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/ Training exercises - advice please

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rockface - on 02 Jul 2018

Making a training programme and plan to incorporate these exercises for general mobility, stability and strength. Thoughts? Am I missing anything? 

  1. Scapular pull up
  2. Plank variations
  3. Dips
  4. Prone arm waves
  5. Front lever variation
  6. Scapular push up
  7. Push up variations
  8. Handstand
  9. Front lever variation
  10. Passive dead hangs
  11. Bridge
  12. Supine protraction with band
  13. Planche variation
  14. Pistol squats
  15. Reverse Wrist Curls
  16. Dumbell internal Rotation
  17. Dumbell external Rotation
  18. Wall slides
  19. Dumbell scaptions
  20. Isometric wrist extension
  21. Pronator isolation (with band)
  22. Dumbell reverse arm curls 
  23. Dumbell Shoulder Press
  24. TRX/Sling Trainer "Ts"
  25. TRX/Sling Trainer "Ys"
  26. Tricep pull downs (cable)
  27. Rows (cable)
  28. Lat pull downs (cable)
JIMBO on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

29. Go climbing

30. Boulder lots

31. Campus

32. Ignore 1-28

Murderous_Crow - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

You're probably aware that Jimbo's got a point. But you're looking at stability and mobility seriously, so congratulations because most people don't; and perhaps you don't get to climb often for whatever reason.

Thoughts:

- you have huge exercise variation here, and a fair bit of cross-over. You might want to look at reducing the pool of exercises you use in say core stability, so that you find progress easier to define over time. You may otherwise risk running about and making little progress everywhere, if that makes sense.

- there's not much there for the posterior chain. Most climbers are reluctant to add serious leg work in for fear of adding 'unnecessary' muscle mass to the lower body, but I found squats, deadlifts and kettlebell work very beneficial in my climbing, both for power and stability. One can certainly add strength (by learning to move efficiently) without adding much muscle if that's a concern.

Post edited at 08:04
Dandan82 - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

I mean, I'd leave some time to actually go climbing if possible...

slab_happy on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

> Thoughts? Am I missing anything? 

Depends what your current weaknesses are, what equipment you have available, and how extra training you can do/want to do without eating into your climbing time!

(Jokes aside, I'm assuming this is what you're thinking of doing in addition to climbing and climbing-specific training.)

For example, you've not got anything that addresses hip mobility, which is very important for climbing. Maybe that's because you've already got more than enough and don't need to work on it, or maybe it's an omission.

Second thought after that, just going on what you've said here: you've got some things, like handstands and planches, which are probably not going to do anything for your climbing (except very arguably as some form of antagonist work, maaaybe).

Doesn't mean you shouldn't do them, if they're things you enjoy working on. But it's good to be aware of what's a fun side project (handstand is a perennial one of mine) versus what's training.

Second thought: you've got a lot of duplication, with multiple exercises hitting the same muscles (e.g. dips and tricep pulldowns and push-up variations all hitting the triceps, or scapular push-ups and supine protraction with band working the serratus anterior). You might want to winnow those out, unless you're planning to divide your list up into multiple different sessions during the week and use those as alternatives.

Third thought: you've not got any "big" whole-body weighted movements, which a lot of people recommend for overall strength. Obviously that's harder to do if you're limited to dumbbells, but I'd suggest maybe looking at kettlebells too -- a couple of exercises like swings and Turkish get-ups (which are amazing for shoulder mobility/stability for climbers, in my experience) could be a worthwhile addition.

rockface - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to JIMBO:

Actual climbing and hangboards/campus training is the mainstay of my training, but I didn't mention it here as I was asking about mobility and stability training through the aforementioned exercises. Regardless, 'just climbing' is a sure fire way to ensure muscular imbalance and eventual injury. An injury has prompted me to rethink how I approach training, so I'm going for the covers-all-bases approach (but without sacrificing actual climbing time)

Post edited at 14:50
rockface - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Thanks. Now that you mention it, I do recall a few coaches recommend deadlifts as a great exercise. 

rockface - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

Thanks. That's appreciated. I'll slim down some of the duplicates and have a look at those exercises you mentioned

JIMBO on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

> ...exercises for general mobility, stability and strength.

Sorry, I thought you also said strength and I was being a bit flippant... 

