If you haven't already read our "How to Stay Active During Corona Part One", you might want to visit that post too. They're not done chronology, so you can just read them in whichever way you find relevant.  

As we’re all cooped up in our homes due to coronavirus, practicing social distancing, you might find that you really need physical activity to maintain not only your physical but also your mental well-being. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple and practical ways to keep active outdoors, to slow the rate of COVID-19’s spread. Here's how!


Portable hangboards with an improvised set-up in front of an apartment building

Portable Hangboard

This has happened to all of us, not being able to get a session due to work or a family trip. When you’re away from home or unable to go to the gym due to its closure, it is frustrating to have nowhere to train. This is a great way of setting up a training place anywhere you want. If you are stuck at home or traveling. With one of these, you can train at home, in your backyard or at a campsite. Just find a place to hang it!

I find it useful especially while climbing outdoor as portable hangboard gives you a chance to properly warm-up your fingers and shoulders before every climb. This prevents injuries as well as increases the level of activation for your dream project.

Not all folks have a chance to set up a regular hangboard by their homes due to rental agreements or a lack of strong walls in their homes. Portable hangboard is a versatile tool that can be used not only at home but also while traveling or climbing outdoors. Most portable boards fit a laptop bag and can easily be packed into a suitcase.

Boards usually come with 2 cords, one in each corner, for hanging them from 1 point. It will never be completely stable, but the systems work very well for regular workouts. There is a huge variety of boards, so choose carefully. The most common for them all is that all portable hangboards are made from wood. Do you need only good holds? More crimps? Pockets? Slopers? It can all be there.

 


Pull-up Workout 

*See if you can find a pull-up bar of some sort at home or outside

Warm-up
10-15 min of warming up shoulders for pull-ups, fingers, and core. Get the blood flowing while doing a few dynamic moves/stretches.

Pull-ups
5-7x with several different grips. This will wake your train muscles in various positions, not only your preferred ones. The number of reps is not that important, style matters the most. Hold the bar very wide (back muscles), regular width (back + shoulders), the width of your shoulders (shoulders), hands touching each other (shoulders - front side)

Weighted pull-ups
Start slowly and figure out how much weight you can do. Optimal number op pull-ups are 3-5x per set. Don't you have weights? No problem, a great way is to get a backpack and fill it with water bottles! Once, I managed to do hangs with 35kg of improvised weights at home.

Extended leg pull-up
normal pull-up with extended legs in front of you. This keeps the core activated and pull-ups will get way harder! Few sets of 5-10x pullups.

Lock-off pull-up
Start low. Lock-off for 3s at 120° (angle between forearm, 90°, 60° and at the top. Do the same on the way down. 1-3x pull-ups per set are fine, if it feels easy, hold the positions longer.

1 arm lock-off
A great way to train max. strength in lock-offs. Hold the bar with 1 arm at a 90° angle for 6-8s. If it is too hard, get help from the other hand holding to a rope. The goal is to use the helping hand as less as possible. After a few repetitions, change the angle of the lock-off. Do 5x each arm.

1 arm lower-off
This exercise is a step down from 1 arm lock-off.  Get as high in a lock-off as you can, then try to lower yourself down holding with 1 arm only. Even though you can't keep the lock-off, this will feel easier, because you can overload the muscles in the antagonist move. Go down in a controlled way and if necessary, the other arm assists. Repeat several times.

Excentric pull-up
Same as normal pull-up except that while pulling up, you aim for one of your wrists. At the top, you end up either left or right with one arm holding more of your weight. This is a good exercise to practice, you are on your way to do 1-arm pull-ups one day.

CHALLENGE
If you have a bar/board at home try this!. Every time you walk through the door with a pull-up bar, do 1-3 pull-ups. The goal is 100/day. Next day, keep on or switch the exercise for something else. Leg raises excentric pull-ups, front levers, etc.

And remember, for climbing training, try not to do pull-ups with palms facing your body. This trains mostly biceps and motion that is almost never replicated in climbing (except dome hard climbing on underclings, but where is that...). Use your shoulders and upper back the most with palms facing away. And not using a thumb on a bar is also good, it stimulates more the actual grip used in climbing. 

 
 

Outdoor – Exploit stairs, benches, anything!

