Training : How to get a Climber’s Core
We always think of training our fingers when climbing, but training your core is important, too. Core strength is essential to all of our climbing movements.
Here are the most common exercises designed to support your climbing. Starting with the infamous front lever, an exercise that may take years (or a lifetime) to be able to execute, we provide some nice alternatives that may work for you.
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. 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 exercise 1: the Front Lever – an advanced move
Hold as long as possible (at least 5 seconds) and rest 45 seconds in between attempts. This is an advanced move, and if you are like most people, you won’t be able to hold this for even one second. If that sounds like you, then work up to a front lever by starting with both knees close to your chest and work on sticking one leg out at a time.
Exercise 2: the Negative Front Lever
Also a great introduction to the front lever, the negative front lever requires lifting your legs high above you and then making your body straight as you slowly lower. Great training for overhung climbs. Especially when hanging on your hand and trying to get your feet onto the next hold.
Core exercise 3: Superset 1 – Leg Raises and Hyperextensions
A superset is a combination of two opposing muscle group exercises.
Hang with your body straight and raise the legs by only bending at the hips for 6 reps.
Lie on your front, and with your arm off the ground lift your upper body off the ground by only bending at the hip and lower back for 6 reps.
Rest 45 seconds and repeat both the leg raises and hyperextensions 3 times.