Rock Climbing is a strenuous activity and it is a total body workout. If you are a seasoned rock climber then you have experienced the gravity defying antics of rock climbing. If you are an aspiring rock climber then it’s important that you get a physical assessment done to find out your physical strengths and weaknesses.
Once that is done, you can start a workout regimen to strengthen your muscles that matter the most during rock climbing. We use a lot of upper body strength to climb. Following muscles are used the most during a rock climbing session irrespective of it being an indoor or an outdoor activity.
Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Anterior Deltoid
It is a wing shaped muscle responsible for the pulling and pushing that your arms and shoulder do as you climb up… Rhomboids are responsible for the retraction of shoulder blades essentially making it easy for you to face the rock while climbing. The anterior deltoid joins the shoulder blades to the arms. Lat, Rhomboids and anterior Deltoids work together as a single machine to help you pull your weight.
Biceps – biceps are the upper arm muscles, used to bend arms and hold the rock or wall while climbing. A lot of pulling can easily fatigue biceps. Biceps work in conjunction with whole set of back muscles to pull the body up
Forearms – the forearm flexors control your phalanges and help in gripping the surface while climbing. They are a small set of muscles and have the tendency to tire up quickly. Hence they need to be trained religiously.
Abdominal Muscles or Abs
Core muscles or abdominal muscles play an important role in stabilizing your posture as you climb. When climbers are climbing overhangs, core muscles job is to keep the body aligned so the stress or weight distribution is equal on forearms, biceps, legs and the back.
Legs have the largest group of muscles dedicated to take you forward in your climb. Quadriceps are found in front of your leg and they allow straightening of the leg from a bent stance while climbing. Calf muscles comprise the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles that propel you by allowing you to balance on toes with raised heels while climbing thin edges.
A proper exercise regimen should be followed to get ready for rock climbing. Using a target method technique to train all muscles mentioned in this article will certainly pay off. Pull ups are the go to exercise of climbers. Pull ups can stretch your endurance for hanging from a cliff. To make pull ups more rewarding, start adding weight to the exercise. It is proven that weight training helps build lean and strong muscles. Climbers are known to use weights during hypergravity training to attain agility. You can do weighed pull downs to work on your shoulders and lats. Climbers train for uneven grip pull ups to deal with unforeseeable and difficult situations during a climb.