Yes, you should do warm up and cool down exercises (and 3 to try)
If you’re guilty of climbing one “easy” route, jumping on your project once or twice and then heading home, this blog is for you.
Warming up gets the blood flowing and raises your body's temperature. It's critical to preventing injury, increasing mental focus, and getting the body primed for producing force to try hard.
Conversely, what you do AFTER climbing can be just as important as your warm-up before. An effective cool-down routine releases the muscles, slows your breath, and jumpstarts the recovery process.
Here are a few exercises to help you warm up and cool down after a climbing session as recommended by Dan, a personal trainer at our Golden location.
warm up exercises before climbing
banded rotator cuff isometrics
Area of focus: Shoulders
For each of these exercises, you'll need to grab a band from the fitness area.
With your arms by your side and bent in a 90 degree angle, hold the band and pull both arms out. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 4 more times.
Hold your arms straight out in front of you with your arms shoulder-width length apart, grab the band and pull your straight arms out to the side. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 4 more times.
Hold your arms straight out in front of you with your arms shoulder-width length apart, grab the band and pull your straight arms out on a diagonal. Your left arm should be stretched up and your right arm should be stretched down the right side of your body. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 4 more times.
Area of focus: Hips
This exercise combines a hip hinge and deep squat to activate the muscles in your hips.
Hold a kettlebell at your chest and from a standing position, bend over and send your hips to the wall behind you. Don't round your back, make sure it stays flat. Squat down, staying active in the bottom of the squat (don’t rest into it), and then stand back up.
Do 2 sets of 8 reps.
wrist extension/wrist flexion
Area of focus: Fingers, wrists, forearms
Get on the ground in a table top position. Adjust your right hand so that your fingers are pointed towards you and your palm is flat on the ground. Slowly peel the heel of your hand off the ground and bring the elbow to the knee.
Do 1 set of 10 reps. Repeat with left hand
Staying with your knees on the ground, form a fist with your hands and lower them to the ground. Slowly lower your elbows to the ground and then bring your elbows back up, working towards straightening your elbows. Keep the fist as tight as possible throughout the whole motion.
Do 1 set of 10 reps.
cool down exercises after climbing
Hop on the bike, treadmill, or elliptical and move at a speed where you’re able to hold a conversation.
Do for 3-5 minutes.
This is a static stretch that targets tight hip flexors.
Kneel down to the ground, bring the top of your right foot up and onto a couch, box, or wall and hold for 90 seconds. Be sure to maintain a posterior pelvic lift by scooping the pelvis under. Repeat on the left side.
thoracic rotations (open book/closed book)
This is a slow-moving dynamic stretch that targets your upper body.
Lay down on your right side with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Keeping your knees pressing down into the ground, lift your left arm and twist your torso so that your arm arcs to the floor behind you. Bolsters and blocks should be used if needed.
Do 1 set of 10 reps and hold for two seconds in the end position.
Dan is a fitness instructor at our Golden. location. For more fitness tips and classes, check out the fitness calendar at your local gym.