How To Train For A Climb (Climbing Workout)

How To Train For A Climb – Climbing Workout

Any experienced hiker will tell you that if you want to be a good climber, then you will need to train your body and hone your abilities even when you're not hanging off the side of a mountain. You want your body to be in peak condition before you make a big hike.

Your grip needs to be strong enough so that you can pull your weight up and your arms and your back need to have enough endurance to support you throughout the duration of the hike. In addition to physical strength, you will also need to maintain extreme flexibility for all of your cliffside maneuvers and dangerous hijinks.

Practicing a grip for climbing.

In this post, we're going to show you how to train for rock climbing so that you can crush any challenge that stands in your way!


These easy 30-minute routines workout routines can easily be performed at your local gym, an outdoor park, or if you’re in a pinch for time, can be done from your bedroom. They’re simple bodyweight workouts that will maintain flexibility, build strength, and keep you on top of your game.

Strength And Endurance Routine

This routine is going to focus on developing your natural pushing and pulling strength, as well as your cardiovascular endurance. If you have access to a gym, you can also add in some weight training for rock climbing to develop further strength.

If you can do this style of workout a couple of times a week outside of your normal climbing wall practice, then you’ll be in good shape to handle even the most strenuous hike.

  • Stretch for five minutes to warm up
  • Push-ups: Maximum repetitions until failure
  • Leg raises: Raise your legs quickly and let them down slow
  • Pull-ups: Maximum repetitions until failure
  • Jump rope for 60 seconds
  • Stretch to cool down

Bouldering Workout

Bouldering requires the climber to have some extreme hand and finger strength in addition to maintaining a strong upper body.

Claw fingertip push-up.

This workout is best if done at your local climbing gym, but to improvise you can use some home equipment or the playground bars.

  • Stretch for five minutes to warm up
  • Pull-ups: maximum repetitions
  • Finger hangs: using only the top knuckle of your finger, hold your entire body up while hanging from a bar. If you need to build up to this, then try leaving one leg on the ground to help support your hang.
  • Fingertip push-ups: instead of putting your palm to the ground, use all five fingertips to hold up your weight. If you need to build up to this, start by learning fingertip planks before you develop your push-ups.
  • Muscle ups: start by doing a regular pull up, but after your chin makes it over the bar, keep on pulling until your chest hits the bar, then push your entire body above the bar.

Explosive Power Routine

Rock climbing often requires you to have explosive and powerful agility. Many times, you will have to jump from one hand hold to another, using your legs to power you forward.

Developing this explosive power will also help to save your joints from injury in the event of a fall. This routine uses lateral and vertical motion to develop fast-twitch muscle fibers that will save your life.

  • Stretch for five minutes
  • Burpees: 25 repetitions
  • Two -foot Box jumps: 20
  • Muscle ups: maximum repetitions
  • Obstacle jumps: grab a weight bench or any other obstacle that is about a foot off of the ground. You are going to do lateral (side) jumps over the bench until you are out of breath and can’t do another jump in good form.
  • 100-meter springs: these will develop excellent muscle tissue and endurance in your calves and thighs, and will strengthen the tissue in your knees and ankles.

The Importance Of Stretching

The biggest mistake climbers make (and most people who workout in general) is that they neglect their stretches. This is the quickest path to receiving a lasting injury that won’t allow you to climb for months and even years at a time. 

Woman stretching before climbing.

All it takes is one torn meniscus, sprained wrist, or pulled muscle to prevent you from doing the climb that you’ve been training months for.

Before and after every single workout or climb, you should spend at least five minutes stretching. As you expand and contract your muscles in these pointed stretches, your muscles will warm up as blood and oxygen are pumped through them. Cold muscles will give you an injury that you’ll never forget.

Climbing requires you to use your entire body, so you need to stretch everything, not just your arms and back. Let’s go over some of the best stretches that you can do as a climber.

Lunges And Toe Touches

These stretches will help to expand your leg and hamstring muscles. The worst thing that can happen during a climb is to have your legs cramp up on, and be made to fall. Before each climb or workout, you need to make sure that your legs are warm and ready for explosive pushing action.

Neck Rolls

You may not initially consider climbing to be a neck strain, but if you're hiking up a sheer face, then you'll be craning your neck considerably. Nothing will ruin a good climb quite as a sore neck can. Before you begin your hike spend a minute gently rolling your neck from side to side.

Arm Swings

Rock climbing involves a lot of arm strength and strain. Your shoulders need to be loose and have a full range of motion as they are going to be pulling up your entire body weight and holding you to the rock face. One of the best ways to loosen your arms up is to perform full-circle arm swings and raises.


The best thing about these exercises is that they can be done with a limited amount of gear. If you’re an on the go hiker, you can easily perform most of these exercises and stretches from the security of your hotel room.

Woman rock climbing.

Of course, you will also need to put in some time on the climbing wall to develop your technique and simulate a real climbing experience.

However, if you supplement your standard climbing regimen with these routines, then you will find that your climbing strength and endurance will significantly increase. Most importantly remember to be safe and to always use proper form. Happy climbing!

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