What strikes me is that if you have time for all that you could gain more from other means. I'm not sure I agree that just climbing 'is a sure fire way' that you will become imbalanced... I think that comes from repetition of the same movement. Given the variety in movement in climbing I think this is unlikely unless people avoid those wider moves beyond just pulling e.g. stems, mantles, palms, etc. As others have said knowing the injury/weakness might help un-pick  the cause which the above workout might just hide. Also evaluating what you do now might highlight the things that really need changing.

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

That list highlights something that has puzzled me for a few years about climbers and training.

Please don't come down on me like a ton of bricks as I don't even climb. 

Where is the flexibility training?  Yes there is a bit of core and a bit of strength targeting various areas.  The odd bit of antagonist exercises.  But I cant see anything that is going to help your movement and techniques.  Surely flexibility should be the top of any training plan.

Its not just you, its pretty much lip service for the vast majority of climbers.  A few swings of the legs, a few stretches and off you go.  We were at team training on sunday and while all the other climbers were climbing, my daughter was playing in a quiet area of the wall.  I say playing but she was walking on her hands, back flips, cartwheels, crabs, walking out of crabs.  Basically all manner of stretches (I make her do stretches anyhow before ever touching the walls) to ensure she is limbered up and ready.  The fact this for her is basically playing around is a bonus.

10 mins later she is doing a climb and the instructor is commenting on the contortions she can get into.  We have had many many comments about how lucky she is to be flexible.  She isn't lucky, she hasn't got time to do gymnastics and she likes it, so she decided to teach herself a variety of skills in our back garden over a single summer.  If I were so inclined to improve my climbing and serious enough to plan a training plan, I would build in some yoga or at least some serious stretching routines.

Post edited at 15:58
L mantelself on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

"Deadbugs", "Bird Dogs" and "Pushup Plus" and maybe "Bear Crawl with rotation or a drag through" - You seem to be after core/shoulder stability and prehab. The above are really good for this kind of stuff. If you can't find good instruction vids let me know and I can dig some out

L mantelself on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

I'm curious ( and totally not taking the pish) but what do you think flexibility is? Other than in the cases of (most usually)injury and recovering from periods of inactivity, flexibility/mobility are actually more about strengthening and muscular adaption than "stretching owt that has magically shortened."

Post edited at 16:13
AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

> But I cant see anything that is going to help your movement and techniques.  Surely flexibility should be the top of any training plan.

I've never associated flexibility with movement/technique training. One doesn't lead to the other?

I'd assume any training plan should feature movement/technique - personally I'd only do lots of supplementary flexibility training if I had exhausted my ability to do more directly relevant training (climbing, first off, then maybe fingerboard or other strength training).

In terms of the OP, again it's a lot of exercises which I think only makes sense if you can't spend your time doing something more immediately relevant. 

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to mantelself:

Hi there,

Flexibility/mobility.

How many times have you seen someone try a difficult rockover to a stretched out crimp and they have blamed their reach.  As I watch kids climbing I see it all the time.  I then see someone shorter in legs and arms complete the same movement without any issue.  When you see it again you realise the 1st person is lacking in flexibility in the groin and legs.  Has not got the strength in the legs to move out of such a position even if they managed to get into it and their reach is limited by their strong but limited arm muscle stretch.

In my eyes flexibility is being able to extend/stretch/move whilst still being able to maintain strength to take advantage of it.  Whats the point in being able to do the splits if you haven't got the strength AND STABILITY to move out of such position.

 

Post edited at 16:44
Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

I do 100%.  Surely a technique can be improved and made even better by being stronger and more comfortable in the move.  Take for example Adam Ondra.  I believe he is probably capable of just about every single move know to mankind.  Even this man has to train his body to be flexible and strong enough to complete certain moves when he is climbing at his limits.  If he has to, why not everyone

 

Here for example Ondra uses a coach/physio to help him learn the limits of what his body should be capable of and how to approach moves from an injury avoidance perspective.  Yes its elite level but he is basically asking his body to improve its performance and taking his already strong & flexible body to its limits.  At the end of the day he uses this info to change, adapt and avoid  injuring himself.

 

https://www.trainingbeta.com/adam-ondra-silence-video-and-performance-analysis/

Post edited at 16:35
AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

I think we may have to disagree here. I don't really think that most climbing moves take place at a point where "normal" flexibility or strength through range of motion will be troubled by the move.

Yes, there are always exceptions, but it's always a question of bang per buck with training time - sure stretching is better than watching TV, but to my mind that's not the interesting question, it's whether it's better than technique drills, limit bouldering, or whatever that's actually the key question.

