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Training for Climbing and Bouldering

Training for Rock Climbing

While there are many variables that go into becoming a better climber, such as mental strength, climbing skills, strategies, and techniques, genetics, nutrition and equipment, I believe you can better enjoy this activity with just a little bit of extra strength training.

Climbing is a social sport and injuries, fatigue and lack of adequate strength can really hamper your participation of this fantastic experience.

This course focuses simply on the strength and prehab portion of climbing, as physiology is my expertise, leaving the other areas to those more skilled in them.

As I have mentioned before in my other writings – Working out, and Training are two different things. Training involves practice and consistency, while in “working out” you move from one exercise or activity to another without a precise progression. There is nothing wrong with this kind of “general conditioning”, and in fact serves a very good foundation for training, but to achieve specific results, you need specific training.

10 minute Dynamic Warmup should consist of big arm circles 10 forward/10 backward, elbow circles, wrist circles, waves,” motorcycle” stretches, finger stretches and wrist lateral stretches. Finger isolation stretches, shoulder,chest and biceps stretch ( like crab on the floor) Rhomboid stretch, tri/lat stretch and the upper torso the “eagle”stretch in yoga. Hamstring and a butterfly stretch for the groin is good too and a seated twist and cobra stretch is never a bad idea.

Prehab and Base camp:

Rotator cuff internal external, side internal, side external

Bentover single arm rear flys

Db kick back


Db wrist curl and reverse wrist curls 2×15

Pronator curls with hammer 2×15-20

Upper body:

Db shoulder press 2×20-25 r

Db Chest press 2×25

Dips 2×15-20


Hanging knee or leg raises 20-30r

Side hip raises 20

Superman 20 r

Hold straight body on Pilates Cadillac for 3 minutes, legs on trapeze

Horse stance to standing horse stance

Plie lunges 10-30 ea leg.


Climbing is not particularly a power or aerobic type activity, so endurance training whether it be on a bike, rower or hiking has the most carryover to climbing. Endurance training lasts anywhere from 45-90 minutes.


A lot of Cadillac and Wunda chair exercises would lend themselves well to Climbing Conditioning.

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