5 Best Exercises for Climbers

June 10th, 2024

As climbing grows in popularity, there’s more and more information available and it can be overwhelming to figure out which voices to listen to. Should I focus on finger strength, stretching, jumping grades, campusing, endurance, power, volume, the list goes on.  

Below is a consolidated list of exercises to target both agonists and antagonists to keep you on the wall. It’s been abbreviated for a reason; the best exercises are the ones you’ll do. Focusing on too much at one time leads to burn out and cutting corners. This is a great place to start for injury prevention or recovery! 

Begin with 2 rounds of 8-12 repetitions each, increasing to 3 rounds of each exercise after 2-4 weeks. Increase resistance as form allows. 

1. Face Pull  

Gently engage your shoulder blades, pull towards your face making a field goal shape. Don’t shrug your shoulders towards your ears.  

2. Bridge  

Beginner: Lay on your back. Stabilize your core and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips from the floor. Don’t arch your back  

Advanced: Lay on your back and lift one leg in the air. Stabilize your core and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips from the floor. Keep hips level throughout.  

3. Tendon Glides  

Fingers straight -> Straight Fist -> Bear Claw -> Roof -> Full Fist  

4. Arnie Press  

Start with palms facing you. As you press overhead, rotate the weights outward until you end with palms facing forward. Don’t shrug your shoulder towards your ears.   

5. Plank Step Through  

Start in full plank, without sagging hips or chest. Rotate and step one leg under and through the other supporting leg, bringing the outer edge of your foot gently to the ground. Bring the opposite arm towards your chest. Keep hips level and elevated throughout.  

If you or a fellow climber are experiencing pain hindering you from climbing, we would love to work with you! Our team of clinicians at ProMotion is trained to work with climbers of all backgrounds and abilities. We aim to keep you moving and physically active by continuing to engage in the activities that bring you joy.  

Contact us today if you would like to get started on the path to Move Better, Live Better, and Climb Better!