Climbing in itself is already a complex sport, so why to train more outside of your climbing hours? Well it’s because you can get that extra boost of strength and endurance from doing various physical activities. We have previously explained that flexibility is an integral for climbing, but now your core strength takes center stage.

Why core?

The core, being the center of your body, needs to be fully engaged when climbing to make sure that you are using energy the most efficiently. Strong core means more stability and less stress for other parts of the body. When you only use your arms when pulling up you don’t engage the back muscles, which is actually the key to a successful climb. During a high step move, when you only use your legs without tightening your core, you’re missing out on that significant amount of extra power. A strong core would also entail a better campus board performance. Facing overhangs will be easier (but still harder than a non-overganhing wall) since your body weight is tightened at the center. As with most of other sports, you will always hear that the core is the most important part of the body. It is true for climbing as well. This is where all the strenght originates. Arms or legs can be strong as well but never as strong as the core. The volume and mass is just incomparable. So to say, if you don't know what to train, train core. It will be always be useful.

How often should you train your core?

2-3x a week is ideal, but it really depends on your level. Beginner climbers might opt to familiarize themselves first with climbing and technique, while the advanced and intermediate individuals can get the best improvements by training with non-climbing activities. They want to get stronger in order to be able to solve harder boulder problems and higher-graded routes. For beginners, gains in technique and climbing efficiency are the best way to go. If you have a structure in your trainign days, usually core workouts are great to do right after climbing as you are too tired to use your arms/fingers anymore but core can still take a bit more.

Train with a partner

Climbing is a very social sport, with close-knit communities encouraging people on to be better and stronger. When you’re feeling lazier than usual, you can ask your go-to belay partner to be also your workout buddy—which is actually a lot more fun! Surviving that 2-minute plank will be less dreadful since you’re next to an other person. Your partner can make sure that you practice with correct technique, something we normally neglect especially when a mirror is not around (almost never in climbing gyms, that dust...). When stretching, a partner could come in handy because someone is present to not only push you mentally, but also physically—some stretches can be taken even further when you have someone pushing your back to go lower or farther.

 

Core workout

1. Hollow hold

a) Make sure your shoulders are above the ground and rounded.
b) Your lower back should be flat on the floor, and don’t forget to engage that core!
c) Activate your body by raising your feet up.

 2. Spider crunches

a) Your shoulders should be aligned and on top of your wrists.
b) When you move your leg, make sure to hit your knee with your elbow. Keep your back        straight the whole way!

 3. Scissor kicks

a) Activate your body by putting your feet up.
b) Your lower back should be flat on the floor, and don’t forget to engage that core!

4. Russian twist

a) Your upper back and shoulder should be squared & aligned so that the chest is open.
b) Feel the move working your core, and while you twist the abs should be engaged.
c) Activate your body by raising your feet.

5. Side plank


a) Your shoulder and forearm should be aligned.
b) Core should be above the floor, straight and engaged.
c) Place your feet on top of each other.

6. Normal plank


a) Your shoulders should be aligned with your wrists.
b) Keep your core engaged, lower your butt and squeeze it in to keep your spine straight,       and don’t let your lower back curve.