THE Essential CLIMBER Warm-up  image

Injury prevention begins with a proper warm-up! Don’t skip this important step!

Climbers are notorious for not warming up properly before getting on to the project… We all know you’re supposed to warm up before exercising but how many of us actually do so? Why exactly IS it so important? What does a proper warm-up entail? And how does this differ from the gym to the outdoors?

A warm-up should consist of a mix of cardiovascular exercises, joint mobilization, stretching and progressive functional loading related to the activity in which you are about to participate. The goal is to increase circulation, body temperature and heart rate and prepare the muscles for the movements they will be required to carry out in the upcoming session. And of course the ultimate goal is to NOT get hurt. A proper warm-up should take somewhere between 20-30 minutes in entirety and should range from 30-80% max intensity. Invest those minutes now and prevent the rehab hours later. Here’s some guidance to get you going.

The gym is an ideal setting for warm-up so begin there. 10 exercises are listed below to get the body moving and in gear. After these, begin with 3-5 boulders or 2-3 routes well below your red-point grade and gradually increase the difficulty. If you have access to a hangboard or campus board, spend a few minutes doing repeats- 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off, beginning with a larger hold and progressing to smaller. Example for a v5 climber: do 3-5 V0-V1, 2-3 V2-V3, 1 V4 and then V5, resting 5-10 minutes between sets… then do a few hangs and then you’re ready to pull down hard.

If you’re outside, this can obviously be more complicated but do your best to replicate the bodyweight warm-up and allow yourself time to move around on easier holds and moves as available before jumping straight on the project. You’re also much more likely to send!

Good luck to you! Send all your projects and stay safe out there!

1) 50 jumping jacks

2) 20 body weight squats

3) 10 push ups

4) 5 lateral lunges each direction

5) 5 reverse lunges with thoracic rotation each side

6) Plank step through with tricep push up

7) Reverse lunge, elbow to instep

8) Bow and arrow stretch

9) Foam roller: thoracic mobility, chest opening, lats, legs, hips

10) 3 pull ups and 3 chin ups with focus on dynamic movement