There’s no doubt that rock climbing is a serious sport that requires a lot of strength, endurance, and physical fitness.
People train for weeks, months, and years in order to scale a challenging rock and most of the time they do that by heading to a climbing gym or getting into nature and finding one that’s suitable.
One great thing about rock climbing though is that there’s no need to actually go to a rock in order to build up your strength or improve your skills. There are plenty of exercises for rock climbing you can do from home or in an outdoor location that doesn’t require a wall, and all of them will get you in better shape for the real thing.
One of the easiest rock climbing exercises at home and something that almost every person knows to do is the push-up. Push-ups are a form of antagonist training, and if the experts have any advice to offer it’s to follow these types of exercises.
A push-up works on the muscles that help you pull which might seem contrary to the pulling that you use while rock climbing, but it will give you superior upper body strength.
The tricep dip is another great exercise that works on building your upper body strength and making it super easy for you to scale any size rock. These are also a form of antagonist exercises which we know are ideal for rock climbers if they’re looking to improve their strength.
To do a tricep dip, stand in front of a chair or bench and place both hands behind you to rest on it. Lower yourself down so that your arms end up at a 90-degree angle and then push yourself back up.
This is another simple exercise that should require no instruction, but one that you’ll be very familiar with if you’ve ever climbed a rock before. This exercise uses all of the muscles that you use during a climb so it’s essential to keep them working and strengthening even when you’re not climbing.
People often focus so much on strengthening their body that they forget the most important tool a rock climber has to work with – their hands. Your fingers can quickly become weak with inactivity so even when you’re not climbing you should be working on them.
Grab some putty and perform a range of rock climbing finger exercises like bottle openers and roll squashes to keep them super strong.
Your legs are just as important as your arms when it comes to climbing, but people often forget just how much they use them. A simple lunge is a great way to engage all parts of the leg and make it stronger in between climbs, and you can do them basically anywhere.
To make things even more challenging you can hold a dumbbell in each hand as you lunge and curl up to meet the corresponding leg.
There’s nothing like a good squat to build some muscle and it’s a simple exercise that every rock climber should incorporate into their workout each day. To squat, keep your legs hip-width apart and your back straight, and lower yourself down into a seated position.
Try to imagine you’re sitting on a chair behind you if it helps, all the while keeping your back completely upright. Hold for a few seconds and return back up, and repeat for as many times as possible until you can’t take it anymore.
Our arms are a serious tool when it comes to rock climbing but we often lose focus on how important the forearms are in this equation. Wrist curls are easy enough to do with a small dumbbell, placing your forearms against your legs while sitting down.
Bring the wrists upwards and curl them in and then lower them back down where they started.
The core is one of the biggest areas to work out when you’re looking for rock climbing exercises for beginners and experts. Your body needs to be able to hold your weight and do it steady while you reach your limbs out for action, so keeping the core engaged and powerful is essential.
To do a plank, start on your hands and knees on the floor, moving your feet back behind you and resting on your forearms. Keep your back in a straight line and lift up from the floor, as if you were going to start a push-up. Hold for at least a minute and then have a rest before doing more.
Also known as the six inches exercises, this is a seriously challenging move to do but one that will put your body in the prime position to scale some rock. Start by laying on your back completely flat and then lift your legs up just six inches off the ground.
You need to hold this position for as long as you can, even well after you start shaking. This engages your entire core and when done just a few times a day will have serious results by the end of the week.
For a leg lift with a difference but one that will make you feel as though you’re out in nature climbing some rocks, the hanging leg lift is one of the best rock climbing exercises you can do.
Hang off a pull-up bar with straight legs and lift your legs until your hips reach a 90-degree angle. Keep your legs straight there as long as you can and then release, repeating a few times to really build the strength up.