Ondra has training needs quite different from the rest of us. Noone should ever assume that copying a pros training programme would be optimum for their particular training needs.

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

Got to reply to this as you infer I am advocating a training regime that mirrors a professional climber which I clearly didn't.  I indicated that if the best (Adam Ondra) make use of flexibility training and strength training, then the fundamental benefits of stretching and flexibility cannot be lost on everyone.

I am out after reading this

"I think we may have to disagree here. I don't really think that most climbing moves take place at a point where "normal" flexibility or strength through range of motion will be troubled by the move."

ChrisBrooke - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

Hip flexibility (think frogs) has often enabled me to do moves which someone as weak and rubbish as me 'shouldn't be able' to do. I used to do a lot of yoga, and although I'm very limited in time now, so prioritise other things, I still get the benefits of being able to bridge widely, make high steps, keep my hips (centre of gravity) into the wall on steep moves/rock overs etc. 

I think a general 'looseness' in one's body can help both in terms of climbing and technique, and injury avoidance. 

Also, as pointed out above, there's a difference between useful flexibility (mobility) and simple range of motion (flexibility).

 

  

AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

As I said above, I'm not denying it's helpful in itself. If I had endless time I'd probably do more of it. I just take the view that there's a given amount of training time to be spent and a given amount of recovery time that can be spent in a week. I tend to think that for most people technique, lead head, fitness, strength and whatever are likely to be bigger areas of weakness than flexibility and so are better targets for that budget of time.

AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

I mean your argument in the post to which I replied basically was "look, Ondra does it".

 

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

I dare say Ondra does every single exercise listed on this page at some time or another.  Does that make it elite training or possibly in basic form, common sense?

At no point did I suggest doing the specific training Ondra does other than to highlight even he uses stretching and mobility/strength training as a useful tool in his training.  Along the same lines of someone suggesting a marathon runner use some kind of interval training similar to Mo Farah.  No specifics, no distances, just to take it into account.

You talk time limitations.  All I see is potential limits.  Without flexibility/mobility and strength to use it I see you limiting your abilities.

 

AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

> You talk time limitations.  All I see is potential limits.  Without flexibility/mobility and strength to use it I see you limiting your abilities.

Yeah, sure. If I did more stretching I'd be a better climber. If I climbed more I'd be a better climber. If I fingerboard more I'd be a better climber. If i quit my job and ditched the family and went climbing full time I'd be a better climber. All these things are self evident. 

But I don't have time to do all of those, and so I've judged that more climbing, followed by basic climbing strength training, are the most effective way to use the hours I can devote to the cause of getting better.

If you don't have time constraints, and can focus on all the ways you can improve rather than the most time effecient, then good for you. Do everything. It'll all help.

I can't. I doubt many people can. 

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

This is like a game of who can get the last word in wins, because its the same point being regurgitated.

I have no issue with you prioritising

 "so I've judged that more climbing, followed by basic climbing strength training, are the most effective way to use the hours I can devote to the cause of getting better"

Its you that has the issue with me saying that I prioritise stretching/mobility/flexibility just as much as your climbing and basic climbing strength training.   Maybe sacrifice some strength training and see how a bit more flexibility/mobility helps.  I don't know, everyone is different.

The gentleman further up made my point by hinting in his past he had done a bit of yoga.  Not even stating it was specific to climbing and it actually benefited him all these years later in some form or another. 

Lets agree to disagree, fine but please don't make it look like I took the adam ondra training programme and offered it to joe bloggs

L mantelself on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

"time constraints"

I poverty squat at family occasions.... in-laws think I am getting on their kids' level. I can currently overhead squat large toddlers and primary school kids and am working up to teenagers but there are none in the family so I'll have to start hanging out in skate parks and the like.

Seriously, I do stuff like shoulder dislocations with a bar during my working day. A lot of it is about not caring what other people think, as frequency is really important, especially if you sit at a desk or drive. Again, though, not about "stretching", it's about movement patterns if one thing has to be emphasised with multidirectional joints like the shoulder or hip, it is simply to move, often, and in a variety of ways.

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to mantelself:

Totally agree with this.  Maybe my terminology is incorrect.  I am not just advocating stretching a joint to the nth degree for the hell of it.  Call it movement patterns, yes I like that.

Do your squats help?  Do they limit injury or help you with pushing out of moves?  Or possibly help getting into positions?  I don't know but how can there be a downside?

