Want that strong and lean body from forearms all the way to your calves? Then find a good rock climbing club and start training!
Rock climbing requires everything from strength to pull yourself up, the power to execute explosive movements, balance to stay upright, stable core to boost your efficiency and endurance to sustain you during longer climbs, so it’s really not a surprise that climbers are chiseled like those rocks they are climbing.
While the best way to get a climber’s body is to just hit the rocks and climb, there are other exercises that can help you look like Olympus royalty.
Make Sure to Warm Up
Before you do any exercises, make sure your rotator cuff (muscles that help stabilize your shoulder) are warm.
These exercises require very little equipment and very low weights—you just want to perform control movements that will warm up your muscles and get you ready for your climb or your workout.
Additional Information: Why You Need a Dynamic Warm Up Before Every Workout
Pull-ups and pull-up variations are great exercises for climbing since they target all the large lateral muscles in your back that you use during a climb. You can find any appropriate surface (you don’t have to have a specialized pull-up bar) and start strengthening your muscles.
You start with regular pull-ups and slowly start to introduce other variations like chin-knuckle touches where you lift your chin to your left knuckles, return to starting position and repeat on the right.
You can also try this variation (favorite of Dwayne Johnson): pull yourself up quickly but lower your body back as slow as you can. Or you can try circular pull-ups in each direction.
When climbing, you need strength to hold yourself up and support your weight, so it’s important to target everything from your shoulders to your core which is something you can do with planks. Perform the exercise like this: get into push-up position and keep balancing your weight on your palms and toes for as long as you can (or do it in sets of two minutes).
Make sure your head, shoulders, behind and heels make one straight line. As you boost your strength, you can even rise up onto your fingers to build hand strength for your rock climbing sessions.
After this exercise, you’ll be ready to hit all the best places to climb and conquer all the challenges. From Rumney, New Hampshire to Yosemite, California, no place will be unreachable for you!
Additional Reading: Alternatives to Crunches
This exercise is excellent for building your arms and shoulder strength which is something climbers can’t get enough. However, you can also try this amazing variation—push-up rows. Start in a push-up position resting on dumbbells and feet set wide apart.
Lower your body and after you push up, row one elbow back and bring your dumbbell towards your rib-cage. This push-up variation will target your pecs and triceps as well as your lats and biceps.
Do 10 to 15 reps and make sure to keep your core tight during your exercise.
Don’t think climbing targets only your upper body, but it’s also great for your legs. You need good leg power for both climbing and falling as well as for dynamic moves, so try these exercises to strengthen your legs.
Start with jump squats that will allow you to build explosive power needed for jumps and more challenging bouldering problems. Just as high as you can every time for the best results!
You can also practice single-leg squats that work your glutes and your quads and practice your balance.
These are very good at simulating climbing positions and movements as you can expect to find yourself in need to extend your leg far in order to find a foothold.
Learn More: Jump Squats Benefits
If you do all of these exercises, you’ll not only notice improvements in your climbing abilities but also notice your physique getting more muscular.