Rock climbing has grown into one of the most popular outdoor sports over the past few decades. It is a very demanding sport that requires control, strength and finesse. Since rock climbing is all about getting from A to B, it is important to properly prepare so that you can savor the journey. If you want to climb well, a lot of drive and ambition will need to be tempered by wisdom and the ability to prepare well so that you don’t find yourself stuck hundreds of feet in the air without the strength to keep going.
There are several exercises that you can do to keep your body in great shape for rock climbing. If you have done much climbing at all, you have probably noticed that grip strength is usually the first to go. In general, one of the single best ways to quickly improve your climbing skill is to improve your grip strength. Your forearms are key to developing excellent grip strength because the muscles in your forearms work together as a unit when you grip the rock. Individual finger strength is also important if you want to improve grip.
A good forearm exercise is the static hang. Simply hang on a bar until your muscles absolutely fail. This means you are well past the point of just feeling uncomfortable and physically have to drop from the bar because you literally can’t hold on any longer. Concentrate and put intense effort into hanging on for as long as possible. Once you fall off the bar, shake your arms out for 5 minutes. Then get right back on and repeat this process 3 more times. If you consistently do at least four sets on a regular basis, you will quickly improve your forearm strength.
Another excellent forearm exercise is the forearm curl. Simply sit on a chair or bench, pick up a dumbbell holding it with a fist and let the bar roll down your finger tips. Then roll it back up into your palm. If you want to build strength and endurance, you should time yourself instead of counting repetitions. One minute is a great starting time and you should work up to 5 minutes or more using weight that is heavy enough that it is a challenge to do 10 repetitions. A forearm exercise like this will also help you to build finger strength and crucial thumb strength. You will often need your thumb to grip sideways to the rock and provide the friction necessary to stay up.
In addition to exercises like these, it is very important to pay attention to nutrition. You will need plenty of water to stay hydrated before and after you climb because your muscles will lose 30% of their strength if you are dehydrated. It is also important to eat complex carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, fruits, and rice as well as lean protein to replenish your muscles. Whey Protein is one of the best sources of protein for climbers because it is very low in fat, it is made from dairy so it is easily digested, and it is the most cost effective as it contains over 90% protein.
By using these exercise and nutrition tips to build strength and endurance, you will soon improve your climbing ability and feel confident as you take on challenging new climbs.
Article source: Expert Articles