Remember the smell of fresh air? Hopefully! Otherwise, it’s now time to tie those training shoes and get some air – Unless you are quarantined. Let’s just get something straight first; If you’re quarantined, you’ll have to make do with the countless YouTube videos about home training and our part one of this post (You can find the indoor version of this post here) There’s actually a hashtag called #staythefuckhome with over 89.754 posts, cause some people had a little trouble staying indoors. So, let’s just agree that you’ll stay the fuck home if you’re quarantined. If you’re in Italy, France or some other place with a curfew, listen to your government and not me – ok? Great, now that we’ve established that, let’s get into how to stay active outdoors!

 

 


When working out outdoors, it’s okay to be a little creative. Stairs, benches, hills or anything with an incline, is actually free gym equipment just waiting to live out their full potential. Say you have a flight of stairs. You can add a challenge to almost any move you do on flat ground, improving your power, cardio capacity, and agility.


Staircase workout 

  1. Circuit - Hopscotch Jump
    Standing on the ground facing the steps, jump onto the first step, landing on the right foot. Then jump both feet out, landing in a squat on the same step. Repeat, jumping to the second step, landing with your left foot. Continue to top, alternating sides. Walk back to the starting position. That was 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

  1. Dips and Reach
    Sit on the bottom step with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on edge of the step with fingertips pointed forward, then lift your bottom so it hovers just above the ground and in front of the step. Bend your elbows to lower the bottom towards the ground. Push back up. Straighten your left leg as you reach your right hand to tap the left foot. Return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. That was 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

  1. Bulgarian Lunge
    Facing away from the steps, place the top of your right foot on the first step. Bend both your knees until the back knee almost touches the ground. Return to starting position. That was 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

  1. Traveling Plank
    Start on the ground in the plank position, on your palms with the steps in front of you. Walk one hand at a time up to the first step, then the second, maintaining the plank position. Reverse the movement back down to the ground, one hand and one step at a time. That was 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

  1. Uneven Curtsy Depth Lunge
    Stand on the first step, facing right. Step your left foot onto the third step, coming into an uneven squat. Push through right heel and lift your left leg, landing left foot on the ground behind and diagonal to right foot, coming into a curtsy lunge. That was 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

  1. Step Jump with Deadlift Balance
    Balancing on your right leg, hop up to the first step. Hinge at your hip, extending the left leg behind you and reaching down to the second step with your left hand. Return to starting position. That was 1 rep. Do 5 reps, continuing up steps. Turn, so that your right side is facing the stairs and do high knees laterally down steps to the ground. Switch sides; repeat.

If you’re interested in more staircase workouts; here’s one called: “The Ultimate Outdoor Stair Workout”




Bench workout

While we’re at it, you can fit in a fun and effective strength routine while you soak up some sun, with this workout that only requires a bench.

 

  1. Bench Squats
    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, facing away from the bench. Lower into a squat, tapping the seat with your bottom, then stand up, bringing the left knee up. Return to standing, then repeat, this time bringing the right knee up. Keep alternating for 20 reps.

 

  1. Incline Push-Ups
    Stand facing the bench from a little distance away and place your palms shoulder-width apart atop the seat to get into an inclined plank position. Then do push-ups, alternately lifting one leg as you lower. Do 20 reps.

 

  1. Step-Ups
    Stand facing the bench, place your right foot atop the seat and push through your right heel to stand up, bringing the left knee up towards your chest. Step back down with your left foot, then right. Repeat, this time stepping up with your left foot and bringing right knee up. Do 20 reps.

 

  1.  Bench Dips
    Sit on edge of the bench with your hands by your hips, palms flat and fingers curled over rim; walk your feet forward and scoot bottom off, so that you're balancing weight between heels and palms. Bend your elbows 90 degrees directly behind you to dip, then press up again. Do 20 reps.

 

 

That’s it for now, climbers. We hope you enjoyed this blog post. Feel free to share it with your friends and on your social media channels. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.


Stay safe and take care!

- Vojtěch

 

About the author 
Vojtěch Dědek

Climbing Wall Designer and Admin
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Vojtěch is a passionate sports climber and boulderer - actually he is one of the best climbers in Denmark with ascents up to 8a+ although he expects harder ascents coming soon. You can find him training or being a climbing instructor in Aarhus Climbing Club or climbing at many sport crags around Europe. Vojtěch is educated as an Architect from Czech Technica University in Prague and as a Building Engineer from Aarhus School of Science and Engineering. At Gubbies He combines his expertise in how climbing works with his architectural background.

If you plan on getting a climbing wall or have any questions about climbing or climbing gear, he will always have some valuable input and great advice to share.


You can contact Vojtěch on