5 Things to Include in Your Weekly Climbing Routine

5 Things to Include in Your Weekly Climbing Routine

These are the activities and exercises I make sure to include every week in my routine to get stronger.

1. Limit Climbing Moves

Trying hard and falling! Sometimes if I can't find anything new or fun at the gym I'll go over to the Moonboard or Kilterboard.

And a useful exercise I'll do is try to climb 10 hard problems, taking a 3-5 minute rest between each attempt. When I write down how it went it makes it easier to build upon that next time (and ignore my excuses).

2. Strength Training

To truly stress your muscles so they grow you need to do something beyond just climbing.

This could be core exercises or weight lifting, like deadlifts, squats, or shoulder press. I also see good results from strengthening the pulling muscles with things like on arm lock-offs or weighted / unweighted pullups.

3. Skill Exercises

You can transcend your physical limits through better technique, but only if you practice building the skills.

Aim to focus on a specific skill, maybe it’s footwork or grabbing holds more lightly. If you aren't sure what skills your lacking, go try climbing on your least favorite section of the gym and figure out what you can do to improve there.

4. Endurance work

The famous quote form Tony Yaniro is something like, "Without strength there is nothing to endure."

Sure, it's necessary to start with strength, but to climb multiple moves in a row you also need to build up your stamina.

I try to have one session per week where I aim for volume, trying to climb laps on a grade I can do relatively easily.

You can also do 4x4 boulder problems where you climb four in a row, then take a 5 min break and repeat four times. Or traverse around on the wall for longer time stretches, like 5-10 minutes, or 20 minutes if you're a beast!

5. Finger Strengthening

To balance out the larger muscle strength training you want to also stress your fingers. Climbing on smaller holds can do this and I particularly find it useful to climb on a systems board - moon, tension, kilter

At some point you hit a limit to how much finger strength you can build just through climbing. Then you should start hangboarding, but don't overdo it!

(BONUS) Rest & Recovery

Because if you don't give your body the proper rest you won’t get stronger.

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