Dandan82 - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to mantelself:

> I am working up to teenagers but there are none in the family so I'll have to start hanging out in skate parks and the like.

Have a like for this!

I think there is more than one way to skin a cat, and several equally valid approaches to improving as a climber, some involving a lot of flexibility work, some not. 

I also think it's no coincidence that the most successful current bouldering team is also the most flexible by quite some margin (the Japanese). 

I'm keen to improve my flexibility because it falls way short of all other aspects of my climbing, but it's not necessarily the best course for everyone. In a perfect world we would all do it all, but, you know, jobs and that.

In terms of the OP, there is a lot of active flexibility to be had from that list of exercises if done right, it certainly won't do any harm! 

L mantelself on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

"3rd world squatting" is something everyone should be able to do. If you can hang out there then yes I believe it helps in climbing. It isn't just about frogging or dropping your arse to the centre-point. It is also about thoracic extension as this is what makes it an easy natural movement. This is something that gives a climber effective reach when going balls to the wall and extending for a hold while still being to get something out of their feet. When rounding in the upper back much is lost. Nearly "everyone ever in absolutely every sport" is unaware that they do it because it is "a posterior thing" until coached.

AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to mantelself:

Yes, sure - some of time constraints can be about motivation to spend the time rather than having the time. I accepted a while ago that high 8s would be out of reach due in part to watching the dedication of friends who climb that level and knowing I just didn't have it (or particularly want to have it - I like cake too much for one thing). Even if I could bring a bar into work I don't think I actually would.

In reply to Dandan82:

If I had fingers as strong as yours I could spare some time for stretching too

In reply to Andrew Kim:

See when you say movement patterns, that implies something very different. But I still think I'd do movement patterns for climbing via climbing-specific technique drills rather than floor exercises or otherwise, to drill in a climbing-specific movement pattern and make it relevant. Basically, if I had time to get to the wall or crag often enough I'd do all my training as some form of climbing. 

Andrew Kin - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to AJM:

There you go again telling me what I'm saying.  Call it whatever you want to.  Explain it however you want to.  Justify not doing it however you want to.  Flexibility/movement patterns etc etc.  if you don't want to do it and prefer to climb then that's fine.  I think it's a very important aspect of training which isn't necessarily best done by climbing a bit more.  

Murderous_Crow - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to mantelself:

You've explained that excellently.

In reply to thread:

Mobility is the ability to voluntarily move a joint. Flexibility is the ability to extend a joint fully to its passive end-range of motion. The two are not synonymous; active control often but not always occurs within a more limited range of motion. Flexibility must be developed through use of assistance mechanisms such as gravity, props, self or partner assistance, momentum, and so on. Mobility is the end result of many different factors, including flexibility, strength, neural control and joint health. 

Many muscles cross more than one joint. This means while one's mobility and flexibility can be good in one body position, a simple positional shift can drastically curtail end-range. Such a shift can also have a profound effect on strength, and movement quality.

For climbers, that's an important point. While one may be able to reach and grip a hold, that doesn't mean that one is able to grip it efficiently; if mobility is poor it is likely that the leverages and positioning of one's CoG will be less than optimal.

Restoring and developing mobility is pretty much essential for everyone. Paraphrasing a respected movement coach: 'You don't have mobility issues? Don't worry... you will'. If your mobility and flexibility are good, don't rest on your laurels, as failure to pay attention to these issues can increase risk of acute or chronic injury. And as Mantelself points out, it's really difficult to spot issues in your own movement.

All that said, mobility shouldn't be too onerous. The chap who mentioned his daughter just playing around with movement in different positions has it more or less in a nutshell, and someone else pointed out it's just about moving a little and often.
 

 

AJM - on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

You said:

> Call it movement patterns, yes I like that.

I can’t possibly be telling you what you’re saying when, well, I'm using the terminology you’ve just said you liked. Im not telling you what to call it or making a choice of how to refer to it.

slab_happy on 02 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

A belated thought: if your goal is a well-rounded base of non-specific strength/mobility, it's worth looking at some of the lists of "fundamental human movements" that various strength experts such as Dan John have compiled, and seeing if your programme has any obvious gaps (and/or whether you're hammering certain movements very heavily).

