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How to Get in Shape for Rock Climbing

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Old 06-11-2019, 08:14 AM
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Default How to Get in Shape for Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a fun but challenging sport, and being fit will help you climb safely. Getting in good shape for rock climbing requires both strength training and cardio, as youíll need both for climbing. Itís also best to eat a healthy, balanced diet that fuels you and your workouts. With hard work and determination, you can climb higher and longer!


EditStrengthening Your Upper Body and Core
  1. Do finger hangs to strengthen your hands and improve your grip. Use a sturdy door frame or a low tree branch. Lift yourself onto your toes and grip the door frame or branch with the top half of your fingers. Lift your legs so that youíre hanging. Let yourself hang for 5 seconds, then release and rest for 5 seconds.[1]
    • Repeat the exercise for 1 minute, which means you should do 6 reps total.
    • Use the pads on the top half of your fingers to hold you up.
    • This exercise will help you get used to supporting your weight on a ledge.
  2. Perform pull-ups to build arm and shoulder strength. Grip a stable bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. You can use an overhanded or underhanded grip. Bend your legs behind you so that youíre hanging from the bar, then slowly pull yourself up. Raise your chin above the bar, then lower yourself slowly back to start. Make sure your muscles are controlled and engaged the entire time.[2]
    • Do 2-3 sets of 6-10 pull-ups.
    • To increase the challenge and build more strength, pull yourself up as quickly as you can, then slowly lower yourself for a 5 count.
    • Alternatively, do chin-to-knuckle pull-ups by pulling yourself up to 1 side. Touch your chin to the top of your knuckle, then release. Alternate sides as you do your pull-ups to mimic the movement of rock climbing.
  3. Do planks to build your upper body and core strength simultaneously. Planks help you build the strength you need to hold yourself up and support your own weight while you're climbing. Lie on your stomach, then get into push-up position with your palms directly under your shoulders. Slowly push yourself off the ground, balancing your weight on your palms and toes. Keep your core tightened to support a straight back. Hold the plank for as long as you can or up to 2 minutes.[3]
    • If you canít hold your plank for 2 minutes, hold it as long as you can. Then, rest and repeat until youíve held a plank for a total of 2 minutes.
    • Donít let your back slouch or stick up your **** while youíre doing your planks.
  4. Perform push-ups for a more intense core and upper body workout. Push-ups help you build the muscles you need to lift and lower your body weight. Lie down on your stomach, then place your hands under your shoulders. Engage your core, then slowly push yourself off the floor. Balance on your palms and toes, keeping your back straight. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then slowly lower yourself down to the floor.[4]
    • Do 1-3 sets of 10 push-ups.
    • Donít point your **** up into the air or let your back slouch.
    • To make your body work harder, try putting your hands slightly above your head. Form a diamond shape with your hands, angling your elbows outward. These are called diamond or superman push-ups.
    • To make your push-ups more challenging, do them on an incline. Put your feet on a chair, stair, or sturdy box, but keep your lower body on the ground. Slowly perform your push-ups in this position.
  5. Go to a rock climbing gym and climb the beginner wall. This will help you get practice with climbing while you build up your strength. Tell the employees youíre a beginner and what your goals are. Theyíll help you pick the right course for you.[5]
    • Itís a good idea to visit the rock climbing gym 2-3 times a week as you build up your strength. You donít need to wait until youíve built up your fitness to do beginner climbs.
EditBuilding Your Leg Strength
  1. Perform single-leg pistol squats for strong, flexible legs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended out in front of you. Extend your left leg out in front of you with your knee straight, your toe pointed, and your foot not touching the floor. Slowly lower your body down by bending your right leg. Keep your right knee in line with your foot, not letting it go out past your toe. Hold for 30 seconds if you can, then slowly rise back to your starting position.[6]
    • Do 1-3 sets of 5-10 pistol squats on each side.
    • Hold the squat for as long as you can. If you need help balancing, hold onto a chair or the wall.
    • Your legs need to be strong and flexible so you can propel yourself up the wall or summit.
  2. Perform jumping lunges to build explosive strength for climbing. Step forward with your right leg, then slowly lower yourself down by bending your right knee. Keep your knee in line with your foot and donít extend it past your toe. Then, explode off the floor, jumping back into your starting position. Repeat on the other side.[7]
    • Do 1-3 sets of 8-10 jumping lunges on each side.
  3. Do box jumps to strengthen your legs for propelling yourself upward. Stand with your feet hip-width apart in front of a sturdy box. Lower your body into a slight squat and swing your arms back. Then, swing your arms forward and propel yourself up onto the box, landing in a slight squat. Finally, jump back down to your starting position.[8]
    • Do 1-3 sets of 3-6 box jumps.
EditImproving Your Cardio Fitness
