A pistol squat is an exercise that is very easy to explain, but hard for most people to do. From a standing position, shift your weight to one leg while the other leg shoots forward. From there, you squat down, bringing your tailbone to your heel and then stand up from a seated or squat position, again only using one leg. Pistol squats are great for increasing leg strength and improving balance, which means they really give you a leg up in your climbing.
Climbing requires a lot of overhead shoulder and arm movement and can put quite a bit of stress on the shoulders. All of this strain can lead to injuries ranging from minor muscle tweaks to major tendon tears. The good news is there are a few very effective exercises that strengthen the shoulder and prevent injuries.
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From weight shifting on a slabby route, to long approaches or summer hikes, to everything in between, the legs are the powerhouse of climbing. We talked to Francy at our Englewood gym in Colorado. She is one of the personal trainers there and teaches a weekly Ski Fit class, so we figured that if anyone could recommend a thorough workout to strengthen their bottom half, it would be her 😆. Enjoy!
Campus board workouts are a great way to build upper body strength and improve climbing power. Incorporating these kinds of workouts into your routine can improve finger strength and make powerful or dynamic moves easier. Here's a great workout one of our staff members created that you can incorporate into your climbing routine.
One of the training questions we get all the time is when should I start using training boards, like a campus board, and how do I start. Campus board workouts are a great way to improve climbing power and strength. When to start very much depends on the climber, but in general, we recommend waiting until you've been climbing consistently for at least one year (meaning, you're consistently climbing twice a week for 1-2 hours). As far as how to start, one of our staff members has provided a beginner campus board workout that would be a great one to incorporate in your climbing routine. Keep in mind that while it may be considered a "beginner" workout, it is not easy! Please make sure that any training board workout sessions are done after warming up thoroughly, but before any climbing or other heavy physical workout.
Hangboards are great for building hand and finger strength. A good hangboard workout will give you the opportunity to practice on a variety of holds, which will improve your lock off strength, and engage shoulder stabilizer muscles that probably don't get much action during your regular climbing sessions. Ideally, these two exercises we provide below are something you do once or twice a week to supplement your climbing session. Keep in mind that while it may be considered a "beginner" workout, it is not easy! We do not recommend using this equipment unless you have at least one year of climbing under your belt (meaning, you're consistently climbing twice a week for 1-2 hours). Please make sure that any training board workout sessions are done after warming up thoroughly, but before any climbing or other heavy physical workout.
MoonBoard vs Kilter Board vs hang board vs campus board - what's the difference!? If you’ve ever wondered to yourself what these training boards are, how to use them, and how they help you train - you’re in luck. We asked one of our instructors to give you a quick introduction to what all these training boards and what climbing goal each board is designed to help you with. *Please note that we do not recommend using this equipment unless you have at least one year of climbing under your belt (meaning, you're consistently climbing twice a week for 1-2 hours). Please make sure that any training board workout sessions are done after warming up thoroughly, but before any climbing or other heavy physical workout.
Fun fact: some of the largest muscles in your entire body surround the hip, which means your hips can produce quite a bit of power and force! You use your hips a lot to go up and down steps, to walk, to run, and to jump. In climbing, hip strength and stability help you step up onto really high footholds. Your hips also allow you to generate power for a jump motion, say for a dynamic move. They’re also incredibly important for helping to keep your trunk or pelvis closer to the wall when you're climbing on steep terrain on overhanging routes.
One of the things we hear from those in our Introduction to Technique classes is how much people dread small footholds. You know the ones--the little, teensy, weensy specks on the wall that you tap, tap, tap with your foot in an effort to will your toes to trust them. We've all been there and that's why we're going to look at how you (yes you!) can learn how to trust your feet on even the most microscopic footholds.
When I think back on one of the proudest moments of my climbing career, I almost immediately remember one of my worst experiences. Both occurred at Indian Creek, Utah.