Chicks Training: More Tips for Bombproof Shoulders

Demo of Front Leaning Rest

Front Leaning Rest

Whatever your goals, shoulder stability is paramount.

I cannot stress the benefit of shoulder strength and stability enough. I’ve emphasized this in the past in Training Tip: Solid Shoulders.

For newcomers to Chicks Training Tips, it’s worth looking back through ALL my past posts to get a fuller picture of the progression of my training recommendations.

At least once a week, preferably twice, do the following important shoulder-stabilization exercises.

For those who’ve been doing their homework, I’ve included some great progressions.

Warm-up and Cool-down with Band:

(note: links to exercises at bottom of each section)


Attach band at knee height:

A) Y

B) 90/90

Attach band at shoulder height:

C) Rows

D) Flys

E) Pull Downs

For exercises A-E, squeeze shoulder blades together and down before moving arms. Maintain squeeze while reversing movements (harder than it seems). 

Training Tip: Solid Shoulders

Workout Exercises:


Use light DBs and do movements sequentially (without rest) until all three have been completed:


5x Front Raise

5x Lateral Raise

5x Reverse Fly

Again, squeeze shoulder blades together and down before moving arms for all three movements. Maintain squeeze while reversing movements (harder than it seems). 

Training Tip: Shoulder Stabilizers


Do each of the following exercises once, or do one 3X with 30 seconds rest in between:

Ring Support – goal 30 secs

Handstand or Over Head Hold (25 – 45# pound plate) – goal 60 secs

FLR – Front Leaning Rest (Plank with hands on gymnastic rings, toes on floor or slightly elevated on a 12” box) 90-120 secs

Training Tips: Core Movements

Training Tips: Core Movements (part 2)


If you can do the preceding exercises as suggested, try adding the following exercises. Choose two movements. Do 3/4 sets with 60 seconds rest in between. DO NOT try all of these at one time. It will be too much for the shoulders to tolerate.

Side Plank with Hip Raise and Lower: goal 30 secs

Superwoman: 8 – 10 reps, on knees, full range of motion

Arm Sweeps: 8 – 10 reps, on knees, full range of motion

Archers: 4-5 per side, on knees or toes, full range of motion


Example Workout:

Warm up (as suggested above)

2×8 shoulder openers

2 x 5 cuban press

3×5 wall squats

Training Tips for Chicks


Training Tips: Correct your Imbalances


5x front raise

5x lateral raise

5x reverse fly

(As described above)


2x turkish get up (TGU) per side

Training Tip: The Key to Getting Stronger


5x toes to bar

5x l-seat pull-up or pull-Up

Training Tips: Core Movements

10x archers


30 second ring support+30 second rest

Training Tips: Core Movements

Cool Down (as suggested above)

As always, I highly encourage you to seek professional help to ensure you have the best form possible on all movements. You can watch my short videos, Google, and You-Tube most of this stuff, however, having someone watch you and give you feed back is invaluable.

If you need information for a specific climb or trip of any nature you can contact me at:


Carolyn Parker

Founder Ripple Effect Training

Gym Jones, Fully Certified Instructor

AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Coach for Uphill Athlete

Cassie Tweed Designs Osprey Packs

Meet Real Chick Cassie Tweed, the Director of Design for Osprey Packs

We thought we’d sit down with Cassie Tweed, Director of Design for Osprey Packs, to chat with her about just what goes into making women’s specific packs and share that with you. With her leading role at Osprey, we also thought it would be interesting to learn what makes Cassie tick to be such a productive, inspiring leader in the industry. This short video is a great start to gain some insight into her work:

Cassie, Osprey has been a leader in pack design for decades and has put a lot of effort into creating women’s specific packs.  Can you tell us a few key concepts or things that go into making a women’s specific fit that may not be obvious? 
It’s all about the shape of the harness and hipbelt in addition to the different torso lengths available, which is a bit more obvious.  The shape of the harness and hipbelt is more subtle.  The hipbelt is curved to create a conical shape which women’s tend to have and the harness is a contoured to fit the curves of a woman’s chest.  The better the fit, the better the load transfers, and the more comfortable the pack ☺

Are there other aspects of design that you put into women’s specific packs that have put Osprey in the lead with such a wide range of offerings that are women specific? 
Other than fit, aesthetics is another high priority.  This means colors and some subtle patterning changes for a softer, less aggressive look where appropriate.  The function and performance of the bag is exactly the same as men’s.  These details are designed for the activity which is not a gender specific issue.

How long have you been with Osprey and what do you love about your work there? 
I’ve been with Osprey since 2010.  I love that I get to design packs and then go use them.  Hiking and traveling the world is part of the job!  I love that designing packs means designing for experiences.  A successful pack means you don’t notice it on your back.  You notice the beauty of the mountain range in front of you.  I love  that I get to work great people in Vietnam and live a wild expat life ☺

Who are your role models, heroines or heroes, and why?
I’ve never really had specific role models or idols.  I am however inspired by all the women before me and around me, fueling an energy that’s a part of me and greater than me.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working? 
Living in Vietnam is a bit different than if I was at home in California.  At home, you could find me on the beach or walking through the local wilderness everyday with weekend trips to the mountains, backpacking, camping or snowboarding.  In Vietnam, I like to take in the culture.  Going on various motorbike trips around town, eating the amazing food and taking photos. I try to get out of the city once a month to some of the bordering countries like Cambodia or Thailand.  Travel is so easy in SE Asia!  And generally, I’m pretty good at relaxing and hanging about by the pool with this 100 degree weather every day!