  1. Get 30 minutes of cardio exercise 5-7 days a week to build endurance. Cardio activity will help condition your body and improve your endurance level. In fact, itís best to get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity each week to maintain a healthy body. Make sure you do your cardio exercise 5-7 days a week. For instance, you might try the following cardio exercises:[9]
  2. Do short sprints to improve your fitness so you can climb longer. Mark off a distance of about , and place additional markers every . Sprint from the start to the finish and touch the baseline. Then, sprint back to start and touch the baseline. Turn back around and sprint to your 2nd-to-last marker. Continue sprinting back and forth until youíve touched each baseline and run back.[10]
    • Shorten your sprint by on each turnaround.
  3. Walk up and down stairs with weights to simulate climbing. Wear a weighted vest or a heavy backpack or carry hand weights. Walk up at least 1 flight of stairs, then walk back down. Continue climbing up and down the stairs for at least 10 minutes. Go as fast as you safely can.[11]
    • Try to go for 30 minutes.
    • This will help you build your climbing endurance.
EditEating a Healthy Diet
  1. Get 50-60% of your calories from healthy carbohydrates (carbs). Choose nutritious, complex carbs for most of your meals to help fuel your body during your workouts and recovery.[12] The best sources of carbs include vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, and whole grains. Include these foods in each of your meals.[13]
    • For example, you might eat oatmeal for breakfast, a salad at lunch, apple slices for a snack, and lentil soup for dinner.
    • To figure out how many grams of carbs to eat, multiply your calorie goal by .5 for 50% or .6 for 60%, then divide by 4 because thereís 4 calories in a gram of carbs. For instance, if you planned to eat 2,000 calories a day, youíd multiply 2,000 x .5 = 1,000. Then, divide 1,000/4 = 250. This means youíd eat 250 grams of carbohydrates a day.
  2. Make 30-35% of your calories lean protein. Protein helps your body repair and fuel your muscles, so itís an essential nutrient.[14] Choose lean options like poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, or veggie burgers. Eat a source of lean protein at each meal.[15]
    • For example, you might add 1% milk and sliced almonds to your oatmeal at breakfast, grilled chicken to your salad at lunch, and peanut ****er to your apple slices. Lentils contain protein, so youíd already be eating protein if you were eating lentil soup.
    • To calculate how much protein you need, multiple your calorie goal by .3 or .35, then divide by 4. For a calorie goal of 2,000, multiply 2,000 x .3 = 600. Then, divide 600/4 = 150. Youíd eat 150 grams of protein.
  3. Get 20-25% of your calories from healthy fats. Your body needs fat to stay healthy and recover after your workouts.[16] However, you want to choose healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s.[17] However, eat fewer saturated fats and avoid trans fats. Get most of your fats from fatty fish, nuts, natural oils, avocado, and peanut ****er.[18]
    • For instance, youíd get fat from the sliced almonds on your oatmeal, the salad dressing on your salad, and the peanut ****er you ate as your snack. You can add fat to your lentil soup by sauteing your aromatic soup veggies, like onions and garlic, in oil before you make the soup or by sprinkling cheese over your soup.
    • To figure out how much fat you need each day, multiply your calorie goal by .2 or .25, then divide by 9 because thereís 9 calories in a gram of fat. For a 2,000 calorie goal, youíd multiply 2,000 x .2 = 400. Then, divide 400/9=44.4. You could round this to 44 grams of fat per day.
  4. Eat about 25-30 g of nutritious carbs 30 minutes before a climb. Carbs fuel your body, especially during a hard workout. You donít want to feel full, but eating a light high-carb snack can give you the power to complete your workout. Stick to healthy, nutritious carbs, like fruits, veggies, and whole grains.[19]
    • If youíre going on a short climb, choose easy-to-digest carbs like bananas, dried fruit, oats, or sweet potatoes.
    • For longer climbs, opt for complex carbs, such as brown rice, beans, or quinoa.
    • Itís best to avoid sugar packs or processed snacks, as these donít contain as many nutrients.
  5. Consume protein and carbs within 30 minutes of working out. Choose a snack thatís high in protein and carbs but has less than 5 grams of fat. This will help refuel your body post-workout so your muscles can recover and rebuild.[20]
    • For instance, you might drink a protein shake, eat Greek yogurt with cut up fruit, or snack on string cheese and a serving of g****s.
  6. Drink at least of water daily to stay hydrated. Your body needs plenty of fluids to fuel your workouts, maintain your body, and recover post-workout. Sip on water throughout your day, and add in more foods that hydrate you, such as fruits or soup.[21]
    • If you donít like water, try flavoring it with sliced fruit. As another alternative, you can drink tea or other fluids instead.
    • Since youíre likely very active, you may need more water every day. Increase your water intake if you feel thirsty or tired.
  • Stretch after your workouts.
  • Itís helpful to track your progress in a journal or day planner.
  • YouTube has lots of great videos on how to climb using proper technique. Take advantage of this! Proper technique is just as important as strength and cardio.
  • Get between 8-9 hours of rest each night for faster recovery and improvement.
  • Try not to be intimidated by better climbers. Instead, ask them for advice. Remember, they were once where you are.
  • Donít attempt any outdoor climbing without first learning all the basics of safety.
  • If you feel a little too much strain in your hands, stop training and take a week or 2 to let them recover.

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