The lists vary, but tend to involve:

Push (sometimes divided into vertical push and horizontal push)

Pull (sometimes divided into vertical pull and horizontal pull)

Squat (doesn't necessarily mean a weighted squat, just something that works this movement pattern)

Hip hinge (the pattern in a deadlift or kettlebell swing -- I don't think you currently have any hip hinges)

Sometimes you also have "rotation" and "counter-rotation", some people add "lunges", various people include "loaded carries", and Dan John also throws in a "sixth movement"/"everything else" category so as have somewhere to put groundwork, tumbling and Turkish get-ups.

https://www.otpbooks.com/dan-john-5-basic-human-movements/

https://www.strongfirst.com/seven-basic-human-movements/

Obviously there's no such thing as a perfect or definitive list, but they're a useful tool for thinking about what you're doing and not doing.

rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to JIMBO:

Oh don't be pedantic! 

Well, not everyone will be injured, but most will, with increasing likelihood at the higher grades (58% of 5.11 and 88% of 5.12 climbers) and most serious climbers will have imbalances, particularly the rotator cuffs. You're dead on, it's a variety of movements, but to be complacent about it and never consider the need to train antagonistic and opposing muscles defies logic IMO. I have learnt a lot from the injury and plan to avoid it as best i can in future!

rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

Oh good point. I should have included that. I do static stretches, too: 

Fingor flexor
Finger extensor
Posterior shoulder (arm in front)
Rotator cuff (towel behind)
Anterior shoulder, chest, biceps
Latissimus, shoulder and triceps
Doorframe
Pigeon (piriformis)
Hamstrings (touch toes)
Groin (butterfly)
Hip flexor and quads (lunge)
Calf
Abdominal
Sleeper stretch
Obliques, hip and back

rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to mantelself:

Respect. I always get strange looks for doing dislocates at work from colleagues/patients. 

rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

Thanks. That's really interesting. Simple natural movements appeal to me. 

slab_happy on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> I don't think you currently have any hip hinges

Whoops, just got reminded that there's a hip hinge element in bridge.

However, there's a lot else going on in bridge, and in my experience it's easy to skimp on the hip extension and "cheat" by over-extending your lower back. I think my bridges have got a lot better since I started doing swings.

> Sometimes you also have "rotation" and "counter-rotation", some people add "lunges", various people include "loaded carries", and Dan John also throws in a "sixth movement"/"everything else" category so as have somewhere to put groundwork, tumbling and Turkish get-ups.

And some other people use "locomotion", to include loaded carries but also walking, crawling, skipping, etc..

Andrew Kin - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

Some great info.  Happy reading 

slab_happy on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

Yeah, likewise. Inevitably, with climbing and climbing-specific training, we're going to do a lot of highly-specialised isolation exercises, and put extreme and weird stresses on certain parts of our bodies.

So it feels nice to spend a bit of time putting my body through a reasonably wide range of basic human movements. Not high intensity, just trying to cover the basics and fill in some of the more glaring gaps.

Just as another thought -- some of your exercises/stretches are also yoga poses (plank, chaturanga as a push-up variation, bridge, pigeon, butterfly, lunges, various hamstring stretches). If it appeals, one option would be to learn some yoga and make yourself a simple yoga practice including those (and any other poses that appeal).

Yoga can be great for days when you want a relatively low-intensity/non-strenous thing to do, and IMHO it's a fantastic complement to climbing (not least for building stability in unusual positions, and learning to breathe and stay mentally cool under duress -- I have definitely found myself applying skills I learned from yoga while in precarious positions on trad routes).

Murderous_Crow - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

Dan John is a great resource. His basic approach of first move well, then move often is something lots of recreational athletes need to hear (I'm certainly guilty of breaking this rule, and have the lingering injury and mobility issues to prove it). He has an excellent system of athlete assessment and program design, grouping people from sedentary codgers to NFL players and US Navy Seals, on a Venn diagram according to their need to improve one or more of strength, mobility and body composition. But these needs are always individual and specific so an in-person assessment and ongoing monitoring is required.

If you're interested in how to quantify specific movement issues, a good leading indicator of injury risk is Gray Cook's Functional Movement Screen. A pretty simple set of 7 tests, it measures one's ability to achieve and hold various basic body positions and movements. The aspect of empirical measurement allows progress over time to be recorded, although test-retest validity is a bit suspect. Mr Cook laid the groundwork for this system and has copyrighted the material, but the concept is now widely adopted with many sports therapists and physios using similar methods; there's a pretty decent evidence base, and it can provide a great insight into the key areas where someone is tight and / or weak. Lots of physios, S&C coaches and sports therapists conduct this test, and it shouldn't be expensive.