What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t find online? 
That’s a hard one… I’m not sure I know what’s online about me! Hah…  Well, I think maybe that I’m not a hardcore outdoors, sports enthusiast.  I think a lot of women in the outdoor industry that are highlighted usually are doing some crazy things like climbing big walls and summiting big peaks.  I’m not sure if I’m grouped into that category, but I feel there’s a bit of stereotyping (and it’s probably a bit telling that that is what I see…).  Anyways, what’s interesting about me maybe is that I am just like so many other women out there.  I love being outside and connecting with nature.  I also love working my body.  And when those 2 things happen together, its spiritual.

How would you describe yourself in one to three words?
Learner of life.

What are the top three factors that you attribute to your success?
Thinking positively (i.e. knowing I will succeed in some form or another), Listening, and treating every failure as a learning opportunity / all pain as an opportunity for growth.

What were you like when you were in high school?
High School was kind of intimidating to me. I was athletic and played sports, but for the most part, kept to myself and got good grades.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Haha I love this question.  I don’t know, but I know I’ll find out when the time comes.  When I was younger I knew indefinitely that I would to be an artist, an architect, or the first professional female baseball player.  It was good to have a goal but I may have limited myself.  Now I know that there is so much more joy in not knowing and not limiting myself.

Can you tell us what particular Osprey Products you are most excited about in the women’s line and anything new we can expect to see in the line that would be of interest to our technically oriented women who like to get after it in the outdoors?
I really love the Aura AG and Tempest packs.  Both are supper comfortable and conform really nicely to all different shapes of bodies.  As for the more technically oriented women, the Kresta and Dyna are a couple of our high performance products that came out recently.  Kresta is a ski and backcountry sports pack and Dyna is a body hugging trail running hydration vest.

As an inspiration and leader in the movement of women’s specific design can you give our readers any words of wisdom that you’ve learned along the way that have made so successful and productive? 
Follow your heart.  And if you don’t know what that is, that’s Ok, I’ve been in this position so many times.  When I’m not sure, I go outside, be quiet and listen.  Trust what you feel deep down and follow it.

Thanks Cassie, we appreciate your time and can’t wait to see what you’ve got in the works for 2018! 
Thank you ☺

**This is the first in a series of Interviews that Chicks Co-Owner Angela Hawse is doing with women behind the Brands that support Chicks.  Osprey Packs has been a long-time supporter of Chicks Climbing and Skiing and we are a huge fan of their products and people. We know first hand that Osprey makes the best women’s specific packs on the market.  Most of you who have attended a Chicks program have had the opportunity to demo a women’s specific Osprey Packs.

Chicks Tech Tip: How to Coil Like a Pro!

Chicks co-owner and guide, Angela Hawse, shows us the in’s and out’s of the perfect, well-balanced coil with one of her favorite Sterling Ropes!


Cranky couples climbing

I saw the video below this morning and was reminded of a time when I behaved like that while climbing too – but I would only have that sort of temper tantrum when I was climbing with just my husband. The presence of one other person would completely prevent me from being cranky, mouthy, bitchy what have you. Why is that? I often wonder why I thought it was acceptable to be so grumpy with the ONE person in this world who has my back 100% of the time.

Luckily these days I have a much better attitude towards climbing and life in general, but wow that brought back memories! I’m sure the boy will get a laugh out of watching this video, too.

Have you ever had a temper tantrum as a result of climbing? Who do you feel ‘safe’ enough to do this around?

How to sharpen your ice tools

Girly Guide Margo Talbot – whose new book “All That Glitters” is coming out in May, made a nice, short video on how to sharpen your ice tools.

Now is a good time to sharpen those tools up so that they are ready to go come December! Now, who’s ready to “Rock”? 🙂

Setting up a v-thread, part 2

Here is part two of Angela Hawse’s demonstration of a v-thread setup:

If you need instruction on how to drill for a v-thread, see part 1 here!

Thanks Angela for the great demonstration and Dawn for the super video skills 🙂

Setting up a V-thread, part 1

In this video clip recorded during the Chicks with Picks Complete last month, Angela Hawse demonstrates how to drill the holes to set up a V-thread for a rappel in a multi-pitch ice climbing scenario.

Stay tuned to the Chicks blog for the second clip where Angela demonstrates how to set up the rappel!

There’s always something to learn!

No matter what your experience level in climbing, there’s always something to learn at a Chicks with Picks clinic.

In fact, even the Head Chick benefits from the experience and teaching of our top-notch guides! Check out the video below as the 2011 Ouray Ice Fest women’s comp winner, Dawn Glanc, coaches the Head Chick on an M6+ climb.

Being open to learning means measurable improvements are also on the way!

Rescue on the Valhalla Traverse of the Grand Teton

Michelle Smith from Ungrounded just sent us this video of her rescue on the Grand Teton two weeks ago.

Michelle was climbing with partner Stephen Koch when she fell about 30 feet on the Valhalla Traverse on the northwest side of the Grand Teton. She was injured so badly she needed a helicopter rescue (and some major screws and pins to repair her leg!).

Check out the video to see what a rescue like this looks like, and to see how important it is to stay mentally strong when things get scary in the mountains.

As Michelle noted, “Hopefully, I will never have to do a story like this one again.”

Rescue on Valhalla Traverse from getungrounded on Vimeo.

Check out more from Ungrounded here.

You Tube – NBC Today Show

Chicks on the Today Show

Chicks on the Today Show

Watch Chicks with Picks on YouTube. The NBC Today Show and Nightly News: featuring an interveiw with Chicks alumni Amy Boebel.  Learn what ice climbing has done to help this cancer survivor overcome her fears and embrace life with new a passion.