Urban logo
Contact us

Customer support is offline

Our customert support team is online from 7AM - 10PM. Check our FAQs to answer your questions or email us and we'll get back to you as quickly as we can.

Four of the best massages for climbing enthusiasts

Four of the best massages for climbing enthusiasts

About this post

Climbing is a highly-demanding sport that calls for your whole body to be used, so it’s likely to take its toll. How can a massage help? Let's find out.

Posted by

Emily from Urban


  • Massage
  • Sports
  • Sports massage


Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, massage is a great way to prevent injury and keep your performance at its peak. 

Because climbing uses so many different muscles, a lot of climbers can feel discomfort and long-term injuries in their forearms, back, shoulders and legs.

We might be biassed, but massage therapy is an enjoyable yet effective way to help improve this pain. In this guide, we’ll outline the four best climbing massages that you should try – especially effective if you have any discomfort, or you’re just looking to improve your overall health.

Common climbing injuries

Climbing is a sport that can easily wear out your whole body. And if you’re doing multiple sessions a week, you might become prone to some common injuries – but what are they? They include:

  • Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow

  • Rotator cuff tear

  • General tendonitis

  • Shoulder subluxation

  • Meniscal tear

  • Knee ligament tear 

  • Finger pulley injuries

Not sure what some of these mean? Here’s a quick debrief of what these injuries are:

  • Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow – pain on the outer elbow (golfer’s) or inside elbow (tennis) usually caused by repetitive movement from the wrist

  • Rotator cuff tear – this is when a small muscle or tendon around the shoulder gets damaged or torn, which makes moving it painful

  • General tendonitis – caused by repetitive movement, this affects joints like your elbows or knees, making them inflamed

  • Shoulder subluxation – when your shoulder joint slips out of its socket

  • Meniscal tear – a rip in the knee cartilage, typically from a twist or heavy pressure, causing pain and swelling

  • Knee ligament tear – this happens when a strong band of tissue connecting the bones tears from sudden movements, causing knee pain

  • Finger pulley injuries – when the tissue that keep tendons close to your finger bones tear, usually from gripping something too hard, resulting in pain and swelling

Because of the amount of injuries climbing puts you at risk of, it’s important to keep an eye on how you’re feeling after each session. You could also think about adding in a few recovery methods like massage to your routine to prevent them even more.

Five benefits of massage for climbers

So what can massage do for climbers? Whether you have discomfort from your climbing session, or you want to keep your body happy on the wall for as long as possible, we recommend adding a regular massage into your routine.

But why? Because of these five benefits of massage therapy for a climber:

  1. Better muscle recovery

  2. Improved flexibility

  3. Less chance of long term injury

  4. Better circulation

  5. Optimised performance

1. Better muscle recovery

The first way massage can help climbers is by improving muscle recovery. During each climbing session, you’re essentially doing a full body workout, testing your muscles in different ways. To keep going, you need to make sure your body has time to recover.

Massage is a great way to help tight muscles relax, helping them recover in a shorter period of time, meaning you’ll be back on the climbing wall in no time.

2. Improved flexibility

Another benefit for climbers is better flexibility. If you’re someone who climbs several times a week but you don’t have an effective stretching routine, you’re going to become stiff very quickly.

By adding different types of massage treatments to your routine on a regular basis, you can tackle your stiffness and improve your flexibility. 

Since massage helps your muscles relax and eases any tension, you’ll easily be able to improve your range of mobility.

Give assisted stretching a try for your deepest stretch yet.

3. Less chance of long term injury

If you like to climb regularly or take part in competitions, preventing injury will be high on your list. And regular massages will help you tick it off.

This is because it’ll stop tension and inflammation building up in your body, so you can climb at full capacity each time.

Giving your muscles the time to recover from the stress of climbing puts your body through is vital for long term success, reducing the chance of injury.

4. Better circulation

By booking regular massage sessions following weeks of climbing, you’ll give your muscles the chance to relax. In turn, this helps the muscles repair and recover – improving your body’s circulation process.

5. Optimised performance

Competitive? Without proper recovery, your muscles won’t be able to climb to the best of their ability. So one of the best benefits of a massage for climbers is that it can help your performance. 

Since it helps with muscle recovery, you’ll be able to climb at a higher standard on a more regular basis. If you don’t prioritise recovery, your muscles will never truly recover, affecting your performance. Give it a try and see if you can set new PRs on your next visit to the climbing wall.

Key differences between sports and deep tissue massage

What are the four best climbing massages?

