THE WARM UP
A working, happy, injury free body is a precious thing.
Climbing is hard on it, training–even more so.
Climber, setter and fitness instructor Jess B. is here to start bringing you a monthly training tip. Before she gets started shaking up your training routine, she’s going to teach you how to properly warm up and get your body ready for everything you want to throw at it.
ROLL IT OUT
Before getting on the wall, especially when preparing for a high-intensity day (ie. bouldering, resistance training, etc.), the first step in your warm-up should be a series of activation techniques including self-myofascial release or ‘foam rolling’. Muscle compression increases blood flow which warms the muscle and loosens the surrounding tissue. It aids the parasympathetic response in bringing relief to sore muscles and is a great stress reliever! Focus on large muscles like those in your quads and hamstrings (thighs), glutes (booty), calves, and lats (back). On your smaller muscles, you can use your hands, lacrosse ball, and even a finger massager. If you find a particularly sore point, hold pressure for about 30 seconds and feel the tension melt away. If you aren’t confident in your foam rolling technique, find a buddy who is, ask a coach, or look for youtube a tutorial.
HOW TO FOAM ROLL YOUR CALVES
- Start with the roller under your leg, just below the knee
- Cross your other leg over either at the ankle or mid-shin. This is optional but creates additional pressure.
- Lift up onto your hands and gently roll along the length of the calf. You can make small or large movements depending on how you feel.
- Turn foot toward the left/right to get all sides of the gastrocnemius and soleus (calf muscles). Take a few minutes per side.
- Keep tension out of the muscles you are rolling – don’t flex your foot or tighten your calf.
Now that the muscles are warm and tension is released, it’s time to stretch out. Start with slow static stretches.
Yes, you read that right.
You CAN perform static stretching during your warm up. The key is to move slowly into and out of the stretch. Only hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds at the most each time. Repeat 2-3 times. Focus on hamstrings, glutes, quads (including hips), chest (including shoulders), and back.
THE WORLDS GREATEST STRETCH
- Lunge forward keeping your knee over your ankle (hold for 3-5 seconds)
- Drop the same side elbow toward the floor, support yourself with other hand on the floor (hold for 3-5 seconds)
- Twist and reach that same arm to the sky and look up (hold for 3-5 seconds)
Here you’ve reached the part of the warm up that actually feels like a warm up. Dynamic movements will prepare your muscles and soft tissue for the work you’re about to do.
Leg swings, arm circles, walking lunges, air squats and glute bridges, calf raises, wrist and ankle circles, and finger tendon glides are all awesome ways to get your body fired up and are on my ‘to-do’ list, every time I’m in the gym.
HOW TO BRIDGE
- Lay on your back
- Bend your knees with feet on the floor about hip width apart
- With feet close to your butt, press them into the floor and lift your hips high.
- Keep your knees pointing forward and spaced apart like your feet (don’t let them fall out to the sides or come together and touch)
- Squeeze your butt at the top of the lift and lower gently
Finally, you’re ready to get on the wall.
“Load it” refers to applying load or tension to the muscles and joints.
This could start by taking the form of resistance training with bands, weights or body weight.
When you move to the wall make sure you start easy! Even if you’re feeling great and are a double-digit boulderer, start with V0/1. Work your way up gradually on varying terrains and hold types, spending more time in the mid-level grades.
Grade progression: If my plan for the day is to work my V8 project, my progression might look something like this :
V0, V1, V2, V3, V3 V3, V4, V4, V4, V5, V5, V6, V7, project time!
Now you’re equipped with the tools to be ready for any work out or climbing session. Keep an eye out for next month’s Training Tip with Jess, because stronger is waiting for you– if you want it.
Huge thanks, for the new segment, goes out to Jess! – @climbingkhaleesi