TCA coach and strong lady Roz has created a plan to help you stay in shape.
So your favourite wall has closed, we are all in a national lock-down and you can only train at home for the foreseeable future. Don’t be discouraged – we got you! Don’t let all that winter training go to waste. You can still stay strong during lock-down. Here are my top training-at-home tips!
Please note that almost all of these exercises can be done while watching TV – I’ve just started Peaky Blinders, which I would highly recommend and also the new series of Made in Chelsea!
Firstly, what are your weaknesses? It’s good to identify these so you can work on them in lock-down. If you have V13 fingers [super strong!!] but are about as supple as a plank of wood, then perhaps a bit more attention is needed for your flexibility, rather than your fingerboard? Yeah, I know, it’s not what you want to hear, but, hey, when do I ever tell people what they wanna hear? #makegoodchoices
If you are looking to increase your pulling power, it’s easy to buy a pull-up bar and there are even options that hook onto doorways without damaging the walls. Alternatively, you could find a big edge in your house (stairway, door frames etc) to hang off.
You can vary your grip to make the exercise harder or work different muscles:
- Try a wider grip. Try a narrower grip.
- Try doing them quicker.
- Try doing them slower.
- Try using different locking positions
You can use more than bodyweight for extra impact.
- If you can do 10, then add weight – if you don’t have weights then add a few bottles of water, 1L= 1KG.
The easiest way to attach weight is with a harness, but you can easily mock something up using a belt or scarf or even just big pockets on well-fitted clothes. It doesn’t count if your jogging bottoms slide off.
- If you put enough beans in a bag I am sure the weight will add up too!
- If you struggle to complete 10 then wrap a resistance band or a piece of rope etc over the bar so you can use it to push up with your legs to complete more reps.
- Alternatively, try doing descenders (jump into a full lock (right position in the image), and lower your body slowly.
- Do 2 or 3 x sets of each variation.
When climbing the thing attaching your body to the rock is your fingers (as well as your feet), hence the need to have super strong fingers!
If you haven’t been climbing for 1-2 years, or don’t climb over 7a, then maybe fingerboarding isn’t for you (sorry) as you are more likely to get injured than get good gains. Please be careful. There are some great portable fingerboards out there, so if you don’t want to put one up in the house you can grab one and hang it off a tree instead! My personal fave is this one from Ash Climbing.
- Always do a good, long warm-up before fingerboarding. Get your heart rate up, do some core exercises, get your body warm, then do some easier hangs. Now you are less likely to get injured
- Repeaters, hang for 7 seconds, rest for 3 seconds.
- Repeat this x 6, so the whole set takes 1 minute. Rest 2-3 minutes. Repeat.
- You can change the grip you use: half crimp, drag, back 3, front 3, middle 2
- Try and complete 8- 12 hangs in total
- Make sure you don’t overdo it! Rest after and don’t complete it for two consecutive days !
Often overlooked, but flexibility is an important aspect of climbing. Firstly, it means you will be less prone to injury. Secondly, wouldn’t it just be so much easier to put your foot up on that foothold? Below are some youtube videos that I have used, though I am sure there are many more out there…
- Shoulder flexibility
- Leg flexibility
- Handstands – my current aim is to learn how to handstand, great fun and great for the shoulders.
Having a strong core will greatly help you on steeper climbs. I use the following video (as it is only 8 minutes and that is about as much pain as I can take).
Feel free to change out some exercises for others, for example, I might add in the variations below. Watch TCA Bristol’s Nina demonstrate some excellent V-up variations.
• Plank, side-plank, V-ups, alternate crunches, skydivers (lower back exercise), leg raises, Russian twists, front levers on a bar
• Add ankle weights for main pain, or level up and try the level 2 workout!
• Press-ups, again mix it up: narrow, wide, slow, fast, elevated
• Do 2-3 sets of each variation
Our biggest battle in lock-down will be psyche. So don’t overlook this.
• Watch some climbing films. My personal favourites are: Progression, Welsh Connections (cause I am Welsh), Stone Love, Hard Grit, King Lines and Reel Rock 13.
• Re-watch the World Cups/ climbing competitions on YouTube – this Blokfest comp is my personal favourite at the moment:
• Write a tick list of all the local/ UK-based projects that you want to try. Then smash them out after the lockdown is lifted.
This makes training a lot easier as you have an aim – you could also tailor your lock-down training to this route/bloc.
• Keep a training diary: if you are doing the same exercises every week, it is handy to record how many reps/set you can do and how you feel about certain exercises (easy/hard). Then you can easily track any progress you make and look back to see what is/isn’t working for you
Enjoy and stay safe and remember to tag us (TCA and myself) in all your home workout videos, we would love to see what you have been getting up to in isolation!
You can find Roz on Instagram. You may also like Training at home and Secrets to becoming a semi-decent climber.