While we recommend that strength training with additional weights be done on your own, bodyweight exercises can be done as part of the warm-up or at the end of a climbing session. As with climbing specific strength training, we recommend that you start general strength training with a higher number of reps at lower loads so that you can learn the techniques and movements. Then, as you progress, you can increase the load and reduce the number of reps per set. We mainly chose exercises that activate several muscle groups at the same time as this reflects the complexity of climbing, where we use several parts of the body. We have also chosen exercises that are mainly aimed at muscles that work in the opposite direction to what we encounter in climbing, in order to create a balance in our training.
Push-ups are a good exercise for your shoulders, arms, and chest. For elbows and shoulders, push-ups train the opposite motions to what one sees in rock climbing - pushing back rather than retracting - and can therefore help reduce the risk of injury to these joints. It's an easy exercise to start with, and it's also easy to make it harder and more stimulating.
Start by getting on all fours with your knees on the floor and your hands about shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest to the floor and push back again without twisting your elbows. When you are able to do three sets of 10 reps, you can increase the difficulty by standing on your toes rather than your knees. Do as much as possible for each set and complete three sets with a 2-3 minute rest between each set. When you are able to do more than 10 reps for three sets on your toes, you can begin to vary the exercise by adding rotations, as shown in photos 3 and 4.
The larva is a good exercise for your shoulders, chest, abs, and back. The more you walk your hands in front of you, the more you train and use the full range of motion of your shoulders; it is especially at the end of this range that you need to develop strength to reduce the risk of shoulder injury.
Begin the exercise with both hands and feet touching the floor. Walk your hands as far in front of you as possible while keeping a strong core, then bring your feet back to the starting position. Avoid dropping your hips or arching your back - you should feel your abdomen and back muscles working to keep your core strong, stable, and straight.
Deep squats are, as the name suggests, squats where you go as deep as possible with your hips. This is a good strength-building exercise for high foot placements and is good for training your thighs, glutes, and back. As you climb, your knees are constantly exposed to twisting tension as you tilt your legs and feet to different positions relative to the grips. By regularly training your knees, you can strengthen the knee joints and thereby reduce the risk of injury. To make the exercise more difficult while incorporating a workout for your shoulders and upper body, we recommend that you use a rubber band and pretend to have angel wings.
Begin the exercise with your arms above your head and the elastic band tied in front of you. Move your arms to the side and step back again as if you were making snow angels. When your arms are back above your head, do a deep squat while keeping your arms pointed up; repeat the movement of the angels when you stand again. You should feel the muscles actively working in your lower back, thoracic spine, between your shoulder blades, in your thighs, and in your glutes.
LUNGS WITH ARM LIFT
Lunges with an arm lift are a similar exercise to deep squats, but here you activate your back and shoulder muscles differently. Raising your arm up and back with additional resistance is a good way to practice the opposite movement to a typical climbing movement. In addition to the element of balance, the lunges train your glutes and the front of your thighs. The exercise begins in an upright position with one leg in front of the other. Shift your weight forward on the front leg and lower your hips. As you stand up, raise your arm with your thumb up. With your left foot forward, raise your right hand and vice versa. You should feel the muscles actively working in your lower back, thoracic spine, between your shoulder blades, and in your thighs and glutes.
Below is a suggested strength training program to complete after a rock climbing session. If you want to use some of the exercises as part of your general warm-up, you can do 1 to 2 sets of each exercise at low loads.
|Exercise||Rehearsals||Sets||Rest between sets|
|Deep squats||8-10||3-4||2-3 minutes|
|Lunges with arm raised||8-10 per side||3-4||2-3 minutes|
Training with slings has become a popular form of training in recent years, and it is a good training method to combine our own body weight with unstable ground. The big advantages for climbers are that we can train near the limit of the range of our joint mobility, this requires good muscle control of the different joints as the slings hang freely, and all the exercises challenge our abdominal muscles.
As a general rule of thumb for all three exercises here, we recommend that if you can perform 10 reps for all three sets, you should increase the difficulty by standing on your toes rather than on your knees. Then go back up to three sets of 10 reps with 2-3 minutes of rest between each set. It is important to maintain control throughout the movements and to stabilize your shoulders and arms. The three exercises we recommend are:
Begin by kneeling down and grabbing the slings with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest to the same height as your hands and push up.
Begin by kneeling down and grabbing the slings with your hands shoulder-width apart. Move your arms to each side and lower your chest. Push yourself back by pressing your arms together.
Begin by kneeling down and grabbing the slings with your hands shoulder-width apart. Move your arms straight in front of you while tightening your abdominal muscles and leaning forward. Stop when your arms are in line with your ears. Push yourself upwards by pressing on your arms.
This is an excerpt from "The Climbing Bible: Technical, Physical and Mental Training for Climbing" by Martin Mobråten and Stian Christophersen. The authors have been training coaches for several years. Based on their own experience and research, this book brings together the best European training techniques in one book with information on how to train specifically for technical, physical and mental performance factors in climbing - including endurance, power, motivation, fear of falling, and a lot more. Check-out Vertebrate publication for more details.
Rock climbing is everywhere these days. From the Dawn Wall to your Instagram feed to the new gym going up in town, climbing is no longer the fringe sport it once was. Kids are starting to climb almost before they can walk, and now more than ever, there’s no reason for you not to give it a try as well. However, climbing can be one of those intimidating hobbies to begin. Many ask, “How do I get started ? ” citing fear and feeling overwhelmed with gear and safety as huge barriers to entry. We get it, and so what follows is everything you need to know to get out on the rock'n'roll.
The term “rock climbing” encompasses a great number of disciplines, from bouldering to big wall climbing, to mountain climbing and mountaineering. Before you begin, it might be important to first identify what style of climbing you are interested in, or perhaps to ask, “Why do I want to climb ? ” Do you want to summit peaks, boulder at your local gym, or perhaps learn to lead climb at the local crag ? Do you want to make friends, be outdoors, or get in shape ( or all three ) ? Once these questions are answered, you can work out the potential steps you’ll need to take to get there. Below ( in the Sport vs. trad vs. bouldering section ) we attempt to inform this decision by breaking down the various types of climbing; each has its own specific culture, gear, and learning curve.
Climbing is a complex sport : it’s potentially expensive to get into, difficult to find mentors, and can be dangerous if not done correctly. With the evolution of climbing gyms, however, it’s easier than ever to give climbing a try : just grab a friend and head to the nearest gym, rent a pair of shoes and a harness, and jump on the bouldering wall. However, if and when your progression leads you to climbing on ropes and outside, technical skills become essential to safety. Many choose to learn from friends; however, safety is so important that we recommend enrolling in a formal chic. The easiest and best way to learn the essential skills, which include belaying and tying proper knots, is by taking an introductory course at your local gym. Or, if you’re interested in climbing outside or even more specifically climbing in the mountains, seek out a class either through your gym or a local guide.
The first indoor climbing gym opened in Seattle in 1987. Now just 30 years later, there are 430 gyms across the nation, with over 50 more in construction at the time of writing. Areas like the Denver metropolis have as many as 10 gyms, all stuffed to capacity each day. Whereas climbers used to be a tiny community of mostly adult men with access to the wilderness, the climbing gym revolution has brought climbing to the masses. It’s safe to say that more people now climb indoors than outdoors. The climbing gym has developed its own culture, and climbing inside - “pulling on plastic, ” as climbers often say - is vastly different from climbing outdoors. It is arguably safer, much more convenient to access, and far more social; for these reasons, the gym is an génial place to begin climbing. Gym passes cost anywhere from $6 to $30/day, with monthly memberships being the best option for those who go regularly. Outdoor climbing takes place on boulders, on cliff bands, and in mountains - anywhere where there is solid rock, climbers can be found. Some of the most popular genres of rock to climb include granite, sandstone, limestone, basalt, and conglomerate blends. Each of these kinds of rock'n'roll has its own style of climbing, from overhanging jugs much like gym climbs, to technical slabs, to splitter cracks. Climbing outdoors demands a higher level of spécialité than climbing in the gym, as there are more variables and risques on real rock'n'roll. Weather can be a factor, as well as rock'n'roll fall. Climbers will also need to possess a great deal more gear to climb outside, including their own rope and harness, quickdraws or other protection, a personal anchor and locking carabiner, and a helmet. Although many climbers begin in the gym, some learn to climb immediately outside, most commonly with the help of a guide or an instructional course.
Rock climbing is generally broken down into three categories : sport climbing, traditional ( trad ) climbing, and bouldering. Climbers tend to specialize in or prefer one discipline over the others, though many climbers participate in all three. Sport climbing is a style of climbing where the leader attaches quickdraws to pre-existing bolts, looping the rope through the quickdraws for protection while ascending the cliff. Sport climbs are often one-pitch climbs where the leader then comes back to the ground after fixing the rope to the anchor, though in some cases these climbs might continue up larger faces for multiple pitches. As a discipline, sport climbing focuses on difficult movement, endurance, learning to face fears, and risking a fall ( and being caught by the rope, bien sûr ! ). Trad climbing is the most rootsy and historical form of climbing, in which the leader climbs weaknesses in the rock'n'roll ( generally, cracks ) and places gear in these weaknesses that will hold the rope in the case of a fall. Although trad climbs can be single-pitch routes like the majority of sport climbs, they often ascend features that are more than one rope length and end at a summit ( these are called “multi-pitch climbs” ). Trad climbers generally love long and adventurous days of climbing in wilderness areas, focusing on movement, logistics, technical rope and gear skills, and partnership. Bouldering is perhaps the most modern form of climbing, and certainly the fastest-growing. Boulderers ascend boulders or bermuda cliffs ( generally 20 feet and under ), using pads and spotters at the base for protection instead of ropes. Bouldering is a form of climbing that focuses on difficult movement and problem solving, and is more social than the other disciplines. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a few other forms of climbing : aid climbing, alpine rock'n'roll climbing, speed climbing, and deep water soloing. Pick your poison ( or shall we say passion ) : each has its own set of joys and défis !
One of the first things you’ll learn when starting to climb is how to choose a route that suits your ability level. In the gym, climbs generally are labeled with a difficulty rating; outside, climbers use guidebooks and often a phone app called Mountain Project to identify the difficulty of climbs. In the U. S., climbs are rated using the Yosemite Decimal System; in short, 5. 3 is a very beginner climb, and 5. 15 is an expert-level route. These ratings do not denote danger, only difficulty. As a beginner, you’ll most likely be choosing routes 5. 7 and under, and often routes that can be top-roped. Top-roping means that the climber establishes an anchor from the top of the climb so that the rope is already in place, rather than leading the route from the bottom. Many routes in the gym are set up with top ropes; outside, climbers can often hike to the top of the cliff or feature to drop a rope down over the climb.
Each discipline of climbing necessitates a different set of gear. For all types of climbing, however, a beginner will need a pair of climbing shoes. For just starting out in the sport, we recommend finding a comfortable pair of climbing shoes ( don’t be persuaded by the salesperson at your local gear shop to purchase painfully tight shoes ). Delicate footwork will come later in your climbing career; for now you will just be developing an ability to stand on your feet and trust the rubber of your new shoes. All climbers will generally want to carry a chalk bag and chalk as well, which they will either wear around their waist or keep on the ground ( sometimes the case while bouldering ). Climbers dip their hands into chalk to dry off sweat and keep them from slipping off the rock'n'roll. Boulderers will need the above two pieces of gear, in addition to a bouldering pad ( and friends with bouldering pads ! ). Bouldering pads are placed in the fall zone of a boulder problem, and the more the merrier ( and safer ! ). tera climb on ropes both in a gym or outside, climbers will need a climbing harness. Climbing harnesses come in a range of weights and specifications - some for sport climbing in particular, some with larger gear loops or more padding for trad climbing. Harnesses need to be replaced every few years for safety reasons, so we again recommend purchasing an affordable harness and replacing it when you have a better understanding of your needs. Along with a climbing harness, it is essential to own a belay device and locking carabiner. This equipment will enable you to belay your partner in the gym or outside, and rappel if needed. If climbing outside, a helmet is extremely important in case of rock fall. The above-mentioned gear provides the basics for personal gear needed for a day of climbing or bouldering, either in the gym or with an experienced and well-equipped partner. If you are looking to buy gear so that you can be fully self-sufficient ( and not need a partner or a group with shared gear ) you’ll want to also purchase a climbing-specific rope ( 60-70 meters, 9-10mm in diameter, dynamic ), a personal anchor ( PAC ) or daisy chain, extra locking carabiners, cams, nuts, quickdraws, and slings. It is extremely important to buy new gear or to know the history and age of the gear if acquiring used. Both soft materials and metals degrade over time and with wear and should be carefully assessed before using.
We wholeheartedly recommend taking a course taught by professionals before attempting to climb or belay on your own. Climbing is inherently dangerous, though when done correctly can be very safe. After all of the proper skills have been learned, it is still incredibly important to stay on top of safety at every moment. Before leaving the ground, or transitioning from climbing to lowering/rappelling, there are a number of safety checks that must be completed.