Training Corner: Alpine Strength

Author Carolyn Parker demonstrates a Split Squat. Photo credit Sabre Rafelson

Training Corner: Alpine Strength

by Carolyn Parker

If you are new to the Chicks Training Tips take a few minutes to read the previous newsletters, there’s a lot of great information in there!

We are in the thick of alpine climbing season in the US, Europe, and parts of South America. If you have a trip coming up, or you are plotting for next year’s ambitions, we’ve got some training tips for you.

The last training tip discussed how to get the stamina built for long back to back days in the mountains, while still having a job, life, family, all the demands of a busy schedule. Now to complement the stamina we need STRENGTH.

Fortunately if we do quality focused work one to two days a week in the gym for an hour, that’s plenty of time to build a quality strength base for your alpine endeavors.

We need to have strength in our legs to tolerate not only the nature of the uneven terrain and the weight of the pack but also to protect our joints, especially our knees, so we can climb for years to come.

To get legs and core strong for the mountains, two of my favorite two leg or “close” chain movements are the deadlift and front squat.

Just as important are these: single leg movements for glute strength, balance, and hip stability; Single Leg Straight Leg Deadlift (SLSLDL), split squats, and weighted step ups.

Here are a few sample workouts (WO) to give you guidance in working these movements into your routine as training for alpine climbing. These can be done just once a week in addition to your other training or two times if you are recovering well.

 

WO#1

warm up 10:00

2 x 8 shoulder openers

2 x 5 cuban press

3 x 5 wall squat

3 x 6 goblet squat

30m walking lunge forward and backward (or ten steps per leg in place)

Then:

Work up to something that’s heavy for 3 reps (3RM) for your Front Squat.

Then:

8 x 3 Front Squats@ ______# rest 1 – 2 minutes between sets.

Then:

10x weighted split squats (5 per leg)

10x ball slam

10x split jump

x 5

Cool down

 

WO#2

warm up 10:00

2 x 8 shoulder openers

2 x 5 cuban press

3 x 5 wall squat

3 x 3 SLSLDL with a light kb or DB

Then:

Work up to a heavy-ish Deadlift

Then:

5 x 5 Deadlift

Rest 2:00 between sets:

During rest complete 5x Push up + 5x Pull Up

Then:

1-10 Squat Ladder with a partner.

Partners begin holding in a quads parallel position at the bottom of the squat movement. Person 1: does 1 rep while P2 holds. P2 does 1 rep while P1 holds.

P1 does 2 reps while P2 holds, P2 does 2 reps while P1 holds.

Continue until you complete the ladder to 10. No cheating.

Finish with:

60secs mtn climbers/30 sec plank/30 ses rest

x 3 – 4 rounds

Cool down.

 

 

WO#3

warm up 10:00

2 x 8 shoulder openers

2 x 5 cuban press

3 x 5 wall squat

Then:

Work up to a weight that is heavy for a step up. Ideally use a bar bell on your back or two Kbs held in front rack position.

Then:

5 x 5 Step up in 16 – 20” box depending on your height, box should be lower than your knee cap.

complete 5 step ups per leg with weight that makes the movement challenging, slow grinding movements.

In between sets compete 8x Pull up

Then:

10x KB Swing +

8x Push Press

5x Push Plank Row

x 5

Cool Down

All the movements can be found as videos in the Chicks archives.

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

carolyn@rippleffectraining.com

Carolyn Parker

Founder Ripple Effect Training

Gym Jones, Fully Certified Instructor

AMGA Certified Rock Guide

 

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