The Ultimate Indoor Rock Climbing Workout

rock climbing workout
Man bouldering in indoor gymJorg badura

Indoor rock climbing is one of the most adrenaline-pumping sports you can do. It’s also gaining popularity, and fast. Whether you’re bouldering (no rope) or using a harness and rope, indoor climbing is a great total-body workout to get strong and burn calories.

This physically and mentally demanding sport requires more than just working on the wall. You need to train your mind and body hard to literally push yourself to new heights.

“You have to focus your training in the gym as well as the wall if you want to progress in climbing,” says Trevor Swaine, C.P.T. and founder of First Ascent Fitness. “Most movements in climbing are very controlled and fluid, therefore, we want to maximize muscle contractions and minimize the generation of momentum.”

Designed by Swaine, this strength-building gym workout will target the core and back while also incorporating chest and triceps exercises to avoid muscle imbalances. Take your fitness to a whole new level with this intense 12-move full-body workout.

Climber doing pullups
Jorg Badura

Pullup (with thumbless grip)
Sets: 4
Reps: 10
A thumbless grip increase forearm and grip strength.

Spiderman Pushup
Sets: 3
Reps: 14
As you lower your body to the floor like a traditional pushup, raise your right knee to your right elbow alternating sides each rep. This motion will further engage your obliques and triceps.

One-arm Suspension Trainer Inverted Row
Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Keeping your core engaged and your feet wider than shoulder width pull your body up quickly from a horizontal position and hold for 3 seconds at the top before slowly lowering back down. Alternate arms.

Single-leg Burpee
Sets: 2
Reps: 10 (each leg)
Do burpees with one leg raised off the floor the entire time, including the jump at the end of the movement.

Bentover Row (using Fat Gripz)
Sets: 3
Reps: 6-8
Adding Fat Gripz will keep a more open hand and will increase your grip strength. Control each rep with proper form, using a tempo of a three-count up and three-count down.

Reverse Cable Flye
Sets: 3
Reps: 15
Set cables above shoulder height. Instead of bringing the cables as in a standard flye, cross your hands over each other and retract your scapula to move the cables away from your body. Perform 5 reps, hold for 3 seconds, take a big step back while holding cables out to the side, and repeat 3 times for 15 total reps.

Forearm Kettlebell Curl
Sets: 3
Reps: 12
While standing in a staggered stance pick up a kettlebell with the handle facing away from you and squeezing the base of the kettlebell with your palms. Curl the bell up to your chest quickly and slowly let the kettlebell down using a three-count tempo. Press your palms into the kettlebell as hard as possible and control the weight throughout the exercise.

Single-leg Lever
Sets: 2
Reps: 8
While in the bottom of a pullup position with your arms extended, lean back and raise your body up to a horizontal position with one leg extended and the other leg bent in to your chest. Slowly lower back to the ground. Alternate legs each rep. Keep hips as high as you can.

Swiss Ball Pressup
Sets: 2
Reps: 14
Get into a plank position with legs straight and forearms on a Swiss Ball. Raise hips and lean back into your heels while you press up onto your hands so you’re standing with your palms on the ball. Slowly roll back out to a plank position so your forearms return to the ball.

Toe to Heel Leg Raise
Sets: 2
Reps: 14 (each side)
While lying on your back, stack your right foot on top of your left so the heel of your right foot is on top of the toe of your left foot. Keeping your legs straight, raise both legs quickly pressing toward the ceiling and twisting to the left, then slowly bring your legs down with a five-count. Complete one side then alternate legs.

Single-leg Plank
Sets: 2
Reps: Hold for 1 minute
In a regular plank position lift one leg a foot off the ground for 10 seconds and alternate legs for 1 minute.

Slow-motion Bicycle
Sets: 3
Reps: 20
Lying on your back with hands behind your head look at the ceiling while slowly bringing your right elbow to your left knee and fully extend your right leg parallel with the floor, hold for 5 seconds, then alternate sides.

The Next Generation Climbing Gym >>>

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