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Wake Up Washington | Offseason rock climbing workouts have helped Wes Schweitzer's strength, versatility


During his first couple years in the NFL, Wes Schweitzer did not feel that great. He was a pro athlete, sure, but he was having physical issues that he felt were hindering his development. A trainer based out of Santa Cruz, California, named Austin Einhorn suggested an unusual remedy.

"I was one of the strongest people in the room, but I had a lot of injuries, hyperextended elbows," Schweitzer said. "And he's like, 'hey, why don't you try some climbing holes…and literally in five minutes I felt pain free after [being] in pain for months."

Schweitzer was hooked. He spent time during the pandemic while still in Atlanta at a climbing gym and gained 15 pounds of muscle.

"It changed my game," the offensive lineman said.

The benefits of his climbing workouts, Schweitzer suggests, were on display last season when he was forced to step up for the team in a big way. Washington was marred by injuries, losing several players along the offensive line at various points throughout the season. Schweitzer had to step in for Brandon Scherff at guard and Tyler Larsen at center.

The game Schweitzer played at center was the first he had ever started in that position, and Washington won. He took "a lot of pride in" that victory where he excelled out of his comfort zone and attributes that ability in part to his climbing workouts.

"Now I could play three spots and feel strong and confident," Schweitzer said. "So, it's made a huge impact on my career."

Schweitzer has found a lot of cross over in the skills required for climbing and those required in a good offensive lineman. As long as he is an NFL player -- and perhaps for many years down the line -- you can find him on the wall.

"Grip strength, core strength, just all around," Schweitzer said about how climbing has helped him. "There's so much to the offensive line play. I'm constantly doing this [grip motion] all the time, that's the sport and rock climbing is that but in really hard positions. So, it has a huge transfer. It's unbelievable what it's done for me."

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Saturday, August 20, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.

The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.

The Washington Commanders have arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, for their second preseason game against the Chiefs. Check out the top photos of the players getting on the team plan. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)

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