Winter has been humming along for a number of months now, we are well past the shortest day of the year, the tease of some sunny longer days is happening, we are beginning to dream of sunny pitches, days in the desert, trips, projects, and scratching that climbing itch! Now it’s time to talk about correcting our imbalances.
Before I blast forward take a moment to look back at the subject matter of the last 10 training installments. There is an enormous amount of great information in these “Training Tips”, every installment builds toward the next. Enjoy!
Chicks Newsletter #9 –Intermediate Rock Climbing. Training Program
Chicks Newsletter #10 – Basic Rock Climbing Training Program
Chicks Newsletter #11 – The “Process” projecting and climbing harder routes
Chicks Newsletter #12 – “Let’s get serious”, Strength training for women
Chicks Newsletter #13 – “Alpine Days” – how to train for long alpine routes for mortals
Chicks Newsletter #14 – “Alpine Legs” – leg specific training for alpine climbing
Chicks Newsletter #15 – “Ski Legs” – additional training specific for skiing
Chicks Newsletter #16 – Solid Shoulders – injury prevention
Chicks Newsletter #17 – Finger Board Training – maintain finger strength in the winter months.
Now on to the meat of the matter of correcting imbalances…
- Postural – rounded shoulders, dropped sternum, kyphotic head position
- Mobility Issues – loss of overhead mobility, tight hamstrings, tight chest
- Muscular imbalances – weak rhomboids, mid and low traps, over developed upper traps, weak pushing muscles
To begin to fix your imbalances:
Before you climb and ideally everyday:
- Laying on your back on a foam roller, head to sacrum, keep your core tight. Begin with your arms straight fingers toward the ceiling, then let your hands fall toward the floor, overhead. Upper arm by your ears, stretch your shoulders but do not let your back arch at all. Try and get the back of your hands to the floor.
- Then: the same start potion, bend your arms at 90 degrees, and let them fall to the side. Stretch your chest again do not let your back arch. Try and get the back of the forearm to the floor.
- Next: Laying on your back with your legs up the wall, extend your legs up as straight as you can with out smashing your low back into the floor, try and maintain a natural lumbar curve. You’ll look like an “L” from the side.
- In that same position, open the hips by letting the legs fall into a “V” position.
- Lastly make a “4’ with your legs by placing the ankle of one foot just above the knee of the opposite leg and stretch the hip of the bent leg, repeat on the other leg.
- 3 x 10 push ups – this movement was covered in Chicks Training Tip #2. Pay particular attention to not shrugging your shoulders, allowing them to lift toward your ears as you push. Keep your shoulder blades stable squeezed together and down as you push. This is harder that it sounds.
- 3 x 8 Bent Over Row or Body Row – these movements were covered in Chicks Training Tip #5
Chicks make this a two part movement for each repetition. Begin this movement by first squeezing your shoulder blades into a stable position then pulling (rowing) with the arms. Once the thumbs have hit the armpits at a full range of motion focus on keeping the shoulder blades stable as you lower the weight or your body depending on the movement your are doing then lastly releasing your shoulder blades. Begin the next rep by squeezing the shoulder blades together and stabilizing before pulling with the arms.
Add all of these tips to your already established climbing training regimen as you begin to prep of the season.
If you are advanced you likely have a plan or work directly with a coach. For Intermediate and Beginning Climbers see Chicks Newsletter with Training Tips: