A true rock climber’s body is often a thing of beauty.
Rock climbing requires everything from strength to pull yourself up, the power to execute explosive movements, balance to stay upright, a stable core to boost your efficiency, and endurance to sustain yourself during longer climbs. So, it’s really not a surprise that rock climbers are chiseled like the rocks they climb!
In fact, a rock climber’s body is likely one of the most naturally aesthetic physiques.
Mountain climbing is a little bit less intense, but it is also an amazing workout.
While the best way to get a rock climber’s body is to hit the rocks or mountain and start climbing, you probably want to make sure you are in decent shape before you begin your first journey.
Keep reading below to learn how to get a rock climber’s body!
The Best Exercises for a Rock Climber’s Body
Without actually getting out and doing some rock climbing you will never truly get a rock climber’s body. However, you certainly should prepare yourself in the gym before attempting rock climbing for the first time.
Here are the most effective exercises that will help you with getting a rock climber’s body:
Shoulder Stabilization Exercises
The first set of exercises you should do when preparing your body for rock climbing are rotator cuff (muscles that help stabilize your shoulder) exercises.
There are many shoulder exercises you can do at home that are perfect for this!
These exercises require very little equipment and very low weights because you just want to perform controlled movements that will strengthen your muscles while increasing your mobility.
My favorite are the Prone I-Y-T-W shoulder exercises. These are perfect exercises to keep your shoulders strong and healthy while preparing for rock climbing:
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 the starting position, and repeat on the right.
You can also try this variation (a favorite of Dwayne Johnson): pull yourself up quickly but lower your body down as slow as you can. Or you can try circular pull-ups in each direction.
When rock climbing, you need strength to hold yourself up and support your weight, so it’s important to make sure your core can withstand all the awkward movements you are going to do.
Planks are one of the best core exercises overall and perfect for preparing your body for rock climbing.
You should work on the traditional forearm plank along with plank variations such as the forearm side plank.
To work on your shoulders as well as your core, dolphin pose is a great plank variation that requires additional shoulder range of motion:
Additional Reading: Alternatives to Crunches
This exercise is excellent for building your arms and shoulder strength, while also learning to control your own bodyweight. Pushups are a very basic exercise for getting a rock climber’s body, but there are tons of more advanced push variations you can learn as well while you are preparing for a rock climbing adventure.
Yoga pushups involve transitioning from a downward dog position to a pushup, and back. This is an excellent exercise for rock climber’s because it involves more shoulder mobility as well as shoulder strength:
Do 10 to 15 reps and make sure to keep your core tight!
You better not think climbing only targets your upper body! Rock climbing is also great for your legs, and you need good leg power to push yourself up while climbing.
Jump squats are one of the simplest and most effective exercises that will help you build the explosive power needed for jumps and more challenging climbing maneuvers.
Here is a quick explanation of how to get the most out of doing jump squats:
Concluding Thoughts – Getting a Rock Climbers Body
Rock climbing is an incredibly effective way to improve your body. Not only is rock climbing an intense exercise itself, but you will have to prepare your body with intelligently planned exercises to improve your rock climbing ability.
After you master these exercises, 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!