But as pointed out, there's only so much time in the day, so it's important to separate the wheat from the chaff. One only needs as much flexibility as one's sport requires, or to be above a reasonable baseline to avoid increased injury risk. Most people can achieve pretty good flexibility with a bit of foam rolling and consistent practice of just a few different stretches. For lower body: deep squat; pancake; waiter's bow; pigeon; butterfly; kneeling deep lunge. For upper body: shoulder dislocations; overhead tricep stretch; kneeling lat stretch against a wall; forearm flexor stretches. Holding each of these or similar variations for 30-60sec once a day (just 7-15min of work) will guarantee excellent progress if done consistently over months. 

 

Murderous_Crow - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Some reasonable mobility and flexibility standards for a healthy person to aim toward might include the following:

- deep Cossack squat and the ability to transition smoothly from side to side with heels on the ground and arms outstretched in front

- deep overhead squat holding a broomstick in a wide grip ('snatch' position)

- 'Apley Scratch Test' with the ability to touch fingertips together

- scapular wall slides keeping lumbar spine in contact with wall

- ability to touch toes with fully extended knees and no lumbar spinal rounding

- half-lotus position - again with no lumbar spinal rounding

- ability to recline back onto elbows in a kneeling position 

Andrew Kin - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Someone above said this

The chap who mentioned his daughter just playing around with movement in different positions has it more or less in a nutshell,

That was me and it is the way things will be until someone with more knowledge of 'movement' and my daughter says otherwise.  Others have hinted that these things can be built into day to day life.  Or even your warm up routine at the wall.  Its not taking away from your campus boards etc but its a very good habit to get into which will stand you in good stead for lots of things, not just climbing.  This is coming from someone who never warmed up, never stretched and basically ran about a lot until one day he couldn't run anymore.  It may not be as glamorous as the other exercises discussed but for me it is just as important.

Murderous_Crow - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

> Someone above said this

> 'The chap who mentioned his daughter just playing around with movement in different positions has it more or less in a nutshell'

Yeah man, that was me.

For kids, the input from parents needs to be on encouraging movement and maintaining their flexibility as they grow. For adults, movement issues can be really deeply ingrained, and difficult to correct, and this is worsened by adding strength to existing imbalance. See the large number of super-strong, ultra-shredded adult climbers (particularly the men it seems) with profoundly kyphotic posture for example.

Glamour doesn't really come into it, the movement fixes I mention above are about going back to billy basics, to allow someone to start moving properly again.

Movement play (mimicking animal movements and the like) is good fun, an effective workout and goes a long way to restoring effective function - if done with some common sense. 

 

Post edited at 12:04
slab_happy on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

> Dan John is a great resource.

Yeah, he's one of the very few people in the strength/fitness/exercise world who I think might actually be *wise*. He's very strong on the meta of training: the goal is to keep the goal the goal, etc..

> But as pointed out, there's only so much time in the day, so it's important to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Yup. Though I also think energy and recovery capacity can be limiting factors (they certainly are for me). There are points when I have some free time, but not the energy to do something strenuous -- or if I do it, I won't be recovered before I next climb. So it's useful to have a mental list of low-intensity stuff for those moments.

If I'm tired, I can do some yoga (frequently while watching TV or listening to a podcast; not the most yogic, I know, but it works for me) or some light rehab/prehab stuff and it'll be beneficial to my climbing and general well-being, and will probably help me recover better for the next thing I do. It's not the single most useful thing I could do for my climbing ever -- but it *is* the most useful thing I could do at that particular moment.

rockface, it's also been useful for me to think about scheduling, how you can bundle exercises that you want to do into packages that fit into slots of time. When I can do stuff -- and when I'm actually *likely* to do the stuff. For example, after climbing is a great time for me to do 5 minutes of static stretching: I'm very warmed up so I can go deeper, it won't impair my performance (because it's after, not before), stretching out my shoulders/forearms/lats/pecs will mean I feel much less stiff tomorrow morning, and it helps me wind down and switch out of intense focus mode if I've been trying hard. And it's a short enough amount of time that it doesn't feel like a burden and I will (mostly) do it.

