Video: Kipp Schorr; Images: Andy Earl

Our core is our center, our powerhouse of energy. It houses our spine and our central nervous system that delivers electricity to all of our muscles. It is the place from which we organize our strength and produce athletic, effortless movement. From our core, we connect to our limbs, our lungs and our heart and this gives us the stability, control and power that we need while moving on the wall. Organized and efficient movement throughout our body leads to improved performance and can help mitigate the common overuse injuries that afflict climbers.

Portrait of Esther Smith.

Esther Smith, DPT, Cert. MDT, NTP is a Physical Therapist, a climber and the owner of Grassroots Physical Therapyin Salt Lake City, UT. She is the physical therapist for the Black Diamond Pro Climbing Team and many other climbing ambassadors. Esther also owns, an ecommerce website that addresses common challenges like tennis and golfer's elbow, neck pain and low back pain with instructional videos.