Just because you can’t get to the climbing gym or the crag doesn’t mean your training has come to a halt!
The professional climbers and athletes that we admire are taking their workouts home and a large number of them are providing their at-home workouts throughout social media. This is a great resource for useful content, providing videos with relevant exercises that require minimal to no equipment. As a disclaimer, there is no substitute that can adequately supplement an actual climbing session. However, in the long term, taking breaks or scaling back your climbing does not significantly affect your gains. In fact, it could actually benefit your climbing. So, have no fear! You can still be in tip-top shape for the climbing season even with at-home workouts. Before you get started, here are three things you need to know about at-home workouts for climbers.
Setting At-Home Workout Goals
Let’s say you have been preparing for your outdoor project for two months. You have a strict schedule for hangboarding and lifting that you follow, but now have to switch to at-home training. With the goals of your previous training more of a challenge due to a lack of resources, now is the time to ramp up your at-home workouts and avoid complacency. Like most of us, you’ve entered into a situation where you no longer have access to a hangboard or weights, so you’ll have to improvise with bodyweight exercises and cardio. Two new goals to set for yourself would be 1) to maintain your progress from your previous training and 2) increase your base fitness so that when climbing gyms have reopened, your body is prepared for more rigorous training and less prone to injury. Check out several achievable at-home goals below:
Increase Base Fitness: At-home workouts are a great place to work on your body’s ability to utilize oxygen efficiently while exercising through high-rep, full-body workouts.
Injury Prevention: Injury prevention is an integral part of training that climbers often ignore. When performing at-home workouts, you may focus on resistance training to increase injury prevention.
Core and Cardio: The two C’s! At-home training is the perfect time to return to fundamentals. You can do core and cardio every single day, and your climbing will undoubtedly be better for it.
Creating an At-Home Plan that Works
Once you’ve set achievable goals for your at-home workouts, you’ll need to create a plan. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you figure out what exercises to do, how many sets/reps to do, and when to do them.
Strength Training: True strength training is difficult to do at home. To properly train, you will need to operate at or near failure, and without added weight/resistance, it can be challenging to reach that point! So try finding variations of traditional exercises to lower your rep count, and help you reach failure faster (no one wants to do 1000 sit-ups!). For example: hug a 10-pound bag of rice and incline off of your couch when doing sit-ups, or elevate your feet and hands to increase range of motion for push-ups.
Long-Term Health: At-home workouts may also be an opportunity to step away from intensive, singularly focused training and focus on more sustainable training that improves long-term health. Maybe this is your chance to finally start stretching and meditating!
Power Training: Believe it or not, it may be a good time to throw in some power training. By doing super-sets of body-squats and jump-squats, you’ll reach failure faster and work your fast-twitch muscles as well.
Core: There are hundreds of different at-home core workouts, and while they will all blast your abs, remember that different exercises work in different ways. Planking, for example: With this exercise, you should be engaging your lower body by elevating your feet through the plank. That is to ensure you are practicing applied body tension as you work your core – which you are going to need on the wall!
Stay Motivated to Train At Home
It can be challenging to hold yourself accountable for training at home. The ritual of going to the gym or the crag for regular training is sacred to many climbers, and the idea of laying down a yoga mat for an at-home workout may seem daunting. Perhaps creating a consistent schedule to establish a new at-home routine. Another option to try is video-chatting with a friend so that you both feed off each other’s energy and push each other to try your hardest! Regardless, the switch to at-home workouts is discombobulating, so be sure to have a plan or a buddy to keep yourself motivated.
Working out at home is not easy, especially when you have ambitious climbing goals, but all hope is not lost! You can maintain strength and even set yourself up for future success with the right approach to at-home training for rock climbing. Before you start at-home training for climbing, be sure to adjust your goals. Then, you’ll need to create a plan to reach those goals. And finally, you’ll need to figure out a way to stay motivated. These three pointers will go a long way to help you be successful. Share your favorite at-home climbing workouts with us in the comments section!