You could bundle some light bodyweight movements and "movement play" stuff together to make a nice little warm-up before a climbing session -- e.g. stuff like bear crawls, squats, hopping, sun salutations, bridges, burpees, get up and down off the floor in different ways; pick things that you find fun and/or that involve movements you want to work on, throw in some shoulder circles and arm swings and you'd be good to go and have touched base with a lot of different movement patterns in a short space of time.

Approaching it like that means you can get a fair amount of stability/mobility work in, without taking time/energy away from things you want to prioritize, and without feeling that you're drowning in five hundred different exercises you have to do.

> One only needs as much flexibility as one's sport requires, or to be above a reasonable baseline to avoid increased injury risk.

Agreed. There's been an interesting trend in the yoga world away from pushing extreme range of motion as the goal (and valorizing hypermobility), and towards focusing on good alignment and building stability for hypermobile people. Lots of fun crossover discussions happening.

 

 

Post edited at 13:57
rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

I've never been one for the classes - I find the semi-erotic voices of the instructors and collective bending a bit weird, but the stretching and breathing aspect I really enjoy, so I will try and incorporate that into the programme. 

Post edited at 15:05
rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

That's exactly the kind of thing I'd like to use. Is this (http://graycookmovement.com/downloads/FMS%20Scoring%20Criteria.pdf) the assessment you mentioned? Seems something I could do without a pro.

rockface - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> rockface, it's also been useful for me to think about scheduling, how you can bundle exercises that you want to do into packages that fit into slots of time. When I can do stuff -- and when I'm actually *likely* to do the stuff. 

That's a good point. I think with actually structuring sessions, rather than climbing hard for as long as possible, climbers would have time to maximise actual climbing but in a more focussed and effective way whilst also fitting in those essential stretches and supplementary exercises. 

slab_happy on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

> the semi-erotic voices of the instructors

Do you mean the Generic Yoga Teacher Soooooothing Voice? I have an unfortunate allergy to that myself, and am not much for group classes.

However, there are some excellent video classes (many of them free) out there too, including some with teachers who don't have Generic Yoga Teacher Voice. Not to mention books and websites. I recommend riffling through them until you find a teacher you don't get annoyed by -- there's more than enough diversity of styles and schools that you should be able to find something.

Finding a teacher you like in real life can be very useful, because they can see things about what you're doing and where your alignment is off that you can't. But it *is* possible to learn a lot from videos and books.

Murderous_Crow - on 03 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

> That's exactly the kind of thing I'd like to use. Is this (http://graycookmovement.com/downloads/FMS%20Scoring%20Criteria.pdf) the assessment you mentioned? Seems something I could do without a pro.

While you could probably get an idea of your overall mobility and stability doing the tests on your own or with an assistant, the purpose of the screen is to try to pin down effective movement as accurately as possible. Not knocking you, but a knowledgeable practitioner is going to be able to identify (and advise on) specific movement errors and asymmetries. 

I'm pretty familiar with the system and the anatomical terms and landmarks, and I still went to a trained tester. It was useful for me and identified a couple of key upper body asymmetries which are consistent with the tight spots I encounter doing overhead work, bench and climbing. It also showed how much more effort I needed to make at the time in maintaining good posture in the bottom of the squat; appropriate daily mobility has sorted this issue and I now squat much stronger with better form. 

Give it a go on your own - I suspect it will be a little less useful and specific, but still worth trying for a broad idea of how you're doing.

Andy Gamisou - on 04 Jul 2018
In reply to Andrew Kin:

> That list highlights something that has puzzled me for a few years about climbers and training.

> Please don't come down on me like a ton of bricks as I don't even climb. 

> Where is the flexibility training?  Yes there is a bit of core and a bit of strength targeting various areas.  The odd bit of antagonist exercises.  But I cant see anything that is going to help your movement and techniques.  Surely flexibility should be the top of any training plan.

 

Apologies if anyone has already referred to this.

From Dave Macleod's book "9 out of 10 climbers..."

"Flexibility does have a place as one component among many that contribute to general climbing ability.  However, the bottom line is that it's one of the smaller contributors.  For those with an average level of flexibility it is rarely a weakness and even more rarely a stopper on a given move".

For further elaboration, I'd suggest buying the book - it is (IMHO) well worth the money.

For the little one person's experience matters (and someone who maxes out at a pretty low level of around 7b to boot) I can't really recall coming across a route ever that stopped me because of a lack of flexibility (outdoors anyway, I seem to recall one bridging oriented route indoors at Newton Aycliffe some years ago....).

