3. Pronation for Antagonist (extensor) Training

A common climbing injury is called medial epicondylitis. This is also known as golfer’s elbow. In this video we review the exercise Pronation for Antagonist (extensor) Training to help minimize that injury.

Golfer’s elbow occurs when there is damage to the medial epicondyle, which is located on the inside of the forearm. To prevent this injury from occurring you can do eccentric pronation exercises, as we have outlined in the steps below:

Step 1: Hold one end of a dumbbell in a crowning manner, palm facing down with the dumbbell horizontal and the other end pointed inward. While doing this, also rest your elbow on your knee.

Step 2: Begin to slowly pronate, or twist your wrist, counterclockwise in a controlled fashion until you reach a full pronation, or 180 degrees with palm facing up, and the other end of dumbbell pointed outward.

Step 3: Hold the weight at the end of the full pronation for one or two seconds while feeling a stretch, then reach across with the other hand to assist the dumbbell back to its starting position.

Below are a few tips to ensure a proper eccentric pronation technique:

  • Always hold the weight at the end, and not in the middle
  • Remember to always use your other hand to assist the dumbbell to the starting position
  • Heavier weight is not necessarily better, be sure to use lower weight

We recommend performing this exercise in three sets of 15, and no more than three times a week. For a variation, also try resting your elbow on a cushion or table instead of your knee.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.