The following four massage treatments are great for climbers experiencing pain or tightness from their hobby:

  1. Swedish massage

  2. Sports massage

  3. Deep tissue massage

  4. Myofascial release

1. Swedish massage

If you’re new to massage therapy, we recommend enjoying a Swedish massage to combat the discomfort felt from climbing. It’s a light to medium-pressure treatment, making it perfect for massage newbies.

You’re also able to ask your massage therapist for your preferred pressure, making it suited to your specific needs to maximise enjoyment.

Book a mobile Swedish massage

2. Sports massage

If you’re in the market for a massage that’s more targeted, we recommend trying a sports massage. The beauty of this treatment is that you can get some technical guidance from your massage therapist to help you between sessions.

They’ll not only be able to give you specific treatment for your injured area, but they’ll also be able to guide you on how to develop a wider recovery strategy for your climbing niggles. Long-term you’ll be able to avoid injury, and perform at a higher standard.

Book a mobile sports massage

3. Deep tissue massage

If you’re experiencing intense pain from climbing, a deep tissue massage is the best choice. This type of treatment focuses on the deeper layers of muscles, as well as their connective tissues.

Expect to receive slower but firmer strokes to release knots in the key muscles used in climbing (your forearms, back, shoulders). If muscle soreness and tightness are a common theme in your day-to-day life, this is the massage treatment for you.

Book a mobile deep tissue massage

4. Myofascial release

Myofacscial release is a technique used in selected massage treatments. Like the name suggests, it focuses on the fascia (the thin connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and organs). These can become tender when they’re used repetitively, like during a climbing session, so myofascial release is a great way to help with this pain.

At Urban we have lots of massage treatments that include myofascial release so you can release tension and improve overall flexibility:

But if you let your pro know about your pain, they’ll adapt your treatment to target the areas you’re talking about.

Sports massage for sciatica demonstrated on client

Frequently asked questions

When’s the best time to have a massage after climbing?

We recommend booking a massage treatment between one to 24 hours after your climbing session. This will help your body benefit from the extra blood flow in the muscles while they’re repairing.

What type of massage is best for climbers?

The best massage for climbers depends on the pain you’re feeling. We typically recommend the following treatments to climbers who’re experiencing pain after a session:

  • Swedish massage - for climbers that are newbies to massage or have a low level of discomfort

  • Sports massage - for climbers with a specific injury

  • Deep tissue massage - for climbers with a medium to high level of discomfort

How often should I get a massage as a climber?

This depends on:

  • How often you’re climbing each week

  • If you have any discomfort or an injury

Climbers that are hitting the wall several times a week will benefit more than those only visiting their local climbing centre once every other week. 

If you’re a climber experiencing discomfort, whether you climb regularly or not, you should try to squeeze in several massage treatments each month to get back on track.

Can massage therapy prevent climbing injuries?

Yep! Massage therapy has lots of benefits when it comes to preventing climbing injuries. Your pro will help relax your arms and back to ease any tension built up from climbing, while soothing aches and pains that’ve been caused by the strain of climbing. 

You’ll also benefit from speaking with a professional – they’ll chat to you about your routine and help plan at-home exercises to protect you from getting an injury in the future.

Download the Urban app

For an even better booking experience, download the Urban app and book massage, physio, facials from your phone, to your home.

Make life easier

Related articles

The benefits of a stress relief massage
The benefits of a stress relief massage
Blog|22 May 2024

Can massage really make you less stressed? In this detailed guide we look at the science behind it.

Read more
The four best massages for back pain
The four best massages for back pain
Blog|31 May 2024

Let's chat all things back pain. Because a whopping 80% of us will feel it at some point in our lives – here's the best massages to tackle it.

Read more
How can massage help to relieve back pain?
How can massage help to relieve back pain?
Blog|14 Jul 2017

The effects of massage therapy tend to be cumulative, but you may also feel relief from your very first appointment.

Read more
The Urban fitness handbook
The Urban fitness handbook
Fitness|1 Jun 2023

We’ve created your new go-to list for all things health, sports and fitness. From recovery balms to tailored fitness apps, tasty meal preps to health supplements, you can find a range of things you never knew you needed.

Read more
Five things a reflexology massage therapist can tell
Five things a reflexology massage therapist can tell
Treatments|20 Feb 2016

Reflexology is more than a glorified foot rub – it can help release tensions that can have an effect on the whole of your body. Here’s how…

Read more
Give your sore calves a treat with a leg massage
Give your sore calves a treat with a leg massage
Fitness|20 Jul 2017

Sore legs? A massage could be exactly what you need

Read more