This article is the 4th in a series on Core Training. While no single exercise will give you a complete workout, doing one or two sets of each of the exercises described in the series will build you a stiff effective core for climbing! Previous articles: Core Training #1 | Core Training #2 | Core Training #3
You’ll need a set of adjustable rings, TRX straps, or other “sling trainer.” Kneeling on a pad or soft carpet, grasp a pair of rings (or slings) with straight arms positioned in front of your hips (top photo). Now push your hands forward and do a controlled lower until your arms are in line with your body (bottom photo). Immediately reverse the movement and return to the starting position, trying to maintain straight arms throughout. Do two sets of 6 to 10 repetitions with a three-minute rest in between.
Steep Wall Cut & Catch
Perform this exercise on a very steep bouldering wall—a 45-degrees wall is good…a 65-degrees past vertical wall is ideal. Pick an easy to moderate difficulty boulder problem, and ascend it in the unconventional way of letting your feet cut off after every hand move and then immediately drawing them back up to the wall to catch onto a foot hold. Continue in this way up the entire problem, if possible. While certainly not the most efficient way to ascend the route, this exercise trains the core muscles to fire and relax in quick succession—an extremely important attribute for hard climbing.