. Its easy to ignore antagonistic exercises. Its easy not to do some simple stretching every day. But its time for me to put in more effort, to start looking after my body before the niggles and aches turn into large scale problems.
With this in mind, I booked a session with James Hale of Movementworks.ie. The brief I gave James is that I want to (a) increase flexibility and mobility (b) learn time efficient and appropriate warm up exercises and (c) build up ankle strength, to counteract recurring sprains on both ankles.
First and foremost, James is a climber himself, as well as a climbing coach, so naturally he gets it straight away that I dont want to be told to stop what im doing and rest. No active person wants to hear this. Furthermore, having trained in strength and conditioning, pilates and physiotherapy he has a wealth of knowledge and it would be quite easy to spend a day picking his brains on so many topics.
We didnt have a day however, our session lasted 90 minutes and for this James charged 50 euro. Which, considering how much I learned and how good I felt after just one session, is possibly one of the most important 50 euros Ive spent of late.
James fulfilled the brief on all accounts and more. He takes his years of learning and training and distils it down perfectly and concisely.
I have an array of stretching exercises to do and most importantly he was on hand to offer corrections and input on the correct body positions to maintain through each move. You can find all theses exercises on line if you look, but it takes a trained professional to analyse and point out the nuances of how to complete each one effectively.
I’ve been armed with a host of movements to build supporting strength around the ankle and a massive choice of warm ups that were both challenging and importantly werent boring. I was worried that Id struggle to remember all id learned over the hour and a half, but James followed up by email with a PDF booklet detailing all we’d covered and some additional info.
He even found time to teach me a different and seemingly less injurious way of using a hang-board.
Do you have to be a climber/hillwalker/instructor to visit James? No. Should you visit James at Movement Works? Yes.
Whether you have injuries already or not, are looking for prehab or rehab, do a session with him and find out for yourself.