Abs workout : 5 Exercises for a Complete Climber Core


A strong core is crucial to progressing as a climber. Body tension, keeping your feet on, moving efficiently, toeing-in on overhangs—it all revolves around the core. Plus, a solid core helps prevent injury. Are you ready to get the much-desired six-pack abs ? Learn the best, easy-to-do, abs workout for climbing.

Abs workout : 5 Exercises for a Complete Climber Core. You’ve probably heard a core-strength evangelist preach the benefits before. And you’ve probably been pointed toward endless crunches or even expensive programs like Pilates, TRX, or yoga. Get ready for a new approach: varied exercises that are specifically targeted to work multiple parts of your body at the same time—just like climbing does.

core abs workout bouldering climbing rockgym


  • Pick three or more of these exercises and do them at least three (and up to five) times a week for best results
  • Add as many sets or exercises as you need to feel the burn; you should be struggling to complete the last set
  • Do these any time—end of a climbing session, on a rest day, in the morning before work—but avoid doing them right before you climb, as this could make your base tired and give you poor, injury-causing technique
  • A good core workout hits all aspects of your trunk, not just the abs in the front. Each of these exercises has varied motions to work your front, back, and sides
  • Take at least one to two rest days every week to let your muscles recover
  • If you have a history of back or neck problems, consult your doctor before starting high-intensity exercises like these.

1. Hanging Leg Lift

Start on the jugs of a hangboard or a pull-up bar. Keep your arms straight, shoulders engaged (squeeze shoulder blades together), and legs straight down. Lift your legs up so your hips are at 90°, without bending your knees. When you lower back down, keep your body as still as possible (you’ll have a tendency to swing). Raise your legs again without using momentum. Do three sets of 15, resting about one minute in between.

abs core training climbers


For a tougher challenge, raise your legs with knees bent, pulling them all the way into your chest. Or try just hanging with knees bent, hips at 90°, and have a friend put weight on your lap. Start with 10 to 15 pounds, hanging for 15 seconds. Have your friend remove the weight before lowering legs.


Abs, lower back, hip flexor

2. Arm Dip

Stand straight, feet shoulder-distance apart. Choose a dumbbell that will provide good resistance; 15 pounds is a good starting point. Hold it in your left hand and slowly lower your left shoulder straight down, as far as it will go. Try to keep your right hip in line with your body; don’t let it jut out to the side. In a controlled motion, bring the weight and your body back up to the starting position. The up and the down should be two separate motions. Do 20 reps and then switch arms.



3. Abs workout : Sit Up, Stand Up

Lie with your back on the ground, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Hold a weight plate (start with 20 lbs.) near the ground with arms straight out from your head. Using momentum, do a sit-up with the plate in the air, get your feet under you near your butt, and stand up all the way—keeping the plate in the air. Lie back down in the starting position (plate doesn’t have to be up when sitting back down, but don’t put it on the ground); repeat 15 times.


Abs, hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, shoulders

4. Wheelbarrow Walk

Those wheelbarrow races you did as a kid are actually great for your core. Get into a high plank, with your hands directly below your shoulders. Have a partner lift you by your ankles. Keeping your body straight (don’t dip at the waist) and looking straight ahead, move your right hand forward about six inches. Then move your left hand up six inches past your right, finding a good pace for you and your partner to avoid face planting. Keep your core and glutes contracted to maximize the movement. Go about 30 feet, then switch with your partner. Try to do five rounds, without compromising technique.


Obliques, abs, lower back, glutes, shoulders, arms

5. Abs workout : Oblique Knee Raise Plank

Start in a high plank. Bend one leg and bring your knee to just outside the corresponding elbow. This should open your groin up to the ground as you move your knee up. Return to starting position and repeat with the other leg. Keep it controlled but maintain a steady pace. Do this for one minute.


Abs, lower back, obliques, glutes, hip flexors, shoulders, chest

abs workout training for climbing core

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