Tuesday, 7 September 2010

How To You Improve Your Climbing Fitness

I normally go hiking and rambling and I am currently planning my next mountain hike. The thing is that I have put on a few pounds and will be ensuring I am fit enough for the hike.

However recently a friend of mine took me rock climbing but before he did he said to me that I needed to improve my climbing fitness. He advised me that rock climbing is a very strenuous activity and you obviously need to be fit and obtain climbing fitness. He then taught me the best ways to improve my climbing fitness. These points really helped me and I thought I would right an article so that we could all share this information. So here we go

Rock climbing whether it is indoors or outdoors requires:

1. Upper Body Strenght: Your upper body strength and pulling power in order to use your arms to pull you to the next position on the rock face. You can perform any pulling exercise in the gym to improve your upper body strength and so to increase your climbing fitness. A good example of one for climbing is what is called “pole pulling exercises”. For this exercise you need to hold on to a pole or beam in the gym and keep pulling your whole body up and down. This will increase your pulling power for climbing fitness.

2. Flexibility: You need good flexibility to ensure that you are able to reach the next handhold which could be quite a stretch away which happens many times I can tell you from experience. Also you may need to stretch your leg very high for the next foothold. So you need to be able to get into all sorts of difficult positions on the rock face. So all stretching exercises either in or out the gym are great for climbing fitness. So stretch and then hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds to ensure you are stretching beyond your comfort zone.

3. Stability: Hip and ankle stability is important for your balance on the rock face. A great exercise is where you stand on one leg and bend your leg so your body bends down to your foot. You can also use a dumb bell for better and greater intensity when you improve with this exercise. This will help train your stability and balance.

Of course going climbing itself is one of the best forms of improving your climbing fitness. This means that you may want to train in an indoor climbing wall using various climbing routes which is good when the weather is bad. This will be good training and climbing fitness for the actual climbing at a later date. This will ensure that you use all the techniques required.

Some great training for the kids in the gym is climbing up a rope that has knots at various heights. This makes the exercise fun (i.e being Tarzan) and helps the child to enhance their climbing muscles and co-ordination on the rock face due to kids climbing fitness.

This of course is not the full list of climbing fitness exercises but a sample of some which will be useful

Have a great climb but please be fit and prepare your climbing fitness.

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