Whether you’re a serious or recreational climber, climbing fitness is just as important as climbing skill, to help you improve performance and remain injury free.
In recent years, climbing has grown in popularity from a niche sport to a widely accessible activity for all ages and levels. The health and fitness benefits of climbing are now widely known, and while climbing largely remains an outdoor sport, modern gyms are beginning to offer a controlled environment in which to focus on building and enhancing skill, technique and physicality for outdoor climbing.
At EVO, our training zones are designed around the philosophy of natural movement – skill, purpose and play. From an early age, we want to climb on everything – our powerful grip, natural strength and mobility make it a challenging and playful activity as young children. With this in mind, many of our clubs have a traverse wall, and some of our newer clubs have now Incorporated peg boards, climbing burgers, ropes, and cargo nets – designed to nurture and condition natural climbing skill.
A fit for purpose climber needs to be highly skilled in many components of fitness, ranging from flexibility and balance, to high levels of bodyweight strength. Key areas to focus training on include grip strength, unbalanced body positions, long limb reaches, and pulling movements.
With these goals in mind, we’ve picked out 5 of our favorite exercises that will challenge general strength and endurance, core stability, balance, coordination and flexibility. You can incorporate these exercises individually into an existing workout, or perform them in sequence as a climbing conditioning workout.
Perform each of the following exercises as many times as possible in 30 seconds, focusing on control over speed. Take 20-30 secs rest before moving onto the next. Once you have completed all exercises, rest for 1 minute and repeat two more times.