While Kiran’s been getting to grips with climbing walls, she’s also been working hard on her general fitness to give her the strength and agility to improve on her new-found skill.
Getting off the wall and into a gym is essential if you want to improve your climbing skills. Building strength, endurance, and flexibility can improve your performance tenfold, with all the equipment you need being in the gym. Here’s a workout to condition your body for better climbing.
Here’s Kiran’s gym routine to get her fit for climbing.
Starting with a jog on the treadmill or a spin class is a great way to train for the climbing wall. Although it may not look like it from the bottom, you’re going to need a good amount of endurance to reach the top of that wall. Running or cycling will also strengthen leg muscles, helping you to push yourself up to the next level.
This week, Kiran got in her cardio on the rowing machine.
Want to tackle those overhangs and just generally improve your climbing ability? You need to be taking up some core exercises. You core helps to stabilise your entire body and gives your arms and legs a stable platform from which to move from. If you’re feeling like you can’t push well from your legs and hips, then it’s likely that your core is weak. Here’s some exercises to try for this:
This one can be done hanging from a bar, or on a dip station like Kiran. Lift your legs up, bending at the hip, and keeping your legs straight and then lower. Repeat several times. For an easier version bend your legs, still pivoting from the hip.
You might be thinking that your shoulders are already pretty strong from climbing. However, pulling down often on your shoulders as you climb and constantly reaching above your head can cause injuries such as shoulder impingement syndrome. Luckily, there are plenty of preventative exercises out there to strengthen your rotator cuff – the main stabilisers in the shoulder.
Standing Overhead Rope Pulls
This exercise really works your arms, lats, and core. Standing in a high squat position, pushing back your bum and keeping your chest up, grab the rope above your head. As you pull down with one hand, reach up and pull again with the other hand. Repeat for timed intervals.
Dumbbell Squat Front Raise
This is a great workout for your legs and shoulders. Holding a dumbbell in each hand horizontally and directly in front of you, squat down and bring the weight down between your legs. Remember to keep your chest up and back straight. As you come up from the squat, swing the dumbbells upwards while keeping your arms straight. Bring your arms back down as you begin your next squat.
Having strong, powerful legs will help you improve your footwork, have a stable base and give your the endurance to get through a big climb. Being able to push through your legs rather than pulling on your arms is also an important technique for avoiding injury and climbing well.
Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the hips, holding the kettlebell in both hands and swinging it back through your legs for momentum. Drive your hips forward and straighten your back, moving the kettlebell through your legs and up to shoulder height in front of you as you do so. Swing the kettlebell back between your legs and repeat.