 

L dareterr on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

Nice list... will have to dig in more. Perhaps this is more suitable for another thread but can someone recommend a relatively quick and complete abdominal routine for shorter workouts? Thank you!

L mantelself on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to dareterr:

if you have access to a swiss ball. do walk outs to pike holds on them. Move to doing them one footed and then just rise into a handtsand and leave humanity behind! It isn't that obvious as to how hard this progression works the abs until you are rocking your feet into a pike on  the ball.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boyh621hbFI

 

stp - on 05 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

As others have said I think that's a very long list. It's hard to say what it will be like for you since we don't have any idea of what you're doing now. If you're just starting a training programme then it's way too long.

The key thing with training is that improvements happen over long-ish time periods so your programme has to be something you can stick to and carry out day after day, week after week and month after month. It's easy to be very keen at the beginning, see all these great exercises and incorporate all of them into your programme. But it's a waste of time if you find you can't stick to them 4 weeks later.

Also exercises also require a certain amount of skill to execute properly and that takes time and practice to learn. For instance take a look on Youtube for tutorial about how to deadlift. There are loads of them and they're all different. And the deadlift is a relatively simple movement. But it's also easy to get wrong. So you want to learn how to execute each exercise with correct form. That will lower the risk of injury and also produce the best gains.

So I would start off pretty slowly with far fewer exercises and learn to perfect them. Once you've learned the right way to do them you'll have that skill for life.

Take a look at the Stronglifts web site someone recommended above. That's an excellent resource for serious strength training designed to take you a long way. Yet in that programme there are only 5 exercises. But as climber you also need to devote substantial time and energy to climbing too so even that is probably too much.

For climbing there are specific areas you want to prioritize. I'd say these are finger strength, pulling strength and core. So perhaps start with a small programme focusing on those and if that goes OK AND you're seeing gains you can add to it slowly over time.

Regarding the exercises I'd ditch lat pull downs in favour of regular pull ups. Pull ups are a much better exercise and very climbing specific.

Regarding the stretching personally I think if you have the time and energy it's definitely a good idea. Also it shouldn't interfere with recovery from strength work too much. In European and American climbing it seems to be well down the list of priorities for most climbers. But I suspect that is more of a cultural thing than any evidence based reasoning. As said above the Japanese team do a lot of stretching (2 hours a day) and they lead the world in bouldering competitions.

Anyway hope that helps a bit and good luck with it. And don't forget, the most important thing of all is climbing.

 

slab_happy on 06 Jul 2018
In reply to dareterr:

This is the core routine from "Training for the New Alpinism" -- worth a look:

https://www.outsideonline.com/1987466/definitive-10-step-guide-building-do-anything-core

I've had a good results from making a list of ten core/ab/back exercises and using a phone app to time a minute of each. Ten minutes of that is just about bearable for me after a climbing session, and if I'm consistent with it it prduces definite results.

slab_happy on 07 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

I can recommend Jason Crandell as a yoga teacher in particular; if you want, I can dig up links to a bunch of free video classes he did for YogaJournal years ago, which have been fantastic for me.

Your mileage may vary, but (speaking as a grumpy and irritable person who's allergic to Generic Yoga Teacher Voice) he's one of the few yoga teachers I've never secretly wanted to murder.

He's very strong on subtleties of alignment, and on using uncomfortable/intense poses as opportunities to practice breathing and staying calm/focused, and he's one of the first people in the yoga world who I heard saying that the goal here is *not* extreme range of motion.

Also he's a former hockey player and skateboarder (who now studies Brazilian jiu jitsu), so -- I don't want to make too many assumptions about where you're coming from on this, but I think some people (guys particularly) getting into yoga from a relatively athletic background might find him more "relatable".

rockface - on 09 Jul 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

well, you sold it - send me a link please

rockface - on 09 Jul 2018
In reply to stp:

Wise words. I suppose it does seem ambitious, but I have set the programme as a goal rather than that strict must-do. I imagine it likely will change over time, but I'm hoping with a soon-to-come sudden increase in free time (and boredom) I shall be able to fit it all in. 

Well aware how easy it is to go wrong with deadlifts, that's why I've steered clear of them til now, but I'll be careful. 

I'll ditch the pull downs. Thanks!

 

 

slab_happy on 10 Jul 2018
In reply to rockface:

I figured if I left a comment full of links it'd get stuck in the spam filter, so I've e-mailed you -- hope the links are of some use!

Post edited at 17:19

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