5 Exercises to Make You a Better Rock Climber

Rock climbing is a great full body workout incorporating upper body, lower body and core muscles! For beginner climbers, you can rent the proper safety equipment required (shoes, harness, helmet, and chalk bag) at an indoor climbing facility, such as Vertical Endeavors, for relatively cheap. For more experience climbers, it gets little more expensive as climbers usually purchase their own gear. Experienced climbers can also transition to climbing outdoors! Disclaimer: I DO NOT recommend climbing outdoors unless you know what you are doing and go with someone who knows how to safely set up routes. Anyway, it’s important to strengthen between climbs to improve your form and help you reach the top of your goal route!

Here are 5 exercise to make you a better climber.

  1. Pull ups: Start by grabbing the bar from underneath, with your palms facing you. Set your shoulder blades and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Set a goal to complete 5-10 in a row!
  2. Planks: Planks are a great core strengthening exercise. Start on your elbows and toes. Contract your abdominal muscles and glutes. Maintain a neutral spine by not letting your hips drop. Hold for 1 minute.
  3. Single Leg Squats: For climbing you often need to push up from 1 leg to reach the next hold, instead of trying to pull yourself up with your arms. Standing on 1 leg, bend your knee toward the floor, sticking your bottom out lie you are sitting down in a chair. Don’t let your
    knees go past your toes. Complete 15 reps on each leg.
  4. Heel Raises (Single leg and double leg): Again you often have to push up from 1 leg, so the foot and calve muscles also have to be strong. Start with both feet on the floor as close together as possible. Keeping your legs straight raise up onto your toes and slowly lower toward the ground. You can also try them while only standing on 1 leg! Complete 20 repetitions.
  5. Push ups: With your arms slightly outside of shoulder width apart and elbows bent. Maintain a neutral spine, by tightening your abdominal muscles. Push up while maintaining a neutral spine, until elbows are straight. Slowly lower back down. Complete 15-20 repetitions.

Do you have any experience with rock climbing or would like to try it? Let us know! As always if pain is limiting you from doing things you enjoy give us a call at 1-888-THERAPY.

Happy Climbing!

Rebecca Varoga, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist
Isanti Physical Therapy

June 5th, 2019

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