Rock climbing is a great hobby and many people like to use this hobby to keep themselves in shape. Not only is rock climbing a challenging sport, but it forces you to stay in tip-top physical condition if you want to succeed and perhaps make progress by graduating to harder and harder routes up the rock.
But the problem with rock climbing as a hobby is that many of us don’t have easy access to a climbing gym. And even if we do have a general-purpose gym with a climbing wall, it’s often crowded and only available via reservations made in advance. Furthermore, this sort of climbing facility is expensive.
It’s much more convenient, and in the long run it’s more effective, to do the bulk of your climbing training at home. In fact, there are plenty of home-based workouts you can use to improve your climbing ability. Except for the actual climbing time, everything else can be trained at home. Here are some ideas you can use during your workouts…
Without strong calves, you won’t be a good rock climber. You won’t even be mediocre; you’ll be bad at it and it won’t be very much fun. To climb well, you need high levels of strength in your calf muscles, and muscular endurance to match.
One of the best ways to build strength and endurance in your calf muscles is to do high rep Calf Raises. These isolation exercises work the gastrocnemius muscles of the upper calves which are put under tremendous strain during long climbs up the rock face. It’s in your best interest to make sure your calf muscles are bulletproof because if you begin to fatigue during an ascent, you’ll regret it.
Back and Biceps
Nobody ever had problems on a climb because their chest muscles were not strong enough. But the same can’t be said for the back muscles (and, to a lesser extent, the biceps). You absolutely must have strong, fit back muscles if you expect to stay on the rock without fatiguing and falling off.
To work your back and biceps at home, there is no exercise more important or effective than pull-ups. Use a door pullup bar and do sets of pullups all through the day. There is no need to go to muscular failure. Instead, do smaller sets regularly, so your strength levels increase and your endurance peaks.
Without pullups and the benefits they bring, you’ll never perform on a rock climbing wall (or on a cliff face) the way you could. You just can’t live up to your potential without this basic strengthening exercise for the muscles of the upper back.
So don’t just think about your favorite hobby, train for it. Work out at home so you build a strong foundation that will pay off in the rock climbing gym.