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.
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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.
Above photo: Approaching the crux on Cannibals, 5.12d at Donner Summit. This isn’t going to be another train harder, work out more, get stronger fingers-type article—because, while these articles are important and valuable, they’ve already been written. Instead, this is what I do mentally when I want to climb harder. Let’s face it, we all want to get better. It’s why we love climbing. There’s always a challenge, whether you’re looking to climb your first 5.10 or 5.13. In my 14+ years of climbing, these are my time-tested tips on how to push your climbing level to the next grade.
If you've ever felt like a fear of falling is holding you back from climbing through hard cruxes of routes or problems, you're not alone! Fear of falling is something that all climbers, even those with years of experience, manage regularly. It can be one of the most scary parts of climbing. However, falling is a part of climbing and learning how to take practice falls is a skill that should be practiced.
The best climbers I know aren't just climbers on the wall. They are climbers as a lifestyle. I'm not talking about the dirtbag climber lifestyle, and I don't mean these people train all the time. I mean that they practice the principles of effective climbing in their daily lives, and view their daily lives as practice for climbing.
When one thinks of areas of your body to strengthen and stabilize, many focus on shoulders, hips, etc, but strong ankles are an incredibly important foundation for many of the movements we make with our bodies. Lack of strength or stability in the ankles can lead to instability or overcompensation in the knees or hips, which can lead to bad running technique and climbing technique. Think about it, weak ankles make standing on small holds difficult, which makes controlling your body position harder to control. So let’s strengthen those ankles! We’ve got three warmups and three exercises that help improve ankle strength and ensure that your ankles are strong and stable